“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV)
This is an awesome promise that the Lord gives us… Ask, and it will be given to you… But wait just a minute. How can that be true? I’ve asked Him for a whole lot of things that He hasn’t given to me. Now what’s up with that?
Do you know how many times I prayed that it would snow, so I wouldn’t have to go to school as a child? If it’s true that all I have to do is ask, then with all the snow this little girl prayed for, there should still be a few feet of it on the ground! If this Scripture is true, then I think it’s fair to ask why I don’t always get what I ask for, don’t you? Have any of you ever wondered about this? I certainly have.
Seriously, I remember praying fervently as a little girl for the Lord to please cover the ground with at least a foot of snow, so I wouldn’t have to go to school for a few days. And I can remember getting up the next morning and dashing to the window, still praying earnestly for the ground to be blanketed with snow, as my little heart pounded with excitement, only to be disappointed over and over again.
Still, hoping each time that God would hear my prayers and answer them, I continued to pray for fog delays and snow… I would pray that my report card would be good, even though I knew how poorly I had done in school that marking period. Then, I remember praying that Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t be angry with me when they saw my report card, and that I wouldn’t be beaten and punished.
And each time God didn’t answer my prayers, I grieved, thinking that He must not love me. I remember thinking that I just wasn’t good enough or important enough for God to waste His time answering my prayers, because He above everyone else knew just how bad I really was.
Oh, how I wanted Him to love me. I wanted to be good enough for Him to hear me and care about me. But I was just too bad. I just didn’t deserve His love… Even as an adult, I would cry out for His mercy, and protection, but it seemed like my prayers fell on deaf ears. Has anyone else ever felt like that?
Still, something inside of me just wouldn’t give up, couldn’t give up. You see, something deep within me (I now know that “something” was Someone named Holy Spirit), kept telling me to pray and believe. The Spirit of the Lord continued to urge me to, Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)
And so I continued to cry out to Him, and I began to search His Word, because I just knew that I must be doing something wrong, and that the answer to my questions had to be in there, and do you know what? I was right. The answer was in His Word. It had been there all the time…
You see, there are no magical incantations, no special prayers that have to be prayed in order to get what you want and need. It’s all a matter of the heart, and our motives. If I want my prayers to be answered, do you know what one of the first things I need to do is? Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you. (Psalm 37:4-5 NLT)
Did you get that? Take delight in the Lord. Dictionary.com defines delight this way:
- a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture: She takes great delight in her job.
- something that gives great pleasure: The dance was a delight to see.
- to give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly: The show delighted everyone.
- to have great pleasure; take pleasure (followed by in or an infinitive): She delights in going for long walks in the country.
What gives you great pleasure? What do you really enjoy? What gives you satisfaction and enjoyment? What pleases you highly? Does God delight you?
It became clear to me as I began to study His Word, that many of those times that I prayed for Him to move on by behalf, I wasn’t delighted in Him. In fact, I wasn’t even thinking of Him until I needed something. I was only thinking of myself and my own needs. I never even thought about delighting myself in Him.
And it’s funny, because when that light bulb clicked, my prayers changed. In fact, as I came to know Him and to love Him, I found that it’s really easy to delight myself in Him. Sometimes, when I just begin to think of His goodness and His mercy, I am enraptured by Him. Oh, and as I begin to dwell on Him, my heart begins to flutter and swell within me, and suddenly, those things that I thought I needed don’t seem as important to me. As I’m caught up in the bliss of His presence, I realize that my Beloved is bigger than the bills that keep mounting or the wages that have stopped.
As He holds me in His embrace, I am comforted. For you see, His perfect love casts out fear. After all, The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him. (Psalm 24:1b NLT) He owns it all, and I belong to Him. You see my beloved brothers and sisters, The righteous face many troubles, but the LORD rescues them from each and every one. (Psalm 34:19 NLT)
Therefore, because I delight in Him, my prayers have changed. Remember? If we delight ourselves in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart… The funny thing is, He has given me new desires in my heart. I no longer have the desire for a foot of snow or a fog delay so that I won’t have to face my issues, because He wants me to deal with things head on, and because I delight in Him, I want to deal with them too. You see, my desire is to please Him now, not myself, because I have found that when I please Him, then I am pleased and content.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15 NKJV) You see, my friends, I am praying for His will now, and He is answering all of my prayers… And on those occasions when I fail to pray according to His will, He still answers my prayers with a resounding NO! I can live with that. 🙂
So, my brothers and sisters, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV)
Cheryl A. Showers
- Daily Devotional | “Ask And It Will Be Given To You…” (thelivingwordministries.wordpress.com)
- Why Can’t I Have That? (www.everydayawe.com)
- ask-and-you-shall-receive (http://mystical.agustinongpinoy.net/soap/2012/03/01/ask-and-you-shall-receive/)
- Ask And You Shall Receive (http://cog-ff.com/Library/html/Ask%20and%20You%20SHALL%20Receive.htm)
- Delight Yourself In The Lord (http://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/278-psalm-37/)
- Healing (http://my.opera.com/lambchop777/blog/?tag=healing&startidx=10&nodaylimit=1)