Matthew 7:7 — “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
We must get it out of our heads that God is stingy or miserly or tight-fisted with His grace and goodness. He delights in showering us with good things—but we have to present Him with our requests.
God did not design you to be anxious or nervous. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the crowds, “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ … Therefore do not worry about tomorrow .…” (Matt. 6:31, 34).
All of us have worried about the basics of life. When we reduce most of our anxieties to their lowest terms, we discover they involve fundamental things: where we live, what food we buy, what clothes to wear, what friends we have, what others think about us. In all these concerns, the issue for believers in Jesus Christ comes down to trust.
Do you believe that you are in charge of your life? Or do you acknowledge that God directs and provides? Your answer has everything to do with your anxiety level.
Have you ever watched a mouse running inside a wheel? The faster he runs, the faster the wheel moves—but he doesn’t make the slightest progress. He does not even have the sense to get off the wheel.
That is what anxiety does to you. You run faster and faster, trying harder and harder to meet demands or prevent disaster—and still you do not have control over your circumstances. So when something does not go quite right, your frustration level continues to mount.
There is a way off the wheel, however. God created you. He knows your deepest needs (Ps. 68:19). He longs for you to end the anxiety cycle and let Him lead (Matt. 11:28). First Peter 5:6, 7 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” The word “casting” is related to the Greek verb used in Luke 19:35, when on Palm Sunday the people of Jerusalem threw their garments onto a colt for Jesus to ride. The word describes the same motion: a deliberate action of setting something down and leaving it there.
Jesus wants you to throw your cares on Him and leave them there. You depend on Him for life itself, and you acknowledge this reliant relationship by saying, “Here, Jesus. Take my problems. You have the answers! I trust You to show me what to do and to take care of the consequences.”
THE IMPORTANCE AND EFFICACY OF PRAYER
Matt. 7:7, 8. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that ask receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
WE need not look for a connection in every part of our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount; because the account of it which we have in this Gospel is nothing more than an epitome, in which only the principal heads, together with some important sayings, are recorded. But, if we suppose the words of our text to arise from what has just preceded them, the connection may easily be found. The commands, to abstain from all uncharitable judgment, and to be intent rather on searching out and removing our own imperfections, and even when the faults of our neighbor are most glaring, to exercise much prudence and caution in reproving him; these commands, I say, are difficult to be obeyed: and therefore our Lord encourages us by the consideration, that we may obtain by prayer whatever wisdom or strength we may stand in need of. The import of the text, however, will be the same, whether we take it as detached from the preceding context, or as connected with it; and it will naturally lead us to set before you the nature, the importance, and the efficacy of prayer.