A. S. K. – A Way to Pray

askHide-n-Seek

One of our kids’ favorite games with their father when they were small was Hide-n-Seek in the house. They had more fun hiding from him and trying to find him when it was his turn to hide.

I remember especially the day his two and three year-olds could not find him anywhere in the house. You’d think, as large as he was as an adult, it would be hard to find places to hide. After hunting for him for what seemed like ages, they begged my help.

They’d searched high and low, they thought. They considered where he might hide based on where they would go to hide. Searches in the closet, under beds, and behind the sofa found no Papa.

They forget to look one place: UP. That’s exactly where Dave was. He put one foot on top of a door knob and the other foot on top of that foot. Then he grabbed the top of the door to balance himself and stayed out of sight to his boys because they were so short. Every time the bathroom door swung open or shut, he swung along. When they swung the door to look in the shower, they failed to look up because they were only looking on their level.

The problem was also that they never considered he’d be hiding on the door knob, because they’d never hide there. They were too short and too weak to make that leap. So they kept looking on their level, forgetting that their papa could scale heights unknown to them.

askSearching for answers

I remember that game of hide-n-seek when I read the verses in Matthew 7. Jesus is talking to the disciples and the multitudes. In this chapter, He first addresses judging others. Then He moves on to the subject of prayer – or of asking God.

God wants to give good things to His children. Just like an earthly father desires to do well with his children, so does God our Heavenly Father.

Jesus gives three steps for prayer. The acronym spells ASK, which is also another word for prayer. When we pray, He wants us to talk to Him about our concerns and problems. He wants us to ASK Him to take care of those needs and problems.

ASK

And this, He says, is how you do it:

  • A sk
  • S eek
  • K nock

A When we ask, we acknowledge that we have a need – a worry, a concern, a decision to make. We make that known. When we’ve lost an item in the house, we begin by asking others, “Has anyone seen my . . . “; “Do you remember where I put . . . “. That’s what we do with our Father. We let Him know that we need help. We ASK. He wants to help us, but He wants us to ask. If you’re a child looking for Papa, you ask another adult, “Do you know where I can find him?”

Then we start looking. We search. We seek. Just like my boys kept looking for their father because they knew He had to be there somewhere, we keep seeking. Sometimes this means we are still before God and listen. Or, it might mean we need to search for answers in Scripture, or by talking to others. Most importantly, we must seek for answers from God. We do that by reading His instructions and by listening. My kids knew the rules; they knew their papa was somewhere in the house, and not outside. So that’s where they searched.

K Knocking signifies we want to be allowed into a room. When we knock, it means we are earnest in getting an answer. Knocking also means we are going to keep tapping until we get an answer. This is the culmination of persistent progression. When my boys couldn’t find their father, they asked me for help. They were certain I could help them. 

First, they called his name (ask), hoping he’d forget he was hiding and answer. Then they looked for him (seek). Finally, they knocked (asking me). Their search was more intense with each step.

askThe right way to ask

God gives us good things each day, things we don’t even think to recognize. We don’t ask Him for air to breathe, for the sun to rise in the morning or the moon to set at night. He does these things because He cares for us.  His heart’s desire is that we acknowledge our need of Him, and to ask Him for answers.

He promises that when we ask, He will give. When we seek, we will find. If we knock, the door will be opened. He does not hide from us, making us play hide-n-seek with Him. He just wants us to keep asking, keep seeking and searching so we can learn to know Him and the desires of His heart.

When we know His desires, then we can expect God to answer the desires of our heart, because they will be His desires as well. Click To Tweet When we know His desires, then we can expect God to answer the desires of our heart, because they will be His desires as well.

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