“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
(Matthew 7: 7-11)
This is one of the most encouraging passages in the whole Scriptures. How many have been led by this invitation to approach the throne of grace! Here is not only an invitation which assures you of a welcome, but also a promise of success—your petition shall be granted, “for every one that asketh receiveth”.
Christ knew how apt we are to doubt the love of our Heavenly Father. Therefore He appealed to all the parents present, and said, “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?” Every parent who heard this question must have felt that he could not treat his child in so unfeeling a manner—much less would he give his child a serpent instead of a fish, or a scorpion instead of an egg. There are in the East white scorpions, about the size of an egg; but no parent would deceive and mock his child by giving him that venomous animal instead of wholesome food.
There are few who cannot recollect the kindness their parents showed to them in their helpless days. There are few who have no recollection of a father’s or a mother’s love. In childhood we knew not its value, but in later years it melts our hearts to think of it. How readily our dear parents listened to our requests! They were not always able to grant them, and sometimes they saw it would not be well to give us what we desired. But they never denied us food when we needed it. They would rather have gone without it themselves, than have seen us suffering from hunger. How carefully they guarded us from everything that would injure us! They warned us not to approach too near the fire, or the water, and not to touch poisonous berries or dangerous animals. Far from giving us a scorpion, they would have been terrified, if they had seen it in our hands.
And does God feel the same tenderness for His children? Hear what Jesus says, who came forth from the bosom of the Father—“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them who ask him?”
But if any trembling soul should reply, “How can I be sure that He is my Father? He is not the Father of the wicked,” let him know that none but the children of God ask him for good things. The little lamb is shown to belong to its own mother by running to her to be fed.
The children of Satan do not desire to have those things which God has promised. They seek for an earthly portion. They never really pray. When they are miserable, they often complain, but these complaints are not prayers. God said of Israel, “They have not cried unto me with their hearts, when they howled upon their beds” (Hos 7: 14). Sometimes in distress they make vows, as well as complaints. But are their vows prayers? God calls them flatteries, and lies: “Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues, for their heart was not right with him” (Ps 78: 36-37a).
How different from these were the prayers of David! He could say to God, “I intreated thy favour with my whole heart” (Ps 119: 58). And he could also say, “Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.” Every one who is now earnestly seeking God shall sooner or later say the same. Therefore, “let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord” (Ps 105: 3). (Adapted from Gracegems.org)