Thoughts for the Day

Thursday, 2nd March 2023: Ask, search, knock

Teaching Matthew 7 Father in Heaven Jesus

Reading : Verses from Matthew, Chapter 7


Jesus said, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


In 1984 I and another stipendiary Deaconess attended the Diocesan Clergy Conference - the first time women had attended the three day conference. In his closing speech Bishop John Yates, the Bishop of Gloucester said this: “When we are up to our armpits in alligators, it is difficult to remember that we are there to clear out the swamp". Or, "When we are up to our necks in parish admin work, let us not forget this is not our main job.” He went on to say that our priority should be our relationship with God through prayer, out of which comes mission.

In today's reading Jesus says the disciples are to Ask God in faith for what is needed. However as Martin Luther once said "Pray as if everything depends on God, and then act as if everything depends on you," - asking therefore involves us acting to help achieve what is needed. Jesus said that when we petition God we are also to Search, that is, we are to make sure we ally our wishes with God's wishes. We should not ask for things that don't agree with God's will. Finally, Jesus says we should Knock, which is to say we should persist in entreating God and not be discouraged, for God is our Heavenly Father and knows what we need. He will answer as is best for us.

So when we're up to our armpits in the day-to-day swamp of life with the alligators, let's not forget what our real job is as Christians!


Heavenly Father,
Your Son, Jesus,
taught us to pray to You
for what we need.
Help us to ask for what is essential
for others and for ourself,
and then to act.
May we ally requests with Your will,
and may we learn to be patient
and persistent.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like this blog on the work of a Christian:

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