ASK, SEEK, AND FIND
by Tony Alamo
One of the great assurances in the Bible is that it is impossible for GOD to lie (Hebrews 6:18). What HE says in HIS WORD is true.1 Everything in HIS WORD is true.
The first time the LORD spoke of prayer, HE spoke of the FATHER who is found in secret and who rewards openly (Matthew 6:1-6). The LORD spoke of prayer the second time when HE gave the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:7-8). JESUS gave us the prayer guide to follow, teaching us scripturally what the most important ingredient in prayer is. HE gives us much assurance that our prayers for sure will be heard, and assures us that our prayers will be answered.2
Notice how HE uses words which mean almost the same thing, and distinctly repeats the promise each time: Ye SHALL receive, ye SHALL find, it SHALL be opened unto you. HE then gives the law of the Kingdom as grounds for such assurance: He that asketh, RECEIVETH; he that seeketh, FINDETH; to him that knocketh, IT SHALL BE OPENED (Luke 11:10). This is GOD in the flesh telling you these proofs. HE is not a liar.
James 1:6-7 states, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind [Satan, doubt3] and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the LORD.” It is for sure that in this six-fold repetition HE wants to impress this one truth deeply on our minds, hearts, and souls.
Never become so weary that you forget to pray; and forget not to be steadfast in your prayer.4 We may—and must—with great confidence, expect the answer to all of our prayers. Everyone that asks, receives. Next to the revelation of the FATHER’S love, there is not a more important lesson than this in the whole course of the teaching of prayer.
A difference in meaning has been sought in the three words the LORD uses: ask, seek, and knock. If it was indeed HIS purpose for these three words to have three distinct meanings, then the first, “ask,” refers to the necessities we pray for. “Seek” is the word Scripture uses of GOD HIMSELF. CHRIST assures us that we can find HIM. However, it is not enough to find GOD in time of need without coming into abiding fellowship with HIM.5 “Knock” refers to the admission to dwell with HIM and in HIM in constant prayer. Asking and receiving the necessities would thus lead to seeking and finding our Giver, and from there to the knocking on and opening of the door to the FATHER’S throne and love, which is the keeping of GOD’S commandments.6
JESUS promised that HE had to go away so HE could send us another Comforter.9 In Heaven, HE became the HOLY SPIRIT and FATHER. They have streamed THEMSELVES down into us by the HOLY SPIRIT.10 HE said HE would do it, and HE did. HE says HE will deliver us from all evil, from all of our enemies, and HE will.11 But we must ask in faith.12 Seek, and HE’LL be sure that we find.13 And if we knock, the door of Heaven will be opened unto us, with the SPIRIT doing the deliverance of our prayers. There is none other to trust but the LORD. “Pray always,” HE says (Luke 21:36). And the SPIRIT says, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Ask, seek, knock, and we’ll have it. One thing is sure: the LORD wants us to believe and know most certainly that asking, seeking, and knocking cannot be in vain.
That the LORD should have thought it necessary to repeat the truth in so many forms is a lesson of deep importance. It proves that HE knows our hearts. HE knows that doubt and distrust toward HIM are natural and disastrous to us, and that we view prayer as religious work without expecting an answer.14
HE also knows that we believe prayer is something spiritually too difficult for the half-hearted disciple, even though the disciple believes that GOD hears prayer and answers it. At the very beginning of HIS instruction, HE therefore endeavors to lodge this truth deeply into the hearts of those who want to learn to pray: prayer accomplishes a great deal. Ask and you will receive; everyone who asks, receives. This is the eternal law of the Kingdom. If you ask and receive not, it must be because there is something wrong or missing in the prayer.15 Let the WORD and SPIRIT teach you to pray properly, but do not lose the confidence HE wants to give you in that everyone who asks, receives.
“Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matthew 7:7). In CHRIST’S school, there is no mightier encouragement of persevering in prayer than this. As a child has to prove a sum to be correct, so the proof that we have prayed correctly is our answer. If we ask and get no answer, it is because we have not learned to pray properly, because we do not pray as the SON. Let every learner in the school of CHRIST therefore take the MASTER’S WORD in all simplicity: because we are sons in CHRIST, everyone who asks, receives.
CHRIST had good reasons for speaking so unconditionally. Be careful not to weaken the WORD with human wisdom.16 When HE tells us Heavenly things, believe HIM. HIS WORD will explain itself to whomsoever believes it fully. If questions and difficulties arise, don’t try to settle them before accepting that you are in the SON and one with HIM. Let us entrust them all to HIM; HE will solve them. Our work is to accept and believe HIS promise completely. Let our inner chamber be inscribed with that promise in letters of light.
According to the teaching of the MASTER, prayer consists of two parts: a human side and a Divine side. The human side is the asking, the Divine is the giving. Or, to look at both from the human side, there is the asking and the receiving—the two halves that make up a whole. It is as if HE wants to tell us that we are not to rest without an answer because it is the will of GOD and the rule in the FATHER’S family that every childlike, believing petition is granted.17 If no answer comes, we are not to sit down in resignation and suppose it is not GOD’S will to give us an answer. There must be something in the prayer that is not as GOD would have it. We must seek for guidance to pray so that the answer will come. It is far easier for the flesh to submit without the answer than for it to yield itself to being searched and purified by the SPIRIT until it has learned to pray the prayer of faith, that you are one with CHRIST and the FATHER.
One of the terrible marks of the diseased state of Christian life these days is that there are so many who are content without the distinct experience of answer to prayer. They pray daily, they ask many things, and they trust that some of them will be heard, but because they don’t believe that they are sons in CHRIST, they know little of direct, definite answer to prayer as the rule of daily life.
The FATHER seeks daily communion with HIS children so that HE can listen to and grant their petitions, but they must come to HIM as CHRIST. HE wills that we come to HIM as CHRIST day by day with distinct requests.18 HE wills day by day to do what we ask. It was in HIS answer to prayer that the saints learned to know GOD as our LIVING ONE and were stirred to praise and love HIM (Psalms 34; 66:19; 116:1). Our TEACHER waits to imprint this in our minds, in our hearts and souls: prayer and its answer—the child asking and the FATHER giving—belong to each other.
There may be cases in which the answer is a refusal because the request is not according to GOD’S WORD, because we are not approaching HIM in the body of CHRIST as we are in the SON of GOD, such as when Moses asked to enter Canaan. However, there was still an answer.19 GOD did not leave HIS servant in uncertainty as to HIS will. The gods of the heathen are dumb and cannot speak.20 Our FATHER lets HIS child know when HE cannot give him what he asks. The child withdraws his petition as the SON did in Gethsemane.21 Both Moses the servant and CHRIST the SON knew that what they asked was not according to what the LORD had spoken. Their prayer was the humble request that the decision be changed. By HIS WORD and SPIRIT, GOD will teach those who are teachable and who give HIM time, whether their request be according to HIS will or not. Withdraw the request if it is not according to GOD’S will, or persevere until the answer comes. Prayer is supposed to have an answer. It is in prayer and its answer that the interchange of love between the FATHER and HIS child takes place.
How deeply our hearts must be estranged from GOD that we should find it so difficult to grasp such promises! Even though we accept the words and believe their truth, the faith of the heart that fully possesses them and rejoices in them comes so slowly. It is because our spiritual life is still so weak and our capacity for accepting GOD’S thoughts is so feeble. Let us look to JESUS to teach us as none but HE can teach. Simply take HIS WORDS and trust HIM, by HIS SPIRIT, to make them life and power within us. They will enter our inner being and allow the Spiritual Divine reality of the truth they contain to take possession of us. We should not be content until every petition we offer is carried to Heaven on JESUS’ own words: “Ask, and it shall be given you.”
Beloved fellow-disciples in the school of JESUS! Learn this lesson well! Let us take these words just as they were spoken. Do not let human reason weaken their force. Let us take them and believe them, just as JESUS gives them. In due time, HE will teach us how to understand them fully. Now we should begin by implicitly believing them. Take time in prayer to listen to HIS voice. Don’t let the feeble experience of disbelief limit what faith can expect. Let us seek not only in prayer, but at all times, to joyfully accept the assurance that man’s prayer on earth and GOD’S answer in Heaven are meant for each other. Trust JESUS to pray as HIM to the FATHER so that the answer can come. HE will do it IF WE PRAY TO HIM AS TO THE FATHER. “Ask [as JESUS], and ye shall receive.”
LORD, YOU have taught us to pray. O LORD JESUS! Teach me to understand and believe what YOU taught me to understand and have promised me, and let me receive from the FATHER as YOU have received from the FATHER. And yet, my blessed LORD, I find in YOUR teaching that YOU said plainly that prayer must expect an answer. YOU assure us that this is the fellowship of a child with the FATHER: the SON asks, and the FATHER gives.
Blessed LORD! YOUR WORDS are faithful and true. LORD, I want to be YOUR son so that when I ask I will receive. Be my GOD and my FATHER, I ask in this prayer:
My LORD and my GOD, have mercy upon my soul, a sinner. 1 I believe that JESUS CHRIST is the SON of the living GOD. 2 I believe that HE died on the cross and shed HIS precious blood for the forgiveness of all my former sins. 3 I believe that GOD raised JESUS from the dead by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT 4 and that HE sits on the right hand of GOD at this moment, hearing my confession of sin and this prayer. 5 I open up the door of my heart, and I invite YOU into my heart, LORD JESUS. 6 Wash all of my filthy sins away in the precious blood that YOU shed in my place on the cross at Calvary. 7 YOU will not turn me away, LORD JESUS; YOU will forgive my sins and save my soul. I know because YOUR WORD, the Bible, says so. 8 YOUR WORD says that YOU will turn no one away, and that includes me. 9 Therefore, I know that YOU have heard me, and I know that YOU have answered me, and I know that I am saved. 10 And I thank YOU, LORD JESUS, for saving my soul, and I will show my thankfulness by doing as YOU command and sin no more.11
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If you want the world saved, as JESUS commands, then don’t rob GOD of HIS tithes and offerings. GOD said, “Will [you] rob GOD? Yet ye have robbed ME. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed THEE? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed ME, even this whole nation [and this whole world]. Bring ye all the tithes [a ‘tithe’ is 10% of your gross income] into the storehouse, that there may be meat [Spiritual food] in MINE house [souls saved], and prove ME now herewith, saith the LORD of HOSTS, if I will not open you the windows of Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of HOSTS. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of HOSTS” (Malachi 3:8-12).
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Ask, Seek, and Find footnotes:
10. Ezek. 36:26-27, John 17:20-26, Rom. 8:10-11, 26-29, 1 Cor. 3:9, 16-17, 6:19-20, 2 Cor. 6:16-18, Gal. 2:20, Eph. 2:18-22, 3:16-21, Phlp. 2:12-13, Col. 1:27-29, 2:9-10, 2 Tim. 1:14, 1 John 3:24, 2 John 9 return
13. Deut. 4:29, Josh. 1:8, 1 Chron. 28:9, 2 Chron. 7:14, 15:2, Prov. 8:17, Jer. 29:13, Matt. 5:6, 6:33, 7:7-8, Luke 11:9, John 15:7, Acts 17:11-12, 27, Rom. 10:17, Col. 3:1-2, 2 Tim. 2:15, 3:15-17, Heb. 11:6 return
1. Psa. 51:5, Rom. 3:10-12, 23 return
2. Matt. 26:63-64, 27:54, Luke 1:30-33, John 9:35-37, Rom. 1:3-4 return
3. Acts 4:12, 20:28, Rom. 3:25, I John 1:7, Rev. 5:9 return
4. Psa. 16:9-10, Matt. 28:5-7, Mark 16:9, 12, 14, John 2:19, 21, 10:17-18, 11:25, Acts 2:24, 3:15, Rom. 8:11, I Cor. 15:3-7 return
5. Luke 22:69, Acts 2:25-36, Heb. 10:12-13 return
6. I Cor. 3:16, Rev. 3:20 return
7. Eph. 2:13-22, Heb. 9:22, 13:12, 20-21, I John 1:7, Rev. 1:5, 7:14 return
8. Matt. 26:28, Acts 2:21, 4:12, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14 return
9. Matt. 21:22, John 6:35, 37-40, Rom. 10:13 return
10. Heb. 11:6 return
11. John 5:14, 8:11, Rom. 6:4, I Cor. 15:10, Rev. 7:14, 22:14 return
12.Matt. 28:18-20, John 3:5, Acts 2:38, 19:3-5, Rom. 6:3-5, Col. 2:10-12 return
13. Deut. 4:29, 13:4, 26:16, Josh. 1:8, 22:5, 2 Tim. 2:15, 3:14-17, James 1:22-25, Rev. 3:18 return