Ohhh…Ask, Seek & Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-9

How many times have you heard this scripture?

I know I’ve heard it over and over, but it hit me this morning that Jesus was pretty clear about how the whole receiving process works. We need to ask, seek and knock. Pretty simple. But, upon quick self-evaluation, I realized that I have the whole asking part down pat. However, my seeking efforts are a bit flaky, and my boldness to actually knock is close to zilch. 

Because I understand that the King of the Universe is always perfectly succinct and purposeful with His words, I know there must be an extraordinary reason behind the three steps to…ask, seek, and knock. 

I dated a girl who loved Garth Brooks in college, which meant I pretended to like him too. Anyway, her favorite Garth song was called “Unanswered Prayers,” and the chorus goes like this…

“Sometimes I thank God
For unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’
To the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Cause some of God’s greatest gifts
Are unanswered prayers.”

I feel you, Garth.

It’s ironic how much she loved that song when we were dating because it’s all about young love that didn’t work out and the realization that what they may have wanted so desperately and prayed for so often wasn’t what was best for them. I’m thankful God didn’t answer many of my prayers back then, especially when looking at my incredible wife and daughter. God knew what He was doing.

Often I make it through the asking/praying process, only to realize my prayer needs to change. Frequently my asking revolves around me, but when I move into the seeking process and spend time with God, my prayers become less self-focused, and I realize I’m seeking the wrong thing altogether.

As a kid, I remember selling candy bars door to door. I didn’t mind it like a lot of other kids did. God wired my personality to love people, and although it was still a bit intimidating, I thrived at it. Fast forward to my daughter having the same task of school fundraising at the age I was when I was shelling out more chocolate than Hershey’s, and it’s a different story. She absolutely hated it. She was terrified to approach a neighbor’s door, let alone knock on it. It didn’t matter if it was peddling candy bars or Girl Scout cookies (which just about sell themselves!), she would do anything to get out of talking to our neighbors. 

That’s what makes the last part of God’s process so interesting. 

When I have asked God for something, spent some quality time with Him, walking through what I genuinely need versus just what I want, it makes it easy for me to go to His door. It’s like when you visit a close friend or family member. You knock on their door as more of an announcement that you’ve arrived than a hesitant request to see if they will let you inside. My parents live in town, and every time I visit them, I knock as I walk inside their home. There is no pause. There is no fear of being turned away. I am confident that they want to see me, are thankful that I’m there, and welcome me with open arms. 

Our knocking is a sweet interruption.

Our Heavenly Father, like my parents, welcomes the intrusion. To Him, our needs, concerns, and desires are like those Girl Scout cookies – a sweet treat and a chance to connect. Which part of the process do you struggle with?

Is it hard for you to ask God for things? Is it a struggle to find time to seek Him through scripture and quality time? Do you lack the boldness to knock on His door because you don’t feel qualified, welcomed, or loved? I’d love to hear your thoughts! God wants to give us good gifts. Let’s work on this together.

In His service and at yours,


Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

One thought on “Ohhh…Ask, Seek & Knock

  1. Thank you so much for a wonderful powerful message. Asking God, and being thankful, whether you have received what you asked for, or haven’t, the best part is knowing you may ask! Feeling the closeness of His love at this time, fills us with a generous spirit, that He passes on to us, and that we may share with others. That in itself is an answer to prayers. Thank you for sharing the confidence that God has given you, and that you always share with us. Hugs

    On Sat, Mar 12, 2022 at 8:07 AM Red Letter Moments wrote:

    > Shawn McCarthy posted: ” “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you > will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks > receives, the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will > be opened.” Matt 7:7-9 How many times have you hea” >


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