Ooh, I want that sofa!  That will be so comfortable in our living room!  Now, I need to find what matches.  Maybe a couple of chairs will make the set complete.  Oh, but look at the grungy wall behind it.  We need to look for paint!  Don’t you think the flooring needs replacing, too?  We need to look for what’s out there.  What are other people doing?  And, we begin seeking.

We need to replace our car with a newer one that has less mileage.  Our car gets us around town but we wouldn’t trust it on long trips.  I like red, don’t you like red?  Who doesn’t like red?  So, we begin seeking and searching for just the right car.  A red one.

We long for things–more and better things.  We spend enormous amounts of time just seeking.  The more we seek for things, we long for those things even more.  The hunger for more stuff grows until it overcomes all our thinking.  These obsessions most often  result in bad stewardship, spending our lives and resources to get what we think we must have by going into mountains of debt.

We pray to God for what we think we want and need.  We ask Him for the new car, the newer home, better clothes.  Yes, when God doesn’t deliver in the time we think He should we put all these things on credit.  We are seeking only what we see—the tangible, hoping that getting those things will make us happy.  Is that faith or failure to communicate with God in effective prayer?

Many people take the following passage for today (Matthew 7) out of context.  Let’s back up to what Jesus said earlier in his mountain message. (Matthew 6)

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21, NLT

Ouch!  Do we have a heart condition?

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”  Matthew 6:24

Uh oh. To whom is our heart devoted?  Who do I seek? This is a better question.

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?”  Matthew 6:25

Mm.  Do we seek life eternal more than our temporary “fixes” on our brief journey on earth?  Seeking the latter brings on heaps of worry and stress in trying to get what we think we need without asking God for what HE knows we need most.  Jesus says,

“And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”  Matthew 6:30

God knows what we want, sees our thoughts, hears our prayers but provides exactly we need.  Jesus said,

These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”  Matthew 6:32-33

What is dominating our thoughts right now, today?

Effective praying that Jesus is teaching about involves faithful seeking.  That’s why He prefaced the following thoughts with HOW to pray,

“Our Father in heaven,
    may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
    as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
    as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
    but rescue us from the evil one.”

(Emphasis mine, Matthew 6:9-13)

Do we see the pattern, the perfect example, from the Son of God, that shows us effective, faithful praying? 

  1. First Seek God as Our Father, Knocking on the door of our Holy God.
  2. Ask for His Kingdom to come and enter our hearts, minds and souls.
  3. Ask for HIS WILL in our lives to be done as it is in perfect heaven!
  4. Ask for needs and forgiveness.
  5. Ask for His power to run from evil and be rescued from the prince of this world and his destructive tactics.

NOW, read the following passage with clarity.  Ask, seek and knock on the door to heaven where we will find out what God wants for each one of us—HIS best!  God will provide all that we need!  God surprises us with beyond what we think we need, too!

Matthew—The Law Fulfilled

Matthew 7:7-11, NLT

Effective Prayer

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.


Can we ask God for a new job?  We can ask for His direction as we seek a new work.  Where God guides, He provides.

Can we ask God for a better car, home, etc.?  We can ask God for his wisdom to replace what is wearing out.  He will show us HIS WILL.  Where God guides, He provides.

Can we ask God for whatever is on our hearts?  God wants us to be completely honest with him.  He already knows what you want but He will provide exactly what we need. 

When we look back on our lives, we will see that what we thought we wanted and prayed for at that time, God protected us from having because He knew what we were praying for most would hurt our growing faith in Him.  If only we could realize the depth of love God has for us.  He died and rose again through Jesus, His Son to save us for eternity.  I think that praying for HIS WILL for our lives is the only way to pray.

It’s all in the seeking…Seek God first!

Abba, Father God in Heaven,

Holy is Your Name.  Great are You, Lord!  Reveal to us your glory, power and strength.  We seek your Kingdom living.  We seek Your Will to be done in every detail of our lives here on earth as it is in heave.  Give us this day your wisdom, insight and understanding.  And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  Lead us not into temptations of all that is wrong for us.  Fight this battle that begins in our minds for us today and always.  Deliver us from evil and evil’s attempts to distract us with longing for stuff that is temporary.  We seek you first this morning, asking for what you want us to be and do for today.  I love you, Lord with all my heart, mind and soul and I seek Your Will. 

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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