“Unanswered Prayers”

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” -Matthew 7:7-8

Now, I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I read this passage, I think Jesus might have been a little crazy. See, I’ve asked for lots of things in my life, I’ve sought even more, and I’ve been knocking on doors like crazy. Of course, nine times out of ten, I get “no response.”

I put “no response” in quotes, because sometimes, like recently, I hear this wonderful, amazing country song that gets me thinking.

Click to see the lyrics for “Unanswered Prayers” by Garth Brooks.

See Jesus says “Ask and you will receive,” not “ask and you will receive what you ask for.” We assume that it’s implied, but I wonder if we were to go back to the original greek or hebrew (or even the latin) if there would be something to hint how we will receive. (If there are any bible theologians out there reading this who might know the answer, can you please either comment below or email me?)

“Seek and you will find” doesn’t mean that you’re going to find it right this minute. It means that we need to keep searching and keep exploring the world around us. We don’t get instant gratification.

It took me a little more reflection to think about the third portion of these verses, but “Knock and the door will be opened to you” doesn’t necessarily mean the door that you are knocking on will be opened to you. It means THE door. The door you need to go through.

I think Garth Brooks really tackles the deeper meaning of this passage in “Unanswered Prayers.” Sometimes, we ask for things, like our high school flame, that aren’t right for us. When we do that, and we don’t get it, sometimes we begin to blame God. Like a toddler who wants a cookie before dinner, we don’t understand why we can’t have what we want when we want it.

But God always provides the right thing for us. He always opens the door that we need to go through, and if we follow his word and go where he leads us, we have the joy of looking back, and remembering…

“Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”
Garth Brooks’ “Unanswered Prayers”

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