the asking in prayer we’re to do

“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.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Matthew 7:7-11

The rule so to speak in the Christian life for receiving is to ask in faith. The tenses for ask, seek and knock are present, and can be understood as something we continue to do. Elsewhere James (possibly the Lord’s half brother) tells us that we don’t have, because we don’t ask God (James 4). Prayer is basic in receiving the good gifts God wants to give us. God wants us to ask him. The addition by our Lord of knocking and seeking seems to me to suggest that this asking is not done casually, one time, then forgotten about.

And the rest of the passage suggests that our request be specific. That is a part of praying in faith, to actually ask for something. Believing that the Father will answer with good gifts. Part of God’s promise to us in Jesus.