Luke 11:9

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Now he who promises any thing ought to convey a hope of the thing promised, that obedience may follow commands, faith, promises. And therefore he adds, For every one that asks receives. The argument then persuading to frequent prayer, is the hope of obtaining what we pray for. The ground of persuasion was first in the command, afterwards it is contained in that example which He sets forth, adding, If a son shall ask bread of any of you, will he give him a stone?
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Athanasius the Apostolic

AD 373
Now unless the Holy Spirit were of the substance of God, Who alone is good, He would by no means be called good, since our Lord refused to becalled good, inasmuch as He was made man.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Of those three things that the apostle commends, faith is either signified by the fish, because of the water of baptism, or because it remains unharmed by the waves of this world. The Serpent is opposed to it, because it craftily and deceitfully persuaded man not to believe in God. The egg symbolizes hope, because the chick is not yet alive but will be; it is not yet seen but is hoped. “Hope that is seen is not hope.” The scorpion is opposed to hope, because whoever hopes for eternal life forgets the things that are behind and reaches out to those that are before. It is dangerous for him to look backward, and he is on guard against the rear of the scorpion, which has a poisoned dart in its tail. Bread symbolizes love, because “the greatest of these is love,” and among foods, bread certainly surpasses all others in value. The stone is opposed to it because the stonehearted cast out love. It may be that these gifts signify something more appropriate, yet he who knows how to give good gif...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
But He would not so encourage us to ask were He not willingto give. Let human slothfulness blush, He is more willing to give than we to receive. Or by the bread is meant charity, because we have a greater desire of it, and it is so necessary, that without it all other things are nothing, as the table without bread is mean. Opposed to which is hardness of heart, which he compared to a stone. But by the fish is signified the belief in invisible things, either from the waters of baptism, or because it is takenout of invisible places which the eye cannot reach. Because also faith, though tossed about bythe waves of this world, is not destroyed, it is rightly compared to a fish, in opposition to which he has placed the serpent on account of the poison of deceit, which by evil persuasion had its first seed in the first man. Or, by the egg is understood hope. For the egg is the young not yet formed, but hoped for through cherishing, opposed to which he has placed the scorpion, whose poisoned ...

Basil the Great

AD 379
If also any one from indolence surrenders himself to his desires, and betrays himself into the hands of his enemies, God neither assists him nor hears him, because by sin he has alienated himself from God. It becomes then a man to offer whatever belongs to him, but to cry to God to assist him. Now we must ask for the Divine assistance not slackly, nor with amind wavering to and fro, because such a one will not only not obtain what it seeks, but will the rather provoke God to anger. For if a man standing before a prince has his eye fixed within and without, lest perchance he should be punished, how much more before God ought he to stand watchful and trembling? But if when awakened by sin you are unable to pray steadfastly to the utmost of your power, check yourself, that when you stand before God you may direct your mind to Him. And God pardons you, because not from indifference, but infirmity, you cannot appear in His presence as you ought. If then you thus command yourself, do not dep...


AD 735
Or, he calls the lovers of the world evil, who give those things which they judge good according to their sense, which are also good in their nature, and are useful to aid imperfect life. Hence he adds, Know how to give good gifts to your children. The Apostles even, who by the merit of their election had exceeded the goodness of mankind in general, are said to be evil in comparison with Divine goodness, since nothing is of itself good but God alone. But that which is added, How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him, for which Matthew has written, will give good things to them that ask him, shows that the Holy Spirit is the fullness of God's gifts, since all the advantages which are received from the grace of God's gifts flow from that source.


AD 735
If we look into the words of our Lord and Savior that he encourages us to ask God our Father after the example of an earthly parent, we quickly recognize what is the righteousness that can open for us the way to the heavenly kingdom. “Which one of you,” he says, “if his son asks his father for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent in place of the fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will hand him a scorpion?” This is truly a clear comparison, easy for all hearers to understand. Any human, mortal, weak and still burdened with sinful flesh, does not refuse to give the good things which he possesses, although they are earthly and weak, to the children whom he loves. Our heavenly Father, even more than this man, lavishes the good things of heaven, which do not perish, on those who ask of him and are endowed with fear and love of him.


AD 735
Desiring that we arrive at the joys of the heavenly kingdom, our Lord and Savior taught us to ask these joys of him and promised that he would give them to us if we asked for them. “Ask,” he said, “and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Dearly beloved … , we earnestly and with our whole heart must ponder these words of our Lord. He bears witness that the kingdom of heaven is not given to, found by and opened to those who are idle and unoccupied but to those who ask for it, seek after it and knock at its gates. The gate of the kingdom must be asked for by praying. It must be sought after by living properly. It must be knocked at by persevering.

Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
But, on the contrary, the Barbarian philosophy, expelling all contention, said, "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; ask, and it shall be given you."
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
And I say unto you, ask and it shall be given you. (See S. Matthew 7:7.)
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Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
The words, I say to you, have the force of an oath. For God does not lie, but whenever He makes known any thing to His hearers with an oath, he manifests the inexcusable littleness of our faith. In these words our Savior gives us a very necessary piece of instruction. For oftentimes we rashly, from the impulse of pleasure, give way to hurtful desires. When we ask any such thing from God, we shall not obtain it. To show this, Hebrings an obvious example from those things which are before our eyes, in our daily experience. For when your son asks of you bread, you give it him gladly, because he seeks awholesome food. But when from want of understanding he asks for a stone to eat, you give it him not, but rather hinders him from satisfying his hurtful desire. So that the sense may be, But which of you asking his father for bread, (which the father gives,) will he give him astone? (that is, if he asked it.) There is the same argument also in the serpent and the fish; of which he adds, Or if...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
We sometimes come near to our bounteous God offering him petitions for various objects according to each one’s pleasure. Sometimes we pray without discernment or any careful examination of what truly is to our advantage, and if granted by God would prove a blessing or would be to our injury if we received it. Rather, by the inconsiderate impulse of our fancy, we fall into desires full of ruin that thrust the souls of those that entertain them into the snare of death and the meshes of hell. When we ask of God anything of this kind, we will by no means receive it. On the contrary, we offer a petition suitable only for ridicule. Why will we not receive it? Is the God of all weary of bestowing gifts on us? By no means. “Why then,” someone may say, “will he not give, since he is bounteous in giving?” …When he says, “You who are evil,” he means “you whose mind is capable of being influenced by evil and not uniformly inclined to good like the God of all.” “You know how to give good gifts to y...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
The Bestower of divine gifts enters himself and speaks: “I also say to you, ‘Seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you; for every one that asks receives; and he who seeks finds: and whosoever knocks, it shall be opened to him.’ ” These words have the full force of an oath, not that God is false, although the promise is not accompanied with an oath. To show that the smallness of their faith was groundless, he sometimes confirms his hearers by an oath. The Savior is also found in many places prefacing his words by saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you.” He makes this very promise on oath. You will not be free from guilt if you disbelieve it. Commentary on Luke, Homily

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Our petitions are frequently not immediately granted, that our earnestness and assiduity may be increased; that we may learn to esteem the gifts of God, and preserve them with care, for whatever we procure with labour, we preserve with care, lest by losing it we lose our labour also. (St. Basil in Con. Mon.)
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Greek Expositor

AD 1000
Or by the word knock perhaps he means seeking effectually, for one knocks with the hand, but the hand is the sign of a good work. Or these three may be distinguished in another way. For it is the beginning of virtue to ask to know the way of truth. But the second step is to seek how we must go by that way. The third step is when a man has reached the virtue to knock at the door, that he may enter upon the wide field of knowledge. All these things a man acquires by prayer. Or to ask indeed is to pray, but to seek is by good works to do things becoming our prayers. And to knock is to continue in prayer without ceasing.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Now by asking, He means prayer, but by seeking, zeal and anxiety, as He adds, Seek, and you shall find. For those things which are sought require great care. And this is particularly the case with God. For there are many things which block up our senses. As then we search for lost gold, so let us anxiously seek after God. He shows also, that though He does not forthwith open the gates, we must yet wait. Hence headds, Knock, and it shall be opened to you; for if you continue seeking, you shall surely receive. For this reason, and as the door shut makes you knock, therefore he did not at once consent that you might entreat.

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
"For to every one that asketh "says He, "it shall be given, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened, and by him that seeketh it shall be found.". In like manner, from whom must I ask that I may receive? Of whom seek, that I may find? To whom knock, that it may be opened to me?. May be supplied you. "Ask "saith He, "and ye shall receive.". Said separately, after delivering His Rule of Prayer, "Ask, and ye shall receive; "
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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