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Text: Matthew 7:7 ¶ Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
About-Him.Com Devotional 04-25-2015
Thoughts on The Promises of God
God Promised to Hear Our Prayers
We have much to pray about, don’t we? I don't know about you, but I need to pray much more than I do. We pray for our personal sustenance. We have concerns about health. We pray for those around us who are affected by misfortune. Everyday our news media greets us with more gloom and despair: Natural disasters such as wind and flood. Man made disasters such as broken oil wells. Wars and insurrections, etc. One effect of things such as the gulf oil leak is to perhaps put a damper on the expansion of the kingdoms of men that are increasingly opposed to the kingdom of God. In the dark days at the beginning of WWII, President Roosevelt addressed the nation by radio and prayed openly to Almighty God. Do you think that will ever happen again?
Jesus said that we could have the things that we ask for and some would take this as a blank check for self indulgence. James said that we have not because we ask not and when we do ask, we ask wrongly so that we can cater to our own lust (Ja. 4:3). Scripture gives us guild lines for our petitions.
Receiving what we ask for is conditional on the following:
Asking in concert.
Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
We must believe when we ask.
Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
We must abide in Christ.
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
We must keep His commandments.
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
We must ask according to His will.
1 John 5:14. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Text: Matthew 7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Just as an earthly father will not give his son a stone when he ask for bread or a serpent when he ask for a fish, our heavenly Father is eager to give His Holy Spirit to all who ask. Matthew says God will give us good things and Luke says He’ll give us the Holy Spirit. Is this a contradiction? I hardly this so. After receiving the free salvation purchased by Jesus on Calvary, what better gift could we receive than the Spirit of the living God.
2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Luke 11:1 ¶ And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
In response to a disciple’s plea, “Lord Teach us to pray,” Our Lord gave a very simple outline for prayer (Mt. 6:8-13, Lu 11:1-4): We approach God by recognizing Him as our Father who reigns in heaven and we reverence His name which is revealed in Christ Jesus. We submit all of our goals and aspirations to His will. We are instructed in this prayer to pray “THY kingdom come, THY will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.” We pray, “THINE” not “mine.” The establishment of HIS kingdom is our ultimate desire. We are to show total dependence on Him by asking for this day's bread only, be it natural or spiritual. We know that we must forgive others if we expect to be forgiven of our sins. We pray to be kept from evil. The Lord knows that we are weak. We simple ask to not have more temptation put upon us than we can bear. We are always mindful that His is an eternal kingdom and all power and glory belongs to Him and Him alone. To illustrate His point, and to show that this prayer was not intended to be recited by rote, Jesus continued with the Parable of the Friend at Midnight (Lu. 11:5-13).
A man is visited by a friend at midnight (Lu. 11:5-13). To give him no refreshment would be unthinkable. However he has nothing in the house. The simple solution is to run over to the neighbor and ask for a loan of three loaves of bread. The neighbor was not very obliging. The house was shut up and he and his family were in bed. If this fellow had a need, he should have anticipated it. This did not deter the man in need: Knock knock, "I need three loaves." "Go away." Knock knock, "I need three loaves." "I told you to go away." "Not until I get what I came for, I need three loaves." He was like Jacob when He wrestled with the Lord. “Lord, we may stay here all night, but I won’t let you go until you bless me.” The Pulpit Commentary states it well, "Importunity (persistence) overcomes reluctance." Because the man would not give up, The neighbor arose and gave him what he had need of. Jesus then continued with the illustration of the heavenly Father who knows what we have need of and what is good for us. Does He hear every prayer? Absolutely! Does he answer our every whim? No! Do you have a need? Keep on knocking! Does God not seem to hear? Keep on asking and seeking! You will have the petition you desire of the Lord!
The Psalmist said, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice (Ps 55:17).” The epistles tell us to be instant in prayer (Ro. 12:12). We can have contact with the throne of God while we are doing our daily mundane tasks. Some folks are masters of talking on their cell phones while driving, so that’s a good time to shut off the car radio or CD and talk to Him. We should worry about nothing, but take everything to the Lord in prayer (Php. 4:6). As the old song says, "O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear. All because we will not carry, everything to God in prayer."
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Jesus gave a contrast between a poor defenseless widow and a powerful judge, that fits us all. We are utterly powerless and at the mercy of the powers that be, except that we have a judge that we can take our petitions to with the confidence that He hears us. The widow came continually to the judge with one cry, "Avenge me of my adversaries." Jesus assured us that He hears our petitions. The answer may not come immediately, but we must not stop presenting it to Him. Surely, God will come to the aid of His elect, just as this unjust judge did for the poor widow.
Our heavenly Father knows those the things that we need even before we ask (Mt.6:25-34). He also knows that some things we ask for would not necessarily be for our own good. When our children ask for bread, we don’t hand them a snake. If they ask for a fish, we don’t give them a stone. How much more then will He not give us the things that are necessary to our existence?
Our instruction is to ask, seek and Knock! If we ask, we will receive. If we will seek, we will find, and when we knock, the door to heaven’s throne room is opened to us. As God’s children we have the privilege of coming boldly to His throne to find mercy and grace in the time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Song: My God, My King and My Redeemer
We ought not to tolerate for a minute the ghastly and grievous thought that God will not answer prayer. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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