Staff Picks of the Week:
Memorial Day 2013
Memorial Day 2013 Preaching Bundle »
Greater Love Video Illustration » Everlasting God Worship Music Video »
Sabbath Sabbath Preaching Bundle »
1 Outta 7 Video Illustration » Before The Throne… Worship Music Video »
But if we who are evil wouldn’t think of giving something horrible to our children, why would God, who is infinitely more holy, give something bad to us?
Notice this, though, God is not held hostage to our requests any more than a parent is to his/her children. That’s why He says “good things.” If a child asks for a serpent, no parent would give it, just as God will not answer a prayer that won’t lead to a redemptive purpose.
God doesn’t give us a blank check, but when we write it for the things He wants, God’s bank account is limitless.
What are the “good things”? Luke clarifies it a little bit for us:
Luke 11:13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
But this begs the question-what’s the deal when God doesn’t seem to answer and we get hurt? In reality it is all part of the transformation process. Jesus called it “pruning” in John 15. A more important question then is:
Who is the source and resource for your life?
Do you believe that God has your best interests in mind and can be trusted to answer your prayers? We as humans don’t believe that—we haven’t since the Garden of Eden. Satan’s ploy to Eve was self-salvation and self-reliance.
Do we believe that God loves us no matter what? Do we believe that God will only provide good things to us?
Satan says “God is not listening, doesn’t care, and doesn’t want to give you what you want, so you gotta take care of yourself.”
So why pray?
Jesus did it. He didn’t have all the resources here on earth, so he prayed—a lot.
Prayer is God’s way of doing things in this age.
We have a part to play in God’s plan and it happens through prayer.
What is prayer?
It is a wish towards God. Prayer is us telling God the way we thing things ought to be on this earth. The more we are transformed into God’s image, the more we think like God thinks and the more effective our prayers will be because we’ll ask for things that God wants.
How to pray?
Persistent prayer is a way for God to reveal to us how important something is to us. Do you stay at it? Jesus did—all night sometimes. Ezekiel prayed 7 times for rain to return to the land. Paul prayed 3 times for a thorn in the flesh to go away. Persistent prayer is also a way of refining our request. The more we pray the more we think about what ought to be and the better we can ask, especially as the Holy Spirit gives us help.
2 Chronicles 20 is a great example of prayer. Fear leads to honesty before God which leads to a call to prayer which leads to complete reliance on God (“we don’t know what to do but our eyes are on you”) which leads to worship and awe which leads to complete victory—not by our efforts but our standing still.
Don’t be afraid to ask. God will only answer with “good” things. The Holy Spirit takes our prayers and translates them to the Father.
Rom 8:27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Be specific in your prayers. James says “you have not because you ask not.” (James 4:2). James goes on to tell us we don’t receive because we ask with wrong motivations. So our prayers also need to be sincere and in line with what would bring
- Prayer: In the Spirit
- All Sermons on Prayer: In the Spirit
- Text Illustrations on Prayer: In the Spirit
- Video Illustrations on Prayer: In the Spirit
- PowerPoint Template on Prayer: In the Spirit
- Scripture on Prayer: In the Spirit
- Related Sermons
- Sermons related to Matthew 7:7-7:11
- All sermons from Tom Fuller
- Sermons on God
- Sermons on Jesus
- Sermons on Prayer
Join the discussion