Summary: Those of us who seek God and His righteousness will find it.
Text: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Our Scripture reading this morning has to do with prayer. Prayer was extremely important in Jesus’ life. This was his means of communicating with his Father. This was the means he used to let his Father know what was on his heart and in his mind. Jesus received his guidance and direction through the connective line between him and Almighty God.
The life Jesus lived is an example of how we should live our life. He journeyed through life just as we are doing. He had friends he could depend on and who would support him. He had an earthly mother and father, although his real Father was God Himself. I am sure Mary was the best mother one could ask for and I believe Joseph did an excellent job of being his earthly father.
As a child, Jesus probably had the same wants and desires that other children had. He most likely played games and engaged in the same activities as other children of his age. I am saying that he went through the same growing-up years as all of us have gone through.
Mary and Joseph surely corrected him when he did wrong and praised him when he was exceptional. Jesus went through all the steps and experienced all that children go through and that is the reason he understands all the situations and issues God’s children face.
Jesus was not always on his knees praying nor was his hands always folded and his head bowed. I venture to say that he prayed far more than most of us pray. He prayed for many of the same thing we pray for, but the difference is that Jesus prayed for the benefit of others.
What are some of the things you and I pray for or have prayed for? Is there anyone in here who has never prayed for better health, more wealth, increased happiness, a house to call home, food to curb our appetite, family and friends who love us or a means of financially supporting ourselves and our loved ones?
I believe I can say that we have all prayed for something, but at times our prayer seemed to go unanswered. What did we do? Did we just say, “Oh well, I guess that wasn’t God’s will or I knew God wouldn’t be interested because the request is too small or too large” or did we follow Jesus’ words to “ask, seek and knock?” Were we persistent by asking more than once?
On the other hand, maybe God did answer our prayer, but the answer was not what we expected or perhaps it was the opposite of what we asked for. Listen to this:
Story: “God’s Strange Answers”
He was a Christian, and he prayed. He asked for strength to do greater things, but he was given infirmity that he might do better things.
He asked for riches that he might be happy; he was given poverty that he might be wise.
He asked for power that he might have the praise of men; he was given weakness that he might feel the need of God.
He had received nothing that he asked for, all that he hoped for. His prayer seems unanswered, but he is most blessed.
There are times God does not answer our prayer because he is checking our persistence. At times, we say things and ask for things without even thinking. God wants us to be sure of what we ask for. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you…For everyone who asks receives” (Matthew 7:7, 8).
If we really and truly and wholeheartedly desire something, we will receive it because Jesus said we would. We may have to be persistent and ask and seek more than one time. If our faith and our focus are sincere, God will reward us by answering our prayer.
Most of these things we ask for are worldly, but things like happiness, joy, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, patience and love are all possible through faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus knows what we need and what we want and he desires that our needs and wants be satisfied. I am not saying this in a greedy or selfish way. Whatever we desire will come about if we only ask God in the right spirit. Our prayers must always be positive and not negative.
He will not tolerate requests that will harm another person. He listens, hears and acts upon every request. He may not answer in the way we want, but he will answer and provide more than what we ask. God may not answer as quickly as we think he should perhaps because he is trying to teach us patience and persistence.