Summary: The keys to getting your prayers answers.
Lesson Topic: Getting Your Prayers Answered (Matthew 7:7-11)
Many Christians struggle in the area of prayer. There are many reasons why people claim that they don’t make time to pray. But the main reason can be summarized this way: OUR COMFORT KEEPS US FROM PRAYER.
Jesus did give us instructions in how to break out of the “comfort zone” and get our prayers answered:
• Ask: To ask for something, is to say I have a need of help. In order to ask for something, you need first to go to a person who has the power and resources to help you. When you approach that person, you need to be specific and definite about what you need. That is why Paul said, “…Let your request be known to God” (Philippians 4:6). James 4:3 says, “You do not have because you do not ask”. When you go before God, you must approach and admit your helplessness. Be specific as to what you are requesting. This word “ask” is often used with respect to a petition which by an inferior is addressed to a superior. Notice how in Luke 18:10-13, the Pharisee ask nothing, but tells God how good he is, but the publican sinner ask and pleads for mercy.
• Seek (asking + effort): When someone wants something, they pursue it. To pursue something you must show effort. You can seek after something that you show no effort for. When Jesus said for you to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”, he did not mean that he will pour monies from heaven into your bank account! Jesus meant, “Open the doors to earn our living”. God is not going to do what you can, but he is more than willing to do for you what you can’t on your own. God is not interested in blessing those who are lazy, but willing to pursue with effort what they are asking God for.
• Knock (asking + effort + persistence): To knock means to be persistent in what pursuing what you need from God. One knocks again and again until the door is opened. In teaching a parable to the disciples, Jesus said, “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” We are not to faint or give up in our prayer request.
ASKING + EFFORT + PERSISTENCE = ANSWER FROM GOD
We must read these verses in the context of Matthew 5:21-7:6. Jesus had commanded that we forgive, love our enemies, and stop judging others. These verses reminds us that in our own strength it is impossible, but through God it is possible through the means of prayer (Matthew 7:7-11). Only when you ask, seek with effort, and persistently knock at heaven’s door through prayer that you will find the grace and power to obey these impossible demands. As the great missionary to India once said, “Expect Great Things from God, Attempt Great Things for God.” The good news is that God has promised that “it shall be given to you, …you shall find…and it shall be opened to you”.
-Which of these three (ask, seek, knock) is the most difficult for you to do? Why?
-What area of your life you need God to “give”, “find”, and “opened” to you?
-What comforts in your life is stopping you from having a prayer life?
-Challenge: attend one of the prayer meetings this week at church.