Summary: Because God only gives good gifts, I will pray with persistence.
August 2, 2001
If You Only Knew the Father – Part 3
God is Spirit so we can’t see literally Him with our physical eyes.
But God is also a Person so we know He has personality.
When you ask God for something, how do you think He responds?
Does he roll his eyes, and say, “Oh, not you again!”
Does He seem disinterested like it’s difficult to keep his attention?
Does He listen, and say, “I’ll take this into consideration,” then walk away like He’s late for some appointment, making you wonder if He’s already forgotten what you asked.
Or, is He waiting like a genie, saying, “Your wish is my command.”
Our picture of God will affect how we pray. Jesus wants us to know the Father. And to be able so say…
Big Idea: Because God only gives good gifts, I will pray with persistence.
Listen to Matthew 7:7-11
TRANSITION: So that we will develop greater persistence in prayer, there are two vital truths that we learn from these verses. Truth #1 is this…
I. I HAVE A PROMISE FROM JESUS
Jesus gives me His word on this matter of prayer and being heard by God. But for this promise to become reality there is…
First a command…something we need to obey… v. 7 ask, seek and knock
All three of these are present tense imperative verbs. Another way of saying it would be…
Keep on asking
Keep on seeking
Keep on knocking
Whatever you do, Jesus says, don’t give up. Be persistent. You have something you need, something you desire – take it to God again and again. In Matthew 6:7, he told us not to babble a bunch of meaningless words when we pray. But to make it clear, here he says, keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. If you earnestly need God’s help – don’t be shy about it.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says Pray continually, or some translations say, Pray without ceasing.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Remember this is a command Jesus is giving. And as our Lord, he deserves the right to be heard. As followers of His and members of the Kingdom, we have to be people who are persistent in prayer.
Jim Cymbala, the Pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle, says in his book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire…
“Pastors and churches have to get uncomfortable enough to say, ‘We are not New Testament Christians if we don’t have a prayer life.’ This conviction makes us squirm a little, but how else will there be breakthrough with God.” (p. 50)
I’ll answer his question. There won’t be breakthrough with God unless we persistently ask, seek and knock.
Think about what little children do when they need something from their parents. I like to watch children and parents interact. Even here at church I see children tapping their Mom’s leg and say, “Mommy, I’m thristy, can I have a drink?” That’s asking. And they’ll keep on asking until they get a drink.
At church I’m frequently approached by children, thinking they want to shoot the breeze, or discuss the latest thing they learned in Sunday School, only to hear this question, “Have you seen my Mom or my Dad?” That’s seeking. When they ask where their parents are, it’s because they typically need something. And they’ll keep on seeking until they find them.
Not too long ago I was meeting with a couple in my office, and their children were playing in another room in the building. Awhile into our meeting we heard some taps at the door. Opening the door, there were this couple’s children. They said, “We’re hungry.” That’s knocking. They knew Mom and Dad were in my office, so they knocked. Had we not answered the door, they would have kept on knocking. And even though Mom and Dad were just about ready to go, I could tell they weren’t upset by the interruption once they saw those cute faces and those adorable eyes blinking at them. Their hearts probably just melted.
The Bible says that God calls us His children. His heart melts when we ask Him for things, when we seek Him out ahead of other options, when we knock at his door.
Then the promise…
Don’t miss what Jesus says in verse 8…
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.
Jesus says this applies to everyone
So let’s personalize this. Insert your own name in that verse. For when Tom asks, he will receive. When Jane seeks, she will find. When John knocks the door will be opened.
You know what this means?
I will receive
I will find
Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.