Summary: One of the most important activities in which a Christian should engage in is that of prayer.
How to ASK in Prayer
There was a pastor who had a parrot. All the parrot
would say was, “Let’s pray, let’s pray.” The pastor tried to teach him to say other things but to no avail.
He learned that one of his deacons had a parrot. That parrot would only say, “Let’s kiss. Let’s kiss.” So the pastor decided to invite the deacon and his parrot over to his house. When the deacon arrived they put the parrots into the same cage to see what would happen.
The deacon’s parrot said, “Let’s kiss, let’s kiss.” The pastor’s parrot said, “Thank you, Lord. My prayers have been answered.” There’s great power in prayer.
One of the most important activities in which a Christian should engage in is that of prayer.
I think is worth our attention to note what the Apostle Paul is doing immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:12).
In Matthew 6:5-7, it is not if we pray but when we pray.
Prayer DEEPENS our fellowship with God.
Prayer DELIVERS the blessings of God.
Prayer DETERMINES the will of God.
Prayer is possible for every child of God. We cannot all pastor but we can all pray. We cannot all give large sums of money, but we can all pray. We cannot all go to the mission field, but we can all pray. We cannot all teach a class, but we can all pray.
Prayer is Bible subject.
Prayer is a big subject
Prayer is a beneficial subject.
The lack of prayer in our life is the cause of spiritual powerlessness. R. A. Torrey said, “We have a great deal of activity but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results. The power of God is lacking in our lives and work. We have not because we ask not.” The lack of prayer is the cause of spiritual weariness. The Bible says in Luke 18:1 that “men ought always to pray and not to faint.” The implication is that if we don’t pray we will faint. The word “faint” speaks of losing heart or being discouraged. Discouragement is the a result of prayerlessness.
The lack of prayer is the cause of spiritual emptiness. Why is it that we lack the strength we need to face the demands of each day? Prayerlessness is the culprit.
The lack of prayer is also the cause of spiritual weakness.
Now, if we are to pray effectively our lives must meet certain conditions (I Timothy 2:8).
WITHOUT DEFILEMENT - “holy hands”
Holiness is one of the conditions for effective praying.
James 5:16 declares, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
WITHOUT DISCORD - “wrath”
We should harbor no vindictive feeling against any person; hold no unforgiving spirit.
Discord destroys the testimony.
Discord delights the devil.
Discord disrupts the blessing that prayer can bring.
Psalm 133 - “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.....for there the LORD commanded the blessing.” God commands His blessing where peace is cultivated.
WITHOUT DOUBTING - “and doubting”
Prayer and believing must go together.
A strong faith is a venturous faith.
A strong faith is a victorious faith.
HOW TO ASK IN PRAYER
Notice what happens if you take the three imperatives in our text verse -ask, seek, and knock, and put them underneath each other.
Even the three words themselves cry out to us to ask. What does Jesus want us to do when it comes to prayer? Just ask.
I. Ask with SIMPLICITY
James 4:2 states “ye have not, because ye ask not.”
That is so simple. The poverty of the prayerless is beyond calculation.
The simplest reason people do not obtain certain things is because we do not ask.
A. Ask in sincerity (6:5)
B. Ask secretly (6:6)
The secret of prayer is praying in secret.
C. Ask in simplicity (7:7)
II. Seek with INTENSITY
The word "seek" speaks of our desires and our endeavor and efforts to have those desires met. John Wesley spoke of the word as "diligent endeavors." It is praying wiht great energy and fervency.
The Bible says in James 5:16, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Then in verse 17 we are given an example of fervency in prayer. The Bible says, "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months."
The Bible says that Elijah prayed earnestly. E.M. Bounds who wrote perhaps the greatest books on prayer ever written explained the earnestness of Elijah’s praying as all the combined energies of prayer. Elijah prayed with passion. It was not, "I lay myself down to sleep, I pray the Lord to keep," and then hop in bed prayer. Elijah poured out his soul before God.