Summary: Do we realize that we have a wonderful gift, it is called prayer. I revamped this from a 1996 message I did.
• How many times have we wondered why God has not blessed us in a certain way? How many times have you asked God for something from your heart only to feel that God kicked dirt in your face or that He did not hear you?
• When you asked God and felt rejected, did you ever sit back and wonder why?
• What about when you hear someone speaking about how God has blessed them and you just cannot relate to what they are saying?
• There are times that we really struggle with our relationship with God because we do not feel like God is blessing us or hearing us.
• In the last few chapters Jesus has given us some very difficult things to carry out. Some of the things He wants us to do seem almost impossible. Left to our own devices, they are.
• Jesus has asked us to keep our focus on heaven, which we cannot see and not on the world that we can see. He has told us to put our full faith in Him (whom we cannot see) for our daily provision. Jesus has told us to love people that seem to be unlovable. He has told us not to hypocritically judge people. We are told that our righteousness is to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees if we are going to see heaven.
• The question now comes, “Just how are we to do these things?” How does God expect us to do these things, things that do not come naturally to us?
• The answer is given to us in the passage that we will look at today.
• Jesus wants to bless each and every one of His children. Jesus wants each and every one of His children to live a victorious life in Him. Jesus wants each and every one of His children to live life to the full.
• What do we need to do in order that the gates to God’s blessing become open to us?
• The answer to the question is one that is simple, but yet seems to be hard for us to carry out in our lives in a consistent manner. The answer is prayer.
• Jesus is going to tells us that if we want help carrying out all the great things that He has told us to do, we need to pray.
• Jesus tells us that if we want to receive blessings from God, we need to pray.
• Do we want dynamic prayer lives? Do we want to know that God is working when we pray? Do we understand what is available to us when we pray?
• Today we are going to look at “Prayer, The Pathway to Blessing.”
I. GOD’S PATHWAY TO BLESSING (7-8)
• READ VERSES 7-8
• John MacArthur Jr. writes in his commentary on Matthew, “Here is one of the Lord’s greatest and most comprehensive promises to those who belong to Him, to those who are His children and citizens of His kingdom. In light of this great promise we can feel free to fully love others and totally sacrifice for others, because our heavenly Father sets the example in His generosity to us and promises that we have access to His eternal and unlimited treasure to meet our own needs as well as theirs. We can do for others what we would want done for ourselves (see v. 12) without fear of depleting the divine resources and having nothing left.”
• Jesus gives us a formula for a dynamic prayer life. That formula can be found in the acronym “ASK”.
• In Verse 7 Jesus tells us to do three things. Each of the steps He gives to us builds to a climax to the last step. Let us look at what Jesus tells us.
• Jesus tells us we are to first ask. As we look at the progression it starts with simply asking.
• JAMES 4:2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.
• Jesus says in our passage if we ask and it will be given to you. James tells us we do not have because we do not ask.
• How many times have we really needed a blessing, and yet the last place we go if we there at all is to God?
• As with the other two things that Jesus tells us to do, the verb tense of the word “ask” indicates a continual asking. It does not mean just ask one time or two times, but ask continually!
• Asking in itself is not enough. There are some things that need to go into our asking.