Summary: Message from the Sermon on the Mount about Asking, Seeking, and Knocking
Title: Ask, Seek, Knock
Text: Matthew 7:7-12
As we look at this passage the first thing we must understand is that this is not the only qualification to getting our prayers answered. Jesus here is speaking on prayer but we must also combine all the other commands he has given us throughout scripture to understand what it means to pray and pray effectively.
It is important to pray but it is of utter importance that we pray effectively. Why? Well just as we read in James “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Not just the prayers of a righteous man but the effective fervent prayers of a righteous man.
So it is not just important that we pray but that we pray the right way. Is there a wrong way to pray? Yes.
As we discussed earlier Jesus give us in chapter 6 examples of how not to pray. Standing in pride. Vain repetitions. These are ways not to pray. So there is a way not to pray.
I do speak a lot about having a daily prayer life. But it is just as important to have an effective prayer life. We learn it is not the quantity but it is the quality when it comes to prayer. It is not how long you pray or how much you say when you pray but how you pray effectively. How you touch the heart of god with prayer.
So again we ask how do we pray effectively. Here Jesus gives us one way as we will see but let us look at some other passages in scripture and see if we can get a description of what it means to pray effectively.
Sincere true Faith
Jesus tells us in Mark 11:24,” Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
So the first qualification to praying effectively is to pray with faith. Pray believing that God will do.
It is strange that I would have the opportunity to preach on praying effectively because on the same day that I began to study the passage and prepare the message for Sunday night, which by the way was Tuesday, I received a phone call from a credit company. They used the technique of wanting to update my information. So they verified my address and name. As usual they spell my last name wrong and I correct them by telling them it is spelled just like Hardee’s. So the famous question that I have been asked all my life is, “Do you have any ownership.” So I told her no but it would be nice. Then she said a very curious and disturbing think, “I speak it into existence.”
What she was saying was that as she said this it was going to happen because she spoke it with her mouth.
This is how some people view faith. Faith to them is a force. It is by this force of faith that God created the world. It is by this force of faith that people are healed it is by this force of faith, as a wave of energy, that things are created. If you want something you just speak it and faith creates it.
The problem is this produces faith in faith and not faith in God.
God wants us to have faith but the faith we have, “which is believe with no phyisical proof” is in God not in faith itself.
Or as one version reads, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.
It is not the creation of this for God is the creator. It is by his hands are things created.
Prayer in Jesus Name
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14 AV)
It is so important that we know the will of God when we pray. I have heard many people pray with almost a demanding spirit. They demand God to answer. Yet that is not what the Lord would have them to do. His desire is for his will to be done. Notice how Jesus told us to pray in the “Lord’s Prayer”, “Thy will be done”.
Pray according to God’s will
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: (1 John 5:14 AV)
Pray in God’s will