Sunday, November 13, 2011

Don't give up! Keep praying!

Matthew 7:8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Reasons why not to give up but to keep on praying
Yesterday we considered Matthew 7:7 and the three different levels of prayer.  If you look at that verse, Jesus is not just laying out guidelines, He is commanding us to pray in accordance to the ask, seek and knock levels.  But now He is switching from commands to pray to certainties of prayer. 

In God's word we find commands.  For every command of scripture there is always at least one provision of grace.  There are promises to claim.  The commands are issued from Jesus due to the fact that grace is required and available to carry out such a prayer-life. 

What enables you not to give up and keep on praying
When we ask, in accordance to God's will, He hears us (1 John 5:14-15).  Scripture warns us of the dangers and futility of asking with the wrong motives - don't expect God to answer! (please compare James 4).  However whenever our desire matches with what God's word lays out to us, we will know how to pray and what to ask for. 

Illustrations of those who did not give up but kept on praying
The same goes for the seeking and knocking levels of the prayer life.  The emphasis in this verse is on the continual nature of the asking, seeking and knocking.  We cannot give up after one or two times.  Too often the child of God grows discouraged after praying once or twice.  What of those saints of God in the scriptures? 

Abraham prayed for 25 years before Isaac was born.  Isaac, when he got married, prayed for 20 years before God opened the barren womb of his wife Rebecca.  As we grow in prayer, we move through those stages - asking,, seeking and knocking.  We also have the chance to grow deeper in God - resulting in us reaching higher with God.  I believe this is why God delays in answering our prayers. God desires us to desire Him.   As one preacher once put it - God's delays are not God's denials. 

Don't Give up! Keep on Praying!
Don't give up! Keep on praying!  As you and I wait for the answer, we all the time are being drawn into and up into the very heart of God Himself.  As Christ does this, we find that the need was created to prompt us so that in the midst of our asking, seeking or knocking, we would learn what it means to have relationship with God the Father.  May the Holy Spirit so teach us what it means to pray with that goal in mind. 

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