~ Are You Regularly Asking God? ~
All four of the Gospel writers tell us that Jesus Christ hears (and answers) the prayers of God’s people. Our Lord invites us to “ask” for things which are in accordance with His will for us.
Matthew ~ Matthew records Jesus Christ saying, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:19-20).
Mark ~ Mark records Jesus saying, “I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24).
Luke ~ Luke’s Gospel records Jesus Christ saying, “I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:9-13).
John ~ John records the Savior saying, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:12-14).
Our Objection ~ Many will say, I have asked and God has not answered my prayer. That is a legitimate concern. We don’t always understand why God answers our prayers differently than our request. Many times years later we look back and are glad that our prayers were not answered in the way we asked—but actually God’s answer was much better than what we specifically asked. For a simple overview of four ways God answers our prayers check out a previous ALN post entitled “God’s Four Responses To Prayer” (June 22, 2010).
Our Motivation ~ One common reason we don’t receive what we ask for is given to us clearly in Scripture. “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:2b-4).
The Model Prayer For Christians ~ Jesus Christ gave us an example of how we should pray—while it is often called “The Lord’s Prayer” it is really an example of how we should pray and what we should ask for. Jesus said that we should not pray like the unbelievers around us and then provided an illustrative pattern of prayer. “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:8-13). Even though our God knows what we need before we ask, He still asks us to ask Him!
the key question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). This is the most important question you will ever answer. If you do not answer it, or answer it incorrectly, you have made the biggest mistake anyone can make!
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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