The mystery of prayer is profound. One on hand God is ultimately in control and knows everything we need even before we ask it. One the other hand, He has determined to only move on our behalf through our personal requests. Some might justly ask, “What is the purpose of prayer if God already knows what I need and knows whether or not I’m going to receive it?” However, that question is not the biggest question, the real mind numbing query is, “Why does God care for us at all?”
Therefore, the answer to both questions is more profound than prayer itself, which is the mystery of God’s love for mankind and His desire for relationship with us. So let’s not get lost in the mystery of prayer but rather simply make ourselves like children and have faith to pray and receive all that God has for us, Matthew 18:3. Why? Because God not only established prayer as the primary basis for receiving His provisions, but for building our relationship with Him, Matthew 6:5-8.
Matthew 7:7-12, “7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
- SERMON ON THE MOUNT: The longest single portion of Jesus’ teaching found in Matthew 5-7 that serves as the foundation of Christian morality and spiritual practice. #KingdomBasics
- DISCIPLES: Born again committed students and followers of Jesus Christ.
- KINGDOM OF GOD/HEAVEN: The active rule and reign of Jesus in one’s life and upon the earth with kingdom blessings. The kingdom is all about the King!
- ASK, SEEK, & KNOCK (vs. 7-8): The Greek words for “ask, seek, & knock” are in the present tense and mean a continual action. The New Living Translation captures this continuation of praying in their version, “7 Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Jesus encouraged us to pray without ceasing in total faith and confidence that God would meet our needs. Also, consider His Parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18:1-8.
- SONS GET BREAD & FISH, NOT STONES OR SNAKES (vs. 9-11): Jesus gave the example of a child asking his father for bread and fish to show that kind of relationship with now have with God. And just how a father would never give a stone or a snake to his hungry child, God the Father will never neglect the needs of His children, Psalm 37:25.
- THE LAW SUMMED UP (v. 6): Known as the “Golden Rule,” Jesus taught that when we treat others as we want to be treated we fulfill the Law (613 commandments given to Moses) and the Prophets (the practical applications of the commandments). Paul repeated this concept in Romans 13:8-10.
- PRAY WITHOUT CEASING: Pray the Word of God with thanksgiving until your answer comes; Philippians 4:6-7, Romans 10:17, 2 Peter 1:4-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, & Hebrews 11:6.
- MAKE PRAYER ABOUT BEING WITH YOUR FATHER: Just like in the “Our Father Prayer,” Jesus taught us to regard God as our Father so we should make prayer about seeking God’s “face” not just His “hand.” Desire the “Giver” not just the “gift,” John 14:12-14.
- BE A GIVER: Make happen for others what you want to happen for you. Be the answer to other people’s prayers. Make the Golden Rule the rule you to live by- not the love of money! Matthew 10:8, 1 John 3:16-18, & 1 Timothy 6:17-19.