Pastor Jonathan Falwell
As we continue our series entitled Stand Strong, I want to remind you again that the God who has made all of the promises found within the Bible is alive and active in this present age. We started the series a few weeks ago focusing on the awareness that you can trust God to fulfill His promises. We started focusing on the promise of salvation, that God promises to make us His children if we believe. Last week, Matt focused on God’s promise to deliver us in our fears.
Today, I want to talk about the delivery method. What is the pathway that God has given for us to experience His promises? How can we reach the God of the universe?
It’s through prayer. God places real value on the importance of prayer and the persistence of prayer.
Memory verse: Luke 11:10
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” 2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” 5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, “Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. 9 “So 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. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 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? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 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 NLT And so I tell you, 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. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
The Important Prayer – Luke 11:2-4 – the model prayer was given to us to ensure that we are aware of the importance of bringing all things to Him.
Matt. 6:9 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
– Recognition that God is above all, the only one worthy you our praise
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
– Recognition that God’s will is more important than our own
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
– Recognition that God is the one who will provide our every need
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
– Recognition that God is the one who forgives and as a result, we too, should forgive
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
– Recognition that God is the one who delivers
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
– Recognition that God is all-powerful
But in light of the lesson on prayer given by Jesus, how does this play out in our daily lives? How do take this model and integrate it into a process of God working in my life?
The Persistent Prayer – What does Jesus mean in verses 9 and 10? Can we take this passage literally? Why does it seem that sometimes He doesn’t answer when we ask, seek, and knock?
“Ask, and it will be given to you…”
– and it shall be given you — Either the thing itself which you ask, or that which is equivalent; either the removal of the thorn in the flesh, or grace sufficient to enable you to bear it.
“Seek, and you will find…”
– the continual search. When we are desperately trying to find something, we don’t look in one place at one time and then give up. We will do whatever it takes. This is persistent prayer.
“Knock, and it will be opened to you…”
vs 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
– asking is bringing it to His attention. Seeking is an earnest look. Knocking is a persistence that cannot be hindered or stopped because it matters that much
The Trust Factor – Taking Him at His Word
13 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!”
This poor man cried out and the Lord heard him…
Every element of this promise from Him is found in one important truth – “Recognizing that God is greater!”
He must increase, but I must decrease.