How to Pray #2 – Ask and You Will Receive:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7).
The Bible tells us in Luke 11:1, “Now it came to pass, as Jesus was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray.” If you want to learn how to pray, who better to go to than the Lord Jesus Himself? In today‘s Christian bookstores, you can find an entire section of books devoted to the topic of prayer – written by pastors, teachers, scholars and even laymen. But if you really want to learn how to pray, go to Jesus. Today, I want to share with you three principles about prayer.
1. ASK AND YOU WILL RECEIVE.
“You have not because you ask not.” (James 4:2). One of the reasons why people don’t see answers to their prayers is simply because they don’t pray. Why don’t Christians pray more than they do? For one reason, I think it may be because they “tried it once” and it didn’t work, so they gave it up. I want to encourage you today: if you have a difficult situation you’re facing in your life, pray about it. Ask the Lord to help you. The Bible says if you ask, it will be given to you.
Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, said, “Will you believe the promise? It is Christ who gives it. No lie ever fell from his lips. Oh, do not doubt Him. Pray on if you have prayed, and if you have never prayed before, may God help you to begin today. … We must remember that the goal of prayer is the ear of God. Unless that is gained, the prayer has utterly failed. The uttering of it may have kindled devotional feeling in our minds…but if the prayer has not gained the heart of God, it has failed in its essential purpose… You do not need to have scholarship, training, talent or (wisdom) for prayer. Ask, seek, knock – that is all. And the promise is to every one of these ways of praying.”
2. ABIDE IN JESUS.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7). Another one of the keys the Bible gives to answered prayer is abiding in Jesus. The Lord didn’t promise to hear the prayers of any Tom, Dick and Harry on the street who asked Him for something (although sometimes He will make exceptions to that rule, too). He told us that if we would delight ourselves in the Lord, that He would give us the desires of our heart. He also said that if we would seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, that all our needs would be taken care of.
3. ASK IN FAITH.
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24). A third key to answered prayer is asking in faith. The Bible says that when you pray for something, if you believe you’ll receive it, you will have it. But, what if we don’t have enough faith to believe God to answer our prayers? Then spend time reading and meditating on God’s Word. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Also, First John 5:14-15 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” Remember, God’s Word is God’s Will.
Finally, don’t focus on your FAITH. It’s not the size of your faith that will get your prayers answered. Jesus said, “if you have faith as (small as) a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20). Focus on GOD – your little faith in a big God is what will see great things happen. I pray today that you will have been motivated – to ask, and receive.
Pastor Chris Jordan