Matthew 7:7 (NKJV)
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
- Jesus invites us to ask with a promise that we will get a response.
- Ask, Seek, knock – Jesus invites us to ask because He is more than ready to give us what we ask of Him. Seek, that is because He longs for us to chase after Him and knock; that is, once again, because His door is always open to those who are desperately looking for a breakthrough in their lives.
Rom. 8:32 – Paul argues by saying that If God gave up His Son for us all, is he going to behold anything else from us? It’s a fair argument. There’s a plea here that we ask.
In her famous words, EGW has said the following:
- It’s not that we need to inform Him about us and what we need
- It’s not that we need to bring God down
- It’s the other way around.
- Prayer enables us to receive Him. It brings us to Him.
- It’s like an activating agent. It’s granting God permission in our lives. It’s about us intentionally choosing to draw near to Him and opening our hearts to Him.
- Is prayer fun? – No
- Is prayer something that entertains me? – No
- Is prayer a direct dial-up to heaven with an immediate response? – Not really.
- I can understand why we struggle to understand prayer. Some of us want to think of prayer this way.
- However, because prayer is none of those, it makes prayer unique because the focus now is not on you and what you get, but the focus is on God. The focus is no longer on receiving BUT on communing and opening a heart to God so He can reign in your heart and get His will done.
How can I develop and maintain this practice?
- First of all, just like in any relationship, you grow in communication only if you keep at it.
- Secondly, any form of communication works when there’s mutual understanding. “I must be ready and willing to know and obey God’s will.”
- Ps. 66:18 – If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
- Proverbs 28:9 – If you turn away your ear from hearing the law, even your prayer becomes an abomination to God.
- Now, you may say – I’m never good enough. True. You can never say you are without sin, but if your heart desires to do God’s will, Jesus will compensate for the deficiency (SDABC vol. 3).
- Matt. 6:12 – Forgive us first – You want God to forgive you; you must forgive others first.
- In that example given by Jesus in Matt. 6 on how to pray, we also find these words, “Thy will be done…” Therefore, desiring God’s will, is part of prayer.
You want your prayer life to avail much; you want your prayer life to grow and be vibrant. Matt. 21:22; Heb. 11:6 says we must approach prayer believing God rewards those who seek him diligently. Those who pursue Him and keep at it, must believe that He will fulfil His promises and will answer.
- Do not be fixated on doubting.
- Instead, have faith and believe that God will answer us according to what is best.
- Why should we trust Him? Once again, He has proven to us already that He wants what is best for us, in that He’s given us His Son Jesus and His promised good things.
- Be creative – join prayer groups, find a prayer closet, and go out in nature (Jesus did this often). However, this does not mean we should cease working because by taking ourselves away from duty, we neglect other responsibilities God has laid upon us. Sometimes, God will answer our prayers through others.
Prayer is a life of constantly talking to God so as to maintain a relationship with Him.
Here is a takeaway message:
Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
- God hears your prayers.
- Steps to Christ (Chapter 11) “The Privilege of Prayer”
- SDABC – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary volume 3