Recently I have found myself very much praying for the many needs that we have here at our church. Last year was filled with many challenges and unexpected twists and turns. Many of our church family have gone through difficulties that were totally unexpected a year ago, including a group of folks that have survived from covid 19. I have persisted in praying for these needs because God’s Word instructs me to do so. In Matthew’s gospel, we read Jesus’s words when He states, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened”, (Matt.7:7-8 NIV). All three of the action words- ask, seek, knock -are in the Greek language in the present imperative, which denotes a continuous or repeated application in the present tense. To see fruit in our prayer lives we must keep praying. Here are some of Jesus’s most comprehensive promises that belong to His children. They are given to us, but we must do our part by recognizing our need for the Lord’s intervention. Jesus tells us to persist in pursuing God. Many times people fail because they give up after only a short time or halfhearted effort.
If prayer is to have persevered in it must be with the conviction that it is being heard by the living God of the universe. If God exists, He is a personal God who is interested in each and every one of us and in all of our needs. If God is a personal God, then surely when we seek Him we will find Him. “Seeking” is seeking in accordance with the will of God. Many times we pray when we have a predetermined course of action that we would like God to bless. This is not praying in accordance with God’s will and is why many times our prayers go unanswered. We see a progression in our prayer needs in these three phrases. If “asking” doesn’t bring results one should “seek” over a period of time, also seeking and looking at our own hearts and lives as we persist in prayer. Many times we must be willing to wait on God to know His will. If we still have no answer after asking and seeking, then we should desperately knock on the prayer door repeatedly. Knocking suggests earnest, intense, urgent prayers that will not be satisfied until some answer comes. Our prayers need to pass through these various transitions, as we seek God’s blessing and direction. Our heavenly Father listens and cares for us, so let’s make sure that we're taking the time to discern and understand God’s will for our lives.
I think many people don’t pray today because they feel that prayer is unnecessary. This is especially true for proud people who think they have everything in control and don’t need God’s help or blessings. Some people don’t experience the answer to prayer in their lives because they have sin in their lives that prevent their prayer life from being productive. God is not a genie that we rub the bottle and he gives us our wishes. All the things that we considered are conditionally based on our response of loving obedience to the living God of the universe. Let’s trust Him, walked with Him, and spend lots of time talking to Him.
In the service of the king,
Pastor Rich Sivo