Lessons Of A Lifetime

THE PERSISTENCE OF PRAYER
OR
ASK – SEEK – AND KNOCK
SUNDAY AUGUST 1, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“And Jesus 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; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him”; and he will answer from within and say, “Do not trouble me; the door is shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give you”?’

“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. 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, for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

“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? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”                        Luke 11.5-13

Something To Consider:
In our text today, Jesus continued His lesson on prayer and pointed out the importance of our being persistent in prayer. Prayer cannot be likened to our pulling alongside of a fast-food drive-up window. And yet, in some instances God astounds us with His almost immediate response to our prayer request.

But, more times than not, prayer is like mining for precious stones. It takes persistence and a respect for the task at hand, if the riches of rewarded answers to prayer are to be gleaned. Are we being persistent in our prayers, or are we not taking prayer that seriously? Or has prayer been removed from our lives as it was from public schools in the early 1960’s? And if so, there is no wonder the so-called church appears powerless against the onslaught of the abounding lawlessness!

Therefore, prior to Jesus teaching His disciples to pray, in Matthew chapter 6, He instructed them and us by declaring in verse 5; “And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men [women and young people]. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”

And Jesus continued in verse 6, by stating; “But you [true believer], when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Are we, as true believers, taking advantage of our opportunities for secret prayer? And if not, why not? Jesus said when you pray, not if you pray!

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus’ model prayer He taught His disciples in last week’s lesson, teaches us to come humbly and respectfully to our heavenly Father in prayer. The writer of Hebrews 4.16 instructs us when praying, by saying, “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

And so, the lesson learned is to come to our Father in heaven with humble hearts, with an attitude of respect, and yet boldly with confidence that He hears our prayerful petitions. According to James 1.6, we are to ask in faith, with no doubting. “For he [or she] who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” Prayer will be our stabilizer as we approach the final moments in man’s rule upon planet earth.

Also, according to Jesus in Matthew 6.7-8, “And when you pray, do not use vain [empty] repetitions as the heathen [unbelievers] do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

In other words, be persistent when you pray, not if you pray, but not repetitious! Ask, seek, and knock, but keep your words and your prayers to the point, keeping in mind that your heavenly Father already knows what your needs are. When we are face to face with our heavenly Father, trust me when I say we will not be sorry for our much prayers.

Something More To Consider:
Jesus Himself instructs us to ask, seek, and to knock on the door of God’s storehouse. His comparison of our being evil, and yet our willingness to give good gifts to our children is interesting. But what is more interesting is His announcing to His hearers, “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

I have made a note in my bible that reads, “Wow! Where did that come from?” And yet, of all we could ask for or to seek in order to find, or persist in prayer with hope of obtaining, nothing could be more important, more powerful, and more eternally impacting in a positive manner in our lives, than our receiving or our being given the Holy Spirit of God in the times in which we live and are soon to experience here on earth. Nothing!

If these days in which we are living, these days of 2021 and beyond, turn out to be the end times, we will more than ever require the Holy Spirit in our lives! Looking back over the previous few decades, a Holy Spirit-filled true believer should be able to attest to the surmounting deception in the world. Something no longer needs to be true, if only it can be repeated enough times in order to make people think it is true. How sad!

What should be more concerning to all true believers is the increase of the religious deception within the organized church. And if you are reading this lesson of a lifetime and do not understand or agree with that statement, may I suggest you earnestly pray for spiritual discernment! But pray believing and be persistent in your prayers. Your eternal life may depend on it.

A Few Final Words:
In Matthew’s gospel chapter 7, after Jesus taught His disciples concerning prayerful asking, seeking, and knocking so the door of provision would be opened by God, Jesus declared in verse 15; “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing [religious appearing people in positions of usurped authority], but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

True spiritual discernment will greatly help in our determining who are the many false prophets of this 21st century generation! Therefore, let us as true believers be persistent in our asking, seeking, and knocking upon the door of prayer for the gift of discernment today. And let us be faithful in doing our own fact-checking within the Word of God to determine what is and is not the truth!

Being persistent in prayer is a matter of asking, seeking, and knocking humbly and yet boldly, until the door of opportunity is either opened by God, or we receive an answer of yes, no, or not yet! Therefore, according to Jesus; “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.”

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, of all things we pray for, may You give us Your Holy Spirit in an overflowing indwelling capacity in order to reveal the truth of Your Word and of Jesus to us needy individuals. In Him Always, Amen!

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