The Weapon of Prayer (Ask - Seek - Knock)
Matthew 7:7,8 (NKJV), “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.”
Matthew 7:7,8 (NLT), “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. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Prayer in its simplest form is simply talking with God as you would talk with a loving father. It is touching the heart of God. Does this sound like prayer? “Daddy, I’m hungry, may I have something to eat?” Or is it more like a child asking his father for something that he needs? God invited us to come to Him like children! It is as simple as saying, “Daddy, I need You.”
God holds the key to all of our longings, needs and wants: Provision, protection, belonging, comfort, compassion, companionship and forgiveness, God wants to provide all of these for you, just ask Him. “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NLT).
God strengthens and encourages you and your family through our Lord Jesus Christ. Prayer is the power source from which faith derives its life. Families that pray together have a grasp on the power of God to cope with the challenge of daily living.
God wants us to shine like lights in a rapidly darkening and dysfunctional world. He desires for us to have our eyes wide open to realities that others refuse to see. He longs for us to walk with Christ through a larger, more wonderful world than many are capable of imagining. God wants us to keep the channel open to Him, establishing a direct link to His throne.
God has given us many prayer promises so we may know how to use His weapon of prayer:
•Psalm 145:18,19, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.”
•Proverbs 15:8, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.”
•Isaiah 65:24, “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”
•Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
•Matthew 7:7 (NLT), “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to 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.”
•Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
•John 14:13,14, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
•John 15:7, “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 16:23, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.”
•Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
•1 Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers.”
•1 John 5:14,15, “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.”
Above all else Bible people prayed. As we read of how the New Testament saints prayed, we are reminded that there was no more valuable, productive way to spend their time than on their knees in prayer. That’s the best place to change your world. They did not pray for the work of God, or about the work of God, prayer was the work, and without prayer no work was done. Everything that has ever been accomplished for God began with prayer, was energized by prayer and ended with prayer.
This is seen in the life of Jesus, His Apostles and disciples. The New Testament Church is and was “a House of Prayer.” (Matthew 21:13). A “House of Prayer” church is a church that believes that nothing lasting will happen apart from prayer. It believes that prayer permeates every ministry of the church. Every ministry must be prayed for, and prayer must be a significant part of each ministry. Virtually everyone in the church is involved in prayer. Prayer would be more than just an invocation to start a service, or a benediction to end it. Every activity would be bathed in prayer. Every lesson and sermon would be saturated with prayer. Every member would be taught to pray and given many opportunities to pray.
Prayer is the key that unlocks the storehouse of God’s power.
“The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned…” (James 5:16, MSG).
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible” (Matthew 17:20 NLT).
“For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
God acts powerfully through the prayer of His people. Prayer is the key that unlocks all of the storehouses of God’s grace and power. All that God is and all that God has is at the disposal of the one who prays. Prayer has the power to do anything that God can do, and since there is nothing that God cannot do, prayer is omnipotent.
Prayer can do what political action cannot do; what education cannot do; what military might cannot do; what City Planning Commissions and City Counsel’s cannot do; and what Federal Governments cannot do! All of these are impotent by comparison.
Prayer can move mountains. Prayer can change human hearts. Prayer can change families, neighborhoods, cities and nations. It is the ultimate source of power, because it is the power of almighty God! God expects the church to be radical in its witness of the power of God. The church must make a radical impact to make a difference in our communities, our nation and our world.
“This is what the Lord says—the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come” (Jeremiah 33:2,3).
Prayer is the key to possessing God’s Riches.
I can turn on a light switch, but I cannot supply the electricity. I can turn on a faucet, but I can’t make the water flow. And so it is, for the Christian possessing God’s riches!
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:14-16).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…” (Ephesians 1:3).
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1; 1 Corinthians 10:26).
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NLT).
“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” (1 John 5:14,15).
Prayer is the key for a successful ministry.
Every church should have a Prayer Team, a group of people who pray for the power of God upon their pastor, leaders, and every ministry.
Charles Spurgeon, the nineteenth century London preacher would take visitors to the Boiler Room…not the heating plant of the church but a lower-level room of the church, where several hundred people prayed for the worship of the day, the preaching of the Word, and the needs of the ministry and the minister. "This," Spurgeon would tell visitors, is “the power plant of the church,” if the engine room is out of action, then the whole mill will grind to a halt. We cannot expect blessing if we do not ask.
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you” ( 2 Thessalonians 3:1 NLT).
Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested” (1 Chronicles 4:9‐10, NASB).
Prayer is the key to effective evangelism.
Spurgeon said, “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
“God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining Himself on account of you, holding back the end because He doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change” (2 Peter 3:9 MSG).
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:1-6).
I sincerely believe that God can and will save anyone who calls on Him for salvation, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). But the Word says, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). The only way people can be saved is through the Word of God! “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Our prayer should be for someone to go to them with the message of the Gospel, someone to whom they will relate, someone to whom they will listen. Always remember, if people don’t like you, they most likely won’t like Jesus either!
Prayer is the key to Revival.
This is seen in all the revivals of history. A movement of God has never come by man-made methods. We cannot promote or advertise a move of God. You cannot work it up, you can only call it down! Revival is the “Sovereign, Sudden, Selective and Supernatural move of the Spirit of God (Dr. Ken Connolly). Zechariah 4:6, tells us, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” Says the Lord of hosts.” Before any great revival of history in history God does two things, 1) He places in the hearts of His people a hunger for His touch on their lives. 2) He pours out a spirit of prayer upon His people.
2 Chronicles 7:14, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
“The Prophet of Prayer,” Edward McKendree Bounds (1835-1913), as a young adult, Bounds was ignited by a great revival, and left his legal practice to serve the Lord, becoming an ordained Methodist Episcopal preacher. Shocked by the atrocities committed against his countrymen by the invading Union Army during the Civil War, Bounds peacefully refused to sign an oath of allegiance to the Union and was sent to prison, where he continued his ministry among the inmates. Eventually released and sent away, he became a Confederate chaplain on the front lines, praying for his men within sight of them as they fought. After a full year of intense public intercession from Bounds and the surviving men of Franklin, the demoralized town experienced revival. The tireless compassion of this man, who would spend hours each day in intercessory prayer, continued to the end of his life.
On December 19, 1891, he wrote: “Prayer is the mightiest agent to advance God’s work. Only praying hearts and hands do God’s work. Prayer succeeds when all else fails. Prayer has won great victories and rescued, with notable triumph, God’s saints when every hope was gone. Men who knew how to pray are the greatest boon God can give to Earth. They are the richest gift Earth can offer Heaven. Men who know how to use this weapon of prayer are God’s best soldiers, His mightiest leaders. (Extreme Privilege, Dr. John Sparks, published by Promise Keepers).
When all else fails, PRAY!
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