Jesus promised, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
Ask for Your Desires
Satan cannot keep God from answering, so he will endeavor to keep you from asking. We do not pray to impress, nor to inform God. “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8b). God has commanded us to pray, (See Mark 14:38, Philippians 4:6.) and here are three reasons why:
- We fellowship with God.
(See 2 Corinthians 6:1.) God could work without us, but He loves us too much to leave us out.
- We develop in God.
“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). God wants you to receive strength from Him.
- We depend upon God.
If God gave us what we needed without our asking, we would cease to depend upon Him. Asking God for what we need ought to be as natural as breathing.
Seek God’s Direction
We must find direction in our prayers.
- Seek God’s will.
Prayer is not bending God’s will to fit our will; (See James 4:3.) prayer is finding the will of God and getting in on it.
- Seek God’s presence.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8a). The gift without the Giver is bare.
- Seek God’s power.
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16b).
Knock with Determination
We are up against all the minions of Hell, and we sometimes indeed must knock, and keep knocking.
Sometimes prayers are answered directly. But sometimes, God answers differently. “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” (Romans 8:26b). Sometimes the answer is denied—because God is not going to give something that will harm you. Then, sometimes the answer is delayed. (Read Luke 18:1-8.)
When should you stop praying for something?
- Stop when you have what you asked for.
- Stop when you have the answer in your heart.
God may say, “You are asking me to do something I am not going to do—but I have heard your prayer.” Then you say, “Thank you, Lord.”
- Stop when God says, “No.”
(Read 2 Corinthians 12:8-9.)
A Word to Parents
Parents, we need to pray for our children. Jesus concludes,
“What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:9-11).
Why do we have assurance of answered prayer?
- God is good.
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).
- God is wise.
If you ask God for a stone, or a serpent, He will not give it to you.
- God is able.
You have the sympathy of your Father, and the sovereignty of your King.
No one should try to be a parent who does not know how to pray. God will hear your prayer, if you pray as Jesus taught us. (See Matthew 6:5-15.)