WEEK 1: The Prayer to Forgive
Spiritual warfare begins with forgiveness and blessing
An interview with Drew Sommerfelt.
Week 2: Ask, Seek, Knock
1 Thes. 2:18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. (hindered, thwarted, prevented)
“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. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. (Matthew 7:7-11 NLT)
Purpose: Jesus’ main purpose in these verses is to motivate us to pray.
Three Encouragements from Jesus to Pray
1. He Invites Us to Pray
Invites us 3x to pray— commands us to pray—to ask him for what we need. It’s the number of times that he invites us that gets our attention.
Verses 7-8: “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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
If a child’s father is present, he asks him for what he needs. If a child’s father is somewhere in the house but not seen, he seeks his father for what he needs. If the child seeks and finds the father behind the closed door of his study, he knocks to get what he needs. The point seems to be that it doesn’t matter whether you find God immediately close at hand, almost touchable with his nearness, or hard to see and even with barriers between, he will hear, and he will give good things to you because you looked to him and not another. – John Piper
2. He Promises God Will Respond if We Pray
“Ask, and [#1] it will be given to you;
seek, and [#2] you will find;
knock, and [#3] it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks [#4] receives,
and the one who seeks [#5] finds,
and to the one who knocks [#6] it will be opened.”
Be encouraged. Pray often, pray regularly, pray confidently
THE DILEMA: Everyone Who Asks Receives – not true, there are strings (faith, in his name/will)
1. Matthew 21:22 (NASB): “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
2. John 14:13–14: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
3. Our Heavenly Father Gives Good Gifts (Is Better than Our Earthly Father)
“If you then, who are 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!”(11)
Only GOOD gifts!
Church must pray
“It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ ” (Matthew 21:13 NIV)
1. Not going to God first. Prayerless living…
“What a friend we have…
What a friend we have in Jesus
All ours sins and grief's to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
O what peace we often forfeit
O what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer
2. Anger toward God,
Mandie... I'm not asking god for anything. I'm to mad.
4. Priorities Misplaces
It’s as though God sent us an invitation to the greatest banquet that ever was and we sent word back, “I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it,” or, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go to examine them,” or, “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come” (Luke 14:18-20).
What truly shakes and shapes the world
Tech, wars, leaders, movies,
Have we trials and temptations
Is there trouble anywhere
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Will you pray?
What is your one big request?
Week 3: SURPRISE #3
TODAY’S SIMPLE TRUTH: THANKFULNESS IS A CHOICE.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Col. 4:2 NIV)
Thanksgiving Inventory: Make a list to celebrate this week!
3 KEYS TO CHOOSING THANKS
Thankfulness should cover our complaints.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phil 4:6 NIV)
Thankfulness is rejected by some.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God… (1 Tim. 3:1-4 NIV)
Thankfulness comes from recognizing a gift.
Let us give thanks to God for his gift. It is so great that no one can tell how wonderful it really is! (2 Cor. 9:15 NIRV)
APPLICATION: Choose Thanks
Focus on God’s Gift (the Good News of Christ!)
Coat Complaints in Thanks
Share Thanks by Giving: Operation Christmas & Forgotten Christmas
God Spoke in OT times…
Elihu to Job...
So why are you bringing a charge against him [God]? Why say he does not respond to people’s complaints? For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. (Job 33:13-16 NLT)
God Spoke in NT times…
[Jesus said] My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27 NIV)
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. (1 Cor. 2:13)
God Still Speaks Today…
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17 NIV)
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13 NIV)
Listening is the heart of following Jesus
Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” (John 8:47 NLT)
Take time this week to listen…
Read the Bible
Ask God to speak
Journal what you hear
Surprise #6: Today’s Simple Truth: Pray Big
“But the angel said to him: ’Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.’” (Luke 1:13)
Think about your prayers. What is the biggest, most miracle-dependent request you’re currently making of God?
GOD WANTS US TO PRAY BIG.
The Bible commands us to pray big.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Also See: Jer. 33:3, 29:12-14, Isa. 62:6-7, Mat. 7:7–8, 21:22, John 14:13–14
Believers prayed big and God answered.
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. Acts 1:14
GOD WANTS US TO BE PERSISTENT AND FAITHFUL IN PRAYER.
“…your prayer has been heard…” (Luke 1:13) See Luke 18
APPLICATION: Pray Big
What is your one big prayer for this week?
Kevin’s – For BOH to build God’s kingdom. Specifically:
1. For lost to come to Jesus this week.
2. For us to be a “praying church” this year
3. For funds to pay bills and a new lease/mortgage
Will you be persistent in asking?