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Text Box: Pray, Believe & Do


Text Box: (Matthew 7:7-11 NIV)  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.  Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
(James 1:5-8 NIV)  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
(Luke 10:2-3 NIV)  He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)  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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Text Box: I hope that after seriously considering each lesson we have been studying in the Sermon of the Mount you realize the poverty of Spirit you have apart from God.  Like an infant who cannot bear the thought of being parted from his mother, our desire to cling to God’s righteousness through Jesus must surpass any other worldly desire or passion.  This desire and zeal is expressed in the way Jesus asks us to involve Him and His Kingdom in our lives  (Matthew 7:7-11).  Seeking the Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) puts this onus on you.
Notice how in these passages Jesus insists on action on our part to desire His assistance and His involvement in our life.  Faith in God produces the right motivation for you to seek that involvement with God (2 Chronicles 7:14) because only through Him you will be able to be judicious in your life on earth.
Asking suggests dependence; seeking suggests yearning; knocking suggests persistence. Jesus wants to encourage faith. -- Disciple's Study Bible
Jesus challenges our trust and belief in God when He asks us to compare our mindset in the way we treat our children to how God treats His children—namely ourselves.  Only someone who is hindered by pride or selfish insecurity is limited to whatever recourses he may find within himself to meet his needs.  The one who believes God and trusts Him implicitly knows that the Lord will provide for his every need and therefore, acts like it!  He knows the onus is on him to prove this faith as he asks, seeks and knocks.
The vehicle through which most of this seeking takes place is prayer.  “Prayer is not a device for getting our wills done through Heaven, but a desire that God’s will may be done on Earth through us.” – Wendell Winkler, The Sermon on the Mount, Part XIV
If you find yourself seeking, asking and knocking concerning worldly things, then you are off-course from God's Kingdom and will not receive anything (James 1:5-8; 4:3, 4).
Being Kingdom-minded is about seeing yourself as the answer for every prayer you pray, whether it concerns your family (for physical and spiritual needs) or the unsaved (friends, family and co-workers’ salvation) (Luke 10:2, 3).  

In His Footsteps © 1998                                                    




Text Box: Pray, Believe & Do



Read 1 Corinthians 14:15.  When you pray and sing, what two parts of yourself need to be involved?  Is it beneficial for you to sing without understanding what you are singing?  After all, what is the purpose of us singing to one another (Colossians 3:16)?  What then, is the purpose of praying unless we know to Whom we are directing our thoughts to or what we are saying?   Read Luke 18:9-14.   Why did Jesus teach this parable?  Should your prayers be used to inform God or scold somebody? Who do you think you are talking to?  Wasn’t this what the Pharisee was doing?  How did the tax collector use his prayer effectively?  When you pray to the Lord fulfill your vows and your promises, don’t promise something or say you want something just because you find yourself in trouble!  Don’t use prayer as a fire escape!   Read Ecclesiastes 5:1-7.  When you pray, should you say what you mean?  What happens if you renege?  Read Proverbs 1:23-31.  Are you going to accept God’s answer to your prayers?  What happens if you reject God’s wisdom?



When you pray, how much do you desire to say what you are saying to God?  How sincere are you being?  Are you persistent?  Do you really desire for God to impart something to you?  Do you really believe God can give it to you?  Are you depending on Him for it?  Here are some examples of the certain manner in which we should pray.  Read Luke 22:40-44.   How was Jesus praying?  Why did He pray more earnestly/fervently?   Did He really believe God was listening?  Read James 5:16-18.  What makes prayer be powerful and effective?  Be careful how you answer!  Is it the man who makes it that way, or is it because a righteous man believes that God can make it that way?  Read Luke 18:1-8.  Why did Jesus teach them this parable?  Will He put off your requests for justice?  Why does God answer your prayers (verse 8)?  What must you believe when you pray (Mark 11:24; James 1:5,6)?  Do you pray ready to accept God’s will and not your own (Matthew 6:10; Matthew 26:39)?



When you pray for others, is it a detached prayer or a prayer seeking God to use you as His tool to serve those whom you pray for?  Read Romans 10:1.  What makes you think The Apostle Paul was sincere about this prayer?  Read the Book of Acts if you don’t know the answer. J Look at Samuel’s attitude in 1 Samuel 12:23.  If he didn’t pray for his brother, what did he see himself doing against God?   And as he prayed, did he see himself as the answer to those prayers in teaching them to judge correctly?  Do you tend to criticize the rulers of your land or pray for them?  Read 1 Timothy 2:1, 2.   Is this as urgent a request for you as it was for Paul?  Whenever you feel like criticizing, pray first!  Especially if they are considered your enemies (Matthew 5:44, Luke 23:34)!   How much more then should you pray for your spiritual leaders (Ephesians 6:18-20; 2 Thessalonians 3:1)?



Are there certain conditions that exist in order for our prayer to be effective?  You bet!  We must be obedient (1 John 3:22), submissive and confident (1 John 5:14, 15) and forgiving (Matthew 6:12, 14, 15).  We need to be drawing near to the Lord (James 4:8).  What can hinder your prayers (James 4:3)?  What happens if you hide sin in your heart (Psalm 66:18)?   Read Ezekiel 14:3.   What happens if you consider your job or your possessions or your pride as the most important things in your life?  What happens if you are not seeking the Kingdom first?  What happens if you are selfish and ignore those who are destitute (Proverbs 21:13),  or if you are unforgiving (Mark 11:25), or if there is sin in your relationship with your spouse (1 Peter 3:7) or general faithlessness in your attitude (James 1:5-7)?



The Lord promises to hear us and answer us according to what’s best for us (Romans 8:28; John 14:12-15; Matthew 7:7-11). What is all this contingent upon (1 Peter 3:12)?  God answered holy people’s prayers: 1 Samuel 1:27, Acts 12:5-19; James 5:17, 18.  How does God answer prayer?  Sometimes “No” (Matthew 26:39, 44; Hebrews 5:7); sometimes He says “wait” (Jeremiah 42:4, 7); sometimes He gives us something altogether different (2 Corinthians 12:7-9); sometimes He gives us the very thing we ask for (James 5:17), and sometimes He gives us more than what we ask for (Ephesians 3:20 and Malachi 3:10).  Whatever the Lord gives you in return believe it is for your best interest and act accordingly!  Don’t treat Him with contempt for that would do you no good!  Who are you to challenge the Lord (Isaiah 29:13-16)?


Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  --Mark 11:24


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