The Right Way to Pray
Text: Matthew 7:7,8
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. –James 4:2
The next verse in James bears down on any “asking” you might attempt. God is not going to reward half-hearted, frivolous and foolish stabs at prayer. The whole world hangs on God’s Word and He never flirts around with foolishness or frivolity. God is serious about His Word, His salvation, His commands, His instructions. God says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:3
There is a RIGHT WAY to PRAY!
Let’s look at our text: Matthew 7:7,8 (THIS IS MY TEACHING TEXT)
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Dr. John R. Rice says, “This is one of the grandest, most inclusive biblical promises concerning prayer. Note: (1.) Prayer is asking, though thanksgiving (Col. 4:2) or confession (Dan. 9:4) may accompany prayer. Basically, the Scriptures pertaining to prayer promise the answers to requests. (2.) “Ask” is present tense in the Greek; it indicates continued asking. Verse 8 also indicates that only those who continue to pray meet this requirement. (3.) All the other elements of proper prayer, such as faith, or asking in Jesus name, are here summed up as prevailing, insistent prayer.”
I think we can agree that the following three points apply to these two verse of Scripture and present a fool-proof plan for getting your prayers answered.
I. The Problem – For sure a Problem is Implied. The persons being addressed are those who have not prayed the right way. For the right kind of praying will, without any doubt, provide the praying person the answer to his prayers.
Caveat: You have to follow God’s clear instructions. A person who is serious with God and makes every sincere effort to meet His instructions might find the Holy Spirit prompting him to restructure his prayer. Sometimes we “Pray amiss” (James 4:3) So make sure you get your praying in line with God’s clear instruction.
II. The Pattern – God’s Perfect Pattern for Prayer guarantees your answer will be Supplied.
III. The Promise – When the Promise is Applied, you have God’s Promise signed, sealed and ready to be delivered.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matthew 7:8)
- How Many? “Every one –That’s me, you and all your friends you know. If words mean anything…and they do…especially God’s Words…this verse says once you meet God’s requirements….you can expect to receive. If you are an honest man or woman you will have to admit that’s what this verse says. But do remember what Dr. Rice said about this verse. The meaning here is that you must ask and keep on asking until you receive.
- How about the individual (that would be YOU)? God says along with your asking you should plan to do some looking. “He that seeketh, findeth (that’s looking diligently) will find what you are looking for.
- Your prayer might (and probably will) require your knocking on God’s Door in Heaven. How can your prayer knock on God’s door? The Holy Spirit is involved. God knows the mind of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God. The Spirit will take your feeble prayer and shape it so it is presentable to knock on God’s door with. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God. (Romans 8:27) Oh, Yeah! Now you are cooking with sanctified OIL, Holy Spirit Oil.
- Christians do not often get their prayers answered. So we have a PROBLEM IMPLIED.
- God has clearly provided us with a Scriptural PATTERN where answers are SUPPLIED
- We have one of the most powerful PROMISES that must be APPLIED.
Please don’t let this message on Prayer die. I am praying for dozens of you who need to get in touch with God to take this matter to heart. This is a commitment call—I am asking those of you who will take this message seriously to say that from this day forward I WILL PRAY THE RIGHT WAY—GOD’S WAY AS OUTLINED IN THIS MESSAGE TODAY.