Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be open to you.
The words of Jesus Christ recorded in Luke 11:9
No weather is bad enough to keep us from market.
A Puritan saying on prevailing in prayer
I am writing to you on the first day of spring. As I look out the window of my study there are very few signs, which tell me, ‘spring has sprung’. Yet spring is here, somewhere, and in time its truth will tell.
This is often the case in our prayers. God’s delay can seem like denials which can easily make us fear our imperfections, our weakness and our multiple frailties. Therein we waiver, we oppose, we become discouraged and we give up--forgetting sound doctrine.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrew 4:15, 16)
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Forever who ask receives; he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened. (Luke 11:10)
Beyond ourselves we have other enemies in prayer. The Evil one and his minions often will strike at the vital point in our prayers: our seeking God. He strikes our hearts weighing them down by cares, temptations, or discouraging thoughts about God contrary to who God actually is. He is devilishly clever in pandering to our flesh making all of our prayers appear either too big for God or worse, unimportant to God. He would have us forget about the cross.
Less we forget, the world herself, can often confuse us in what we should pray about and what a good answer from God our Father actually is. I’ve always found it incredibly appealing that all of Paul’s prayers recorded for us in the New Testament center around the spiritual well-being of the Christian, the advancement and security of Christ’s church, and the worship of God for his glory, goodness, greatness, and character. Paul’s example to us is in our prayers reminds Heaven is our home, earth more like a Hotel. Tim Keller on one occasion said, “We should never go to God because He is useful. We go to God because He is beautiful.”
The world, our own flesh and the Devil that unholy trinity which can oppose and confuse our prayer life. However, often times to encourage us the Bible moves from the lesser to the greater to explain why our prayers will be answered. For example Luke’s Gospel chapters 11 and 15.
In chapter 15, the parable of the Prodigal Son, we find Jesus teaching if a child has sinned massively and comes home bleeding, broken and freely confessing their sins, would not a good Father embrace them and cry out, “Oh my child, my child!” Of course they would. How much more God. If He sought us when we were His enemies will He not help us as His children.
In chapter 11, the logic of Jesus is simple, if fallen parents know how and want to give good gifts to their kids, how much more would God, whose generosity is unmeasurable, want to do the same for His kids.
At last we would do well to remember, A “no” from God is great mercy. They protect us from our propensity to want everything now. Everything now in a fallen world won’t work. And waiting is not punishment it is more mercy.
It is an incredibly profound thought to me, that when I pray, I am joining my feeble voice to the perpetual intercession of Christ, who died for me. It is the same for you. Take this truth and “go to market”
May God grant us grace to prevail in prayer.
With all my love in the Lord Jesus Christ,
P.S. It would be a privilege to pray together with you at our next Prayer gathering on Sunday April 14th @ 6:00 P.M.