Sermons & Sunday Schools

Prayer: Persistence in What God Wants for You

In today’s sermon, Pastor Babij details the wrong attitudes Christians bring into prayer and explains how to pray scripturally and honestly. Pastor advises Christians to pray for physical and spiritual needs and to remember that prayer is ultimately meant to conform believers into the image of Christ.

Full Transcript:

We are going to look at the persistence in what God wants for you in your life. Our Lord encourages us to pray and ask God for things. In Matthew 7:7-8, it says:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Someone may say, “I’ve tried that and doesn’t work.” For the sake of that person and all of us who would like to be encouraged in our praying, let’s look at what Jesus continues to say in Matthew 7:9-11:

“Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10“Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11“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 what is good to those who ask Him!

In these verses, Jesus is telling us to ask, and if the thing is good, God will give it to you. In order to be encouraged in our praying, let’s see who this is a promise to and what it is a promise of. Before I go further, let’s pray:

Lord, I ask You, as Your disciples came to You and asked You, Lord, “teach us to pray.” Lord, we are asking You for the same thing. We are asking You, Lord, in this part of our Christian walk, to teach us how to really pray – to know how to pray and to know what to ask for. I pray, Lord, as we wrestle through these issues, in regard to our prayer life, I pray, Lord, in each month and year, our prayers would become more inline with Scripture and what You intended. I pray, Lord, as we learn to pray, that we would pray anticipating answers according to Your will. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is a promise for genuine children, who are trying to please the Father. Thus, the promise is for those who are genuine children of God. If you notice in Matthew 9, it says, “when his son asks.” Then, in Matthew 11, it says, “know how to give good gifts to your children. So, this is in the context of a father, or a parent, to their children.

In this case, we are talking about children who do know their Father because they have come to Christ. Remember, this passage sits in the sermon that Christ preached on the mount. He preached there what genuine believers ought to be, so to those who have come to the Heavenly Father by His appointed means, which is through Jesus Christ. Now, they come in humble prayer as it says in Matthew 5:1:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Poverty of spirit is a general confession of a person that needs God and knows they need God. A translation of that could be:

Blessed is the man who realizes his own utter helplessness before God, his need for Him, and puts his whole trust in Him.

No unregenerate, unsaved person can lay claim to the promise in this text. This is only to God’s children. Also, this promise is for those children who are trying to please the Father, and those who are persistent in their prayers. Really, the promise is attached to direct commands, and those commands are this: ask, seek, and knock. These are three imperatives, which brings to us a continuing persistence that we are to use in our Christian walk, and that persistence sounds like this:

Keep on asking
Keep on seeking
Keep on knocking

The promises are for those who are persistent in their prayers, which is characterized by a burning pursuit for God and the good things He gives His children. Now, we must ask ourselves: are we as holy as we ought to be? Are we as meek, loving, pure, and obedient to God as we should be and would like to be? From all of us, the answer would have to be: no, we are not yet. We’re heading in that direction.

You need to be asking the Heavenly Father that these virtues may be multiplied in your life, and for a new hunger for every day for prayer. Satan is going to challenge us and come against us the most in our prayer life. So, how is our prayer life? Are we growing in our prayer life? Are we asking the Lord for the right things? When it comes to prayer, do we even know what to ask the Lord?

The promise is to God’s children, no one else, so what is the promise of? Well, the answer to that is this: God is readier to give good gifts to His children than we, as parents, are to give good gifts to our children. We, as parents, do give good gifts to our children, don’t we?

When it comes to birthdays, we try to give them what they want. When it comes to Christmas time, we over do it, and they get more gifts than they should. We are looking at our children, understanding what they like and don’t like, and we are trying to give them good things. As our parents, we want to give our children good things.

We do this despite being evil and having human limitations. In Matthew 7:11, it specifically says, “If you then, being evil…” As compared to God, we are evil, and this passage of Scripture is comparing our ability to give good gifts to God’s giving of good gifts. Any standard that falls under us, in comparison to God, must be evil. We are fallen, sinful, and we have remaining corruption in our hearts. Again, in Matthew 7:11:

“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 what is good to those who ask Him!

Here, it is stressing the word good. When we read a passage of Scripture like that, sometimes we miss that. Recognize the evil, selfish nature of parents, who love their children and only give them good gifts.

In Matthew 7:9, a round stone, found in Israel by the seashore, has an exact color and shape of loaves, so will a father mock his sons basic needs and give him something he could break a tooth on and provide no nourishment to him? Of course, the answer to that question is no. Evil parents wouldn’t do that, and parents, who have remaining sin, wouldn’t do that.

Then, in Matthew 7:9, will a father give the son something forbidden by the law, which will make him unclean and defiled before God? Remember, serpents or eels were forbidden to be eaten. Leviticus 11:12 says:

Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is abhorrent to you.

In other words, he is relating to those who understand this verse from the Old Testament, so would a parent do this? Again, the answer would be no. Then, in Luke 11:12, Luke brings in another statement:

Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?

When a scorpion rests their claws and tail folds in, they look like a pale egg, so will a father deceive his son with a stinging scorpion that could cause serious harm and even death? Well, the answer to that is an emphatic no.

All these things are stressing that a parent would not give something evil or not good to their children. Yes, most things our children ask for will not be good for them. That is, in there timing and manner in which they ask it.

When my son was little, he wanted to get this knife, which he kept asking for his birthday – of course, Josh displayed his future asking for that by being in the Marine Corps. He wasn’t ready for a knife, so I didn’t give it to him. Then, he decided to go out and get his own without asking me, so I confiscated that.

In fact, I confiscated many weapons from him and Andre. I used to wait at the door when he came home. When he got older, I brought them all out. I gave some of them back, but I said, “I really like this one, so I’m keeping this one.” However, for many years, he wasn’t ready to handle a knife. Finally, I gave him something like that, but when he was ready and able to handle it.

We know what to give to our children, but notice in our text, in Matthew 7:11, this phrase:

… how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

If we can do it, then how about God, who has no imperfection and is readier to give what is good to His children than we are, so this is the lesser to the greater type of argument. The Father is absolutely holy, good, and without sin, but thanks to the Lord, the Father is not going to grant us every desire and request when we ask.

The Father will only grant what is good and right according to His wisdom and timing because God only gives what is truly good for us, which is what He gives all the time. When we pray, we must remember this, which is the point of this passage.

In that, it becomes an invitation, and the invitation is this: come with all the spontaneity of a child trying to please the father and ask for whatever you want expecting that your wise and loving Father will give it to you if it is good. There are several problems we must address when we consider this passage of Scripture, which is that the Father, who is in heaven, gives what is good to those who ask Him.

At this point, there are several problems in view. First, if I ask it first in the form of a question, do we really ask for what is good for us when we become believers? Really, we don’t ask for what is good for us because we really don’t know what is good for us at the time we are supposed to ask.

When we become Christians, are babes in Christ, don’t know a whole lot of the Bible, don’t know the character of God yet, and even when we grow in the Lord and become what 1 John says, “young men who can take the Bible and fight the enemy with it,” then we are still at a bit of a disadvantage of understanding the nature of prayer. When we grow to become spiritual fathers, or those who are more stable in the faith and live by faith, then we learn more of what God wants us to ask.

Usually, you don’t ask for your daily needs only, but you ask for far more than what you need. You ask for riches and wealth, and if you don’t get it, then you always have a credit card that can purchase it for yourself. Then, you will be in debt, which will bring more trouble and anxiety into your life, so having more than you need is not good for you. Too much will become a detriment to your development in Christ likeness. So, what are the things that are good for us to ask for?

Here, we venture into the believer’s relationship to their Heavenly Father, which includes an active participation and acknowledgment of the Father. For example, in Matthew 5:20, Christ has presented a standard of moral excellence to His children, which is utterly unattainable by flesh and blood:

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Now, you must ask: were the scribes and Pharisees righteous? Yes, they were in their living, but they were trying to obtain salvation by their righteousness, which was the wrong part. We know that we don’t obtain salvation by our righteousness. Rather, righteousness is given to us. After salvation, we receive the righteousness of Christ and the spirit of God, which teaches us how to live righteously. If believers are to have the power to live with a surpassing righteousness like the restraint of evil words, corrupt wishes, impure desires, revengeful thoughts, the capacity to love one’s enemy, and the blessing of those who despitefully use and persecute you, then we will have to learn what to ask in prayer.

In the sermon on the mount, the Lord is saying to His children:

This is the character and conduct you are to have as one of my children. This is the influence I want you to have. This is the righteousness I want to see in your life. This is the piety I want you to have. This is the ambitions I want you to have.

All those things are the things we are to pray for, so what does the Father want? Well, He wants to give us good gifts, but He wants your character and conduct to be inline with His standard. He wants your influence to be salt and light in a dark world. He wants your righteousness to be greater than the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.

In Luke, he says that he is not going to hold back giving the Holy Spirit of God to those who ask Him. Those who become children of God receive the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God is given to us to make us holy and righteous. So, what does it mean to have a righteousness greater than those mentioned, in Scripture, of the scribes, who were teachers of the law, and the Pharisees, who also were the teachers and leaders of Israel concerning Scripture?

From a human perspective, they did live a righteous life, so our righteousness must look better than theirs. Meaning, it is not just bringing in the commandments or “thou shall not commit adultery,” but to preserve the sacredness and unity of the marriage bond by keeping what it pictures, which is Christ’s sacrifice and love for the church. It is not just, “thou shall not commit murder,” but don’t hate your neighbor. Rather, love them by helping your neighbor keep alive and well.

It’s not just, “thou shall not steal,” but help by protecting your neighbor’s possession as if they were your own. It is not just, “you shall not covet,” but thank the Lord by rejoicing in the fact that maybe God has given someone else more than you. God blessed them that way, and the Lord decided to do it like that.

See, coveting means wanting something that doesn’t belong to you that God hasn’t given to you, and maybe he will never give it to you. So, you must rejoice in the fact of those around you, who have those things that you will never have because God gave it to them.

When it comes to the flesh, that is foreign way of thinking, but when you are in the spirit, that is exactly what God wants us to do and how our righteousness looks greater than the scribes and Pharisees. It is not just, “don’t bare false witness,” but it’s by holding truth and integrity in high regard, which is what believers ought to do.

Lastly, your piety should be real by living in the presence of God and leaning on the provisions of God. God doesn’t want hypocritical or mechanical worship. He wants real, genuine worship from your heart. In fact, if I take all of what I said and just look at another passage of Scripture that Apostle Paul penned, then it sounds like this in Romans 13:8-10:

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

In Christ Jesus, we can live in a way that is above the ten commandments, a righteousness that the Spirit of God produces in us, which is something we cannot produce on our own. You see that such demands for holiness and righteousness are beyond our feeble strength, so we need help. We need God’s grace to enable us to live up to that standard. Now, where can we get that help and grace?

Well, if we look back at our passage, then this is where we get it:

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

We are asking for all the things, in the sermon on the mount, that we cannot produce on our own. We are asking for a character and conduct that is poor in spirit, who mourns, who is meek, who is somebody who lives according to righteousness, and somebody who has influence in the world that’s salt and light.

We’re praying for a righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. We’re praying that we wouldn’t be hypocritical or mechanical in our worship, but real before God. We’re praying that our ambitions would be not for wealth, which is corruptible, not for the darkness of the world, but for the light of God, and it would not be to serve money, but it would be to serve God. These are the things we are to be praying for, and those are the good things that God is going to give us. When you pray, He will give you those things.

Sometimes, we pray for things and we don’t get it, but God gives you what you really need when you pray. Eventually, as we grow in Christ, we will get to the point to know what to ask for. Here, in these passages, we have a soul cry for divine assistance to be sought prayerfully, believing, diligently, and persistently. It is a prayer to the Heavenly Father, by His children, for the supply of Grace, to put into practice those precepts that flesh and blood cannot accomplish.

These are the good gifts the Heavenly Father wants to bestow upon His children, but these good gifts are the things we typically do not ask for. Usually, we ask for a stone, an eel, and a scorpion, and none of those things are good for us, so God doesn’t give you what you may think you need when you pray.

Then, you learn that your Father really loves you since He didn’t give you what you asked for, so it is changing our thinking of who God is and what the whole deal about prayer is. Just ask your children what they want for breakfast and supper tonight, and give them the independent choice of, “whatever you want, you can have.” Then, they will ask for candy, ice cream, chips, and cookies, which is real beneficial for their growth and health, right?

If they had that at every meal, then that would really be a problem. Now, I love desserts, but if I had desserts three times a day, I would end up spending a lot of time in the doctor’s office since I would miss certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Secondly, the problem is that some of us, as of yet, are not convinced of God’s goodness and love toward them, which shows in your prayer life – or lack of prayer life. Since you have concluded in your mind that you have prayed about something, nothing has happened, and you won’t pray about it anymore, then before you know it, you are not praying about anything.

So, some are not convinced of God’s goodness and love toward them, and their prayer life reveals this because when we ask for things that God does not seem to answer, the way we desire Him to answer them, then we doubt His goodness and love toward us. Thus, we have prayer problems we must try to solve.

First, a prayer problem is a false picture of God. If we have a false picture of God, then prayer becomes unattractive. We think that God needs to be told that we lack something, so we conclude that God is ignorant of us. We think that God needs to be bullied and begged into giving what we want, so we conclude that God is reluctant towards us. We think that God cannot be bothered by our petty affairs, so we conclude that God is distant or uncaring.

Well, God is neither distant, ignorant, reluctant, or uncaring. If we are to conclude that, we would violate a whole lot of Scripture. Either we are believing a lie, or we must believe the truth, and many times we subtly believe what is false about who God is and how God does things. So, we are to admit that we have been believing a lie.

The Bible says that God is ready to give you good gifts. He is ready to do that more than you are ready to give your own kids good gifts, so what is the problem? The problem is this: are we ready to receive those good gifts on His terms? Just like my son with the knife, he wasn’t ready to receive it on my timing and terms.

We must be ready to receive God’s good gifts on His terms. He is determining what is good for you, not you. Let’s face it: it doesn’t matter how long you lived or experience you have had. When it comes to spiritual things, we are just babies growing in our understanding and knowledge of what God is doing. So, our prayers could be reaching the Lord because we know what we are praying for.

Remember, prayer is not a carte blanche. We don’t put it out there and say, “I prayed about it, so God must do it.” That is not faith nor wisdom, but ignorance. We just don’t know yet how to pray and what to ask for.

Secondly, when we come to prayer, another problem we have is a false picture of gifts. If we have a false picture of how God gives gifts, then we believe prayer is unnecessary. If God is offering us a gift that we can handle ourselves, then we don’t need the gift, so we take care of it ourselves. A lot of people get along without prayer by getting what they need by working for it. However, what they forget is that God gives creation gifts and redemption gifts.

The creation gifts are rain, harvest, and what it produces, which is food. Everyday, He gives life to people. He gives children, family, and limited blessing to almost all creation. If God were to remove that, we would be in big trouble. In fact, we would be in more trouble today than they would be back then when they had farms and animals, which provided a lot of their needs.

Today, we go to the supermarket, load up our basket, go home, and put it in our refrigerator. However, if there is a crisis and it is three days, the shelves in the supermarket are empty. We don’t have a garden outside to be able to supply our needs. We don’t have chickens – though, some people do have chickens – to get eggs. If it is not there in the supermarket, where God provides the farmers to get that food easily, then we would be in real big trouble. People don’t realize how much they depend on creation gifts. If God withheld that, we would all die.

Also, there are redemption gifts that He gives to His children, which is eternal salvation, daily needs of both physical and spiritual things, deliverance from evil, and increased knowledge, faith, hope, and love, which comes from the word of God. He gives us the Holy Spirit of God as not only someone who makes us holy, but as a down payment for redemption. In other words, He gives us those things and says:

Don’t worry about your life. I have got all those things taken care of. Not only do I have your eternal salvation taken care of, but I have your daily needs taken care of too. Therefore, don’t worry about those things.

The Lord’s prayer, which these things come from, bring together both creation and redemption gifts. So, God, the Father, bestows common grace upon His whole creation, but He bestows special grace upon the Lord Jesus’ blood bought children. 2 Peter 1:3 says:

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

He provides the physical and spiritual part of life through the knowledge of Him, who called us by His own glory and excellence. So, we must have a correct understanding of Gifts, especially since they are necessary for life – both physical and spiritual life. If God were to withhold those things, then we would all be done.

However, there is another problem, which is a false picture of how prayer is answered. If we have a false notion of how prayer is answered, then we will think that prayer is unproductive. Not only think that prayer is unattractive, but also unnecessary. People may think that God gives to people who don’t ask, or that God fails to give to many who do ask. For example, we pray to pass an exam, but fail. We pray to be healed of an illness, but it got worse. We pray for no one to die, but people die. So, we conclude that prayer doesn’t work; then, we don’t pray.

If God was pledged to give whatever we ask, when we ask, and in exactly the terms we ask, then how could we bare that burden? If God gave you everything you want, then how could you bare that? We would never be able to handle that, so how then could God be God if He were subject to our whimsical prayers? We couldn’t bare it, and He wouldn’t be God. God would be to us just like rubbing a genie’s lantern – give me three wishes. An unknown pastor, after many counselling sessions with individuals, who are troubled because their prayers weren’t being answered the way they hoped that they would be, came up with a helpful formula:

If the request is wrong, God says no.
If the timing is wrong, God says slow.
If you are wrong, God says grow.
If the request is right, the timing is right, and you are right, then God says go.

When it comes to prayer, this is not a bad way to understand. We must mark this down: when we pray, no is an answer. My father, in his office, had a sign that he finally gave me. The sign simply says:

What part of no don’t you understand?

How many times do parents say to their children, “no,” and it seems like they don’t wrap their mind around those two little characters. You must stress what it means, and the Lord does use “no.” Sometimes, our prayers are inadequate and inappropriate. Therefore, we pray wrong no matter how sincere or how we make the request to the Lord, so our requests are misguided. When did God say no to some of His disciples?

In Matthew 17, on the mount of transfiguration, God’s glory descended upon Jesus, and Moses and Elijah appeared beside Him. Peter came up with a request to make three tabernacles: one for the Lord, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. Possibly, he did that because he desired to stay on the mountain and enjoy the Lord’s glory. However, the Lord’s response to him was “no” because a thick cloud enveloped them, cutting off all further communications. Peter’s request was wrong, and Jesus did not grant it.

Then, you get James, John, and their mother. In Matthew 20, James and John came along with their mother, and they asked if they could be Jesus’ executive officers in His kingdom, which is to sit on His left and right in His kingdom, so Jesus says, “No.” In Matthew 20:22-23, it says:

But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.” 23He said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”

James, John, and their mother had a wrong request, so Jesus did not grant it to them. There is another one in Luke. Here, the disciples were denied a travel permit through a Samaritan village, and James and John got really angry about it. Now, you may think where did James and John get this idea? Well, if you read the life of Elijah, then you will find out where they got it from. Luke 9:51-56 says:

When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; 52And He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they went on to another village.

In this passage of Scripture, what does the Lord answer to them? There request is wrong, and of course Jesus said, “No.” So, the answers the Lord gives in each of these situations shows that the Lord, God, is too loving of a Father to grant requests that are totally self-serving, patently materialistic, shortsighted, misinformed, and immature.

Just imagine if the Lord granted this last request, then people would use prayer as a means of revenge, “Lord, zap that person!” Not that from time to time we wouldn’t hope that pray could be used that way, but it is not used that way, so motives play a large part to many of the things that we ask in prayer.

According to the epistle of James, we usually do everything by praying. When we do finally pray, we pray amiss. Meaning, we pray with selfish and self-centered heart, so our prayers sound like this:

Lord, make me rich. Make me famous. Let me have a good time. Make all my dreams come true. Please give me a convenient, happy, satisfying, and problem-free life.

Isn’t that the way we would pray? We probably have prayed in that way. James 4:1-4 says:

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Prayers that smack of this show a selfish, self-centered heart that is really more about what the world thinks than what God thinks or how He does things. Some prayers are offered to change other people such as:

Lord, please change my husband, change my wife, change my boss, or change my friend.

Instead, it should be:

Lord, let me know how to pray for those who persecute me and share the Gospel with them, so that they may be saved and see what I see.

Some pray:

Lord, let me win the lottery.

Instead, how about praying:

Lord, enable me to work so that I may eat and handle my finances, so that I may give and trust you for the rest.

If you are in school, some pray:

Lord, give me a good grade.

Sometimes, we ask for a good grade, but haven’t done the work to get the good grade. We haven’t read the material or studied. Instead, pray:

Lord, enable me to be a harder worker and more disciplined student so I may obtain a good grade.

Sometimes, motives and reasons for our requests are not wrong, but in the infinite mystery of the things of God, the outcome is sometimes “no,” and God never tells us why that happens.

When the Lord prayed for His disciples, in the High Priest prayer in John 17, where He prayed that all those who would hear them preach the word may come to Him, He prayed for His disciples, not the world.

Jesus prayed for them to be protected, by the name of the Father. Jesus prayed that they would be unified as the Father, Son, and Spirit are unified. Jesus prayed that they may have joy in full measure. Jesus prayed that while they are in this hate-filled world, they would be protected by the influence of the evil one. Jesus prayed that they would be set-apart by the truth of the word of God.

Jesus prayed for those who would yet believe by the preaching of His own disciples – both present and future. Because we are saved today, the Lord’s prayer was answer by us being here as believers. Also, He prayed that His disciples would be with Him to see His glory that He had before the foundation of the world.

Now, this is where Peter, James, and John would understand where God is going to show us His glory, which is when we are with Him in His presence. So, the Lord prayed these things, and He prayed that the Love of God would be evident in and around His disciples, which would be evident and seen by the world. This is what Jesus prayed, which is all in the framework of the will of God. Therefore, our prayers need to be structured like that, so we must examine how we pray.

From this day forward, brethren, there must be a radical change in what we believe about the Father, in prayer, and what we are to pray for. God will only give what is good to His children. Physically, He will give you daily food, daily clothing, daily shelter, and opportunities for work. However, he never promised to make you rich. In Scripture, He never promised to give you more than those things. Spiritually, God will give conformity to the image of Jesus Christ, which is the will of God.

Then, from the sermon on the mount, He will give restraint of evil words, the cleansing of corrupt wishes, the removal of impure desires, the revengeful thoughts would be removed from us, that we would love our neighbors and enemies, and bless those who despiteful use and persecute us. When it comes to our prayer, those are the things we ought to be persistent in.

Again, if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father, who is in heaven, give what is good to those who ask Him. See, it’s prayer: persistence for what God wants for you.

Keep on asking, keeping on seeking, and keep on knocking for the good gifts God, the Father, has for all of His children. He will give, to you, everything that you need to live in this world and live the spiritual life in a way where you joy is maintained, and the peace of God reigns in your heart and mind instead of worry. That’s what He gives to His kids, which are good things.

What is the world seeking for anyway? Aren’t they seeking for happiness? Well, how do you get that? You get that by living for God. So, God’s answering the greatest prayer request of all:

Lord, make me happy.

Well, you are happy and blessed when you are following and obeying God, who created you and who redeemed you in Christ Jesus. Let’s pray:

Lord, I Thank You once again for the incredible clarity of Scripture. Thank You, Lord, that it really turns over every stone for us. It helps us to see and evaluate ourselves as to where we are when it comes to our own prayer life. I pray, Lord, that from this day forward, we can adjust things so that our prayers are in line with Your will knowing that You will always give us what is good for us. I pray, Lord, as we do seek You, I pray that we would never come to the place where we stop praying. If we do, we are not obeying You, but we are obeying the enemy. I pray, Lord, as we do pray, that we would pray with a persistence and fervency that never stops. Thank You, Lord, that You will answer our prayers ahead of time. You will answer those prayers that we offer up to You as far as our physical needs and spiritual needs that You said You would answer and bless us with. Thank You for being our God and our Savior. We want to cast our care upon You this morning. Guard our heart and mind from worry, so that the peace of God could reign in our hearts. Lord, let the joy of the Lord be our strength. I pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.