December 2017 Prayer Letter
7 “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. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 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 good things to those who ask Him!
In this season of thanks and of giving, we are freshly reminded that just a few weeks ago many of us in the USA came together with family and friends around the Thanksgiving table to express thankfulness for what we have and for what God has blessed us with. In just a few more weeks Christmas will be upon us and we will be in a season of giving and receiving. In fact, not long after Thanksgiving or even at the Thanksgiving table itself we begin to plan what we will do for Christmas! Will we buy presents for everyone? Will we pick names, a gift exchange or perhaps a white elephant gift game? Family members and friends begin to exchange their wish lists for Christmas. And for the children it’s, “What are you asking mom and dad for, for Christmas?”. Mathew 7:7-11 is about asking.
Our children think long and hard for that ever so important Christmas wish list. Whether they hand mom and dad a letter or slip it under the bedroom door for them to find, they fully expect that what they’re asking for, they are going to receive, and wait in anticipation! Jesus says in Mathew 7:7-8
“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 he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
We as parents do everything we can to fulfill the wish list requests from our children. We don’t want to disappoint them. We at times even frantically search the stores for the exact model number and style. And as we sit around the Christmas tree, we thoroughly enjoy watching the facial expressions and joy of our children as they open gifts to find exactly what they had asked for. Yet in our efforts to give good things to our children, it pales in comparison to the giving of God. He is waiting for us to ask. He has all the resources and power to provide all that we need and ask for. Mathew 7:11 says:
“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 good things to those who ask Him!”
But, before we make our requests to God, there are things we need to know and understand.
Ask according to His will:
God will not give us anything that will harm us or bring detriment to the relationship we have with Him. It has to be His will for our lives. But, “how do I know what His will is?” you ask. His will is what His word says. What is the circumstance regarding what you are asking God for? Find in His word (the Bible) what He has to say about it, then ask with confidence. 1 John 5:14-15 very clearly says:
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
Ask in agreement:
There is power in agreement with another believer. Whatever it is that you are asking God for, have another Christian believer come alongside and agree together and ask God in prayer. Mathew 18:19-20 says:
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Abide in Jesus and His words abide in you:
God loves us so much and just like parents watching their children open their gifts, it brings great glory to God for Him to answer our requests and to see our lives be fruitful. But, as Jesus talked about the vine and the branches, we as branches must abide in the vine (Jesus). God’s word must always abide in us as well. John 15:7-8 says:
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."
Just as when children write out their Christmas wish list, give it to their parents with great excitement and expectantly wait for Christmas morning, so should we be when we ask God. Children really believe that the present they asked for will be under the tree on Christmas morning! It’s as if they already have it! God wants us to ask the same way. Ask and expect, no matter how impossible it may seem. Mark 11:22-24 says:
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Know His promises:
Know God’s promises for you. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says:
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
Ask in Jesus Name:
Jesus says to us, “When you go to the Father to ask for something, just mention My name”! Why? He wants our joy to be full! There is authority in the name of Jesus. John 16:23-24 says:
“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Ask and thank Him:
Saying thank you after you have received something shows gratitude. Saying thank you before you have received something shows faith. Philippians 4:6-7 says:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
If you have never done it before, this Christmas ask for the most amazing gift of all. Jesus Christ.
“ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
8 “………The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”