A guy named Henry David Thoreau wrote this quote:
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate himself by conscious endeavor
~Henry David Thoreau
But you know what? I think he was severly mistaken. The most encouraging fact I know of is that we serve a God who answers prayer....
This fact, that our God answers prayer has been rising up within me lately. An obvious reason for this could be that prayers are being answered. Not that this writer is anything. Our God is the focus here. He made promises and He is faithful to keep them...
Matt 7:7 “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, 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!
Our Lord makes some very bold statements. He says everyone who asks receives...You may say, "but I've asked for plenty of things and have received nothing." To which I would ask, how do you know that you have not received? Perhaps you have received and didn't like the answer....yes, no and wait are all answers.
I want to encourage you to return to prayer today. Ask, seek, knock. I have this welling up inside of me to tell you to pray. Our God absolutely positively hears and answers prayers.
I don't want to get too deep into the discussion of why some prayers do not seem to be answered, but putting things in the extreme should help illustrate. Do you think a person like Adolph Hitler could pray to our God asking for help and get it? If not, why not? Do you think that Paul the apostle could pray to our God and get answers? If so, why? The answers to these questions should shed some light on why some people get results from their prayer life and some do not. Most of us are neither Paul, nor Hitler, we fall somewhere in between. In our case, we should be striving for perfection. Why? Our God looks directly at the hearts of men and we want nothing in our hearts or spirits that could hinder our prayers.
1 Thess 5:17 pray without ceasing,
^^^This is what I hear the Spirit of the Lord saying today. There is no more encouraging fact I can think of right now, than the fact that our God hears and answers prayers. The God who created everything, who is not disturbed in the least by the economic meltdown or joblessness or the new world order, or what signs and signals satan is sending, that God is hearing and answering our prayers today.
When our God opens a door for us, who can shut it?
Rev 3:7 What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
Job 12:14 Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.
What do you want? What do you need? Have you asked for it in prayer? Do you believe that you will receive it? Other than the illustrations of Hitler and Paul there is this matter of belief. Mark 11:24 tells us that we must believe that we receive what we ask for in prayer.
Ask, and keep asking
Seek and keep seeking
Knock and keep knocking
Because our God is a God who answers prayer. If it seems like I am beating this to death as I write this, I cannot help it. This message is within me like a baby waiting to be birthed and I still feel like I'm in labor with it. The Lord is trying to make a big point with me and with you.
Churchianity preaches a message of "seed time and harvest" and they do it well except for the little (HUGE) problem that they butcher the part of what the seed is. They tell you to write a check and send it in to their 'ministries' as a seed. What I believe the Lord has impressed upon me is that our prayer is a kind of seed. Prayer is the seed and the thanks we give over the answer we have not seen yet is the water. We are to plant then water, plant then water, over and over and over again.
1 Cor 15:37When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.
You do not plant the body that will be..but just a seed. The seed contains the DNA or the map of everything that the seed will grow up to be, but our God gives each seed its body.
After seed has been planted and watered, in season, there is a harvest. Some things take longer to "grow" from prayer seed to harvest than other things. Everything has a season, which is to say, you have to wait for it.
Pray without ceasing. Remember the lesson of the unjust judge:
Luke 18:6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Ask, seek, knock.
I am standing before you with my own words today, to be a voice and a witness to our God's faithfulness. Our God does what He says He would do. He said that He would answer prayer, but He told us to believe, and keep praying. His words were "pray without ceasing." We are to pray with all kinds of prayers and requests:
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Some believers who are reading these words right now need a miracle. I am believing the Lord for a miracle. I have been here before and I have seen the Lord deliver for me. He has delivered miracles, and even though my eyes have not yet seen the slightest physical evidence for it, I know for a fact that the answer to my miracle is already enroute. Its done, I just haven't seen it yet. I'm not making up some kind of feeling, its inside. Just like a mother knows she is pregnant with a baby, I know that I am pregnant with a miracle as well. This wont be the first time, and I pray it will not be the last. As a brother I want to encourage you to ask and keep asking for your miracle. Realize that there is nothing our pathetic minds can dream up that our God cannot deliver on in spades. What is it we are asking for that our God cannot deliver on? He parted the Red Sea, he raised the dead to life, he cursed and things died, he blessed and lepers were healed, what is it he cannot do?
Reasoning with the Lord
I want you to remember to reason with the Lord. Read your bibles, people in the past reasoned with our God and got their way...
Isaiah 38:2Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3“Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5“Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.
If you are asking and believing the Lord for something and doubt tries to creep in, ask WHY NOT LORD? IF there is nothing in His Word that would be a big "no" and the Spirit has not spoken to your spirit to give you a "no" then you need to KEEP BELIEVING for what you asked for. Istead of asking "why" something should be given to you, ask "why not?" The Lord responds to such things, at least He has with me.
Reason with the Lord, ask seek knock, pray without ceasing, believe that you have received what you have asked for, don't give up, remember the story of the unjust judge.
The most encouraging fact for us who believe is that we have a God who hears and answers prayers. Start praying. If you have already started then keep doing it and do not stop praying until your dieing breath has been taken from you. Even then, our last breath should be a prayer and a blessing on the Lord of our life. I'm done....grace and peace