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     I. Now I think that's interesting what Jesus says here about prayer, The 1st part of this V tells you what motivates you to pray. He says, “LOVE you enemies.” Love is the thing that will motivate you to pray, and this love has been given from your heavenly Father.

                  A. Why do you love your enemies and pray for them?

                              1. V 45‑48                       [Mat 5:45‑48]

                                          a. Jesus is telling us to be like the Father.

                                          b. ROM 5:5

                                  c. Look at 1COR 13:4 “suffereth long” means “forbearing  or  (subjectively) patient, patiently endure”

                                                    1. “Kind”; means “kindhearted, tenderhearted.”

                                                    2. “Envieth not”, means “covet, envy, be jealous over”.

                                                    3. “Vaunteth not”, means “braggart, to boast”.

                                                    4.Not puffed up”, means “to inflate, i.e. (figuratively) make proud (haughty):”

                                                    5. V 5 “Doth not behave itself unseemly”, means “to be (i.e. act) unbecoming”.

                                                    6.Seeketh not her own,” means “not self‑centered, doesn't put self 1st.”

                                                    7. “Not easily provoked,” means “not easily angered.”

                                                    8. “Thinketh no evil,” means “doesn't think ‑bad, evil, harm, ill, noisome, wicked.”

                                                    9. V 6 “Rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth,” means “doesn't rejoiceth in injustice, wrongfulness, ‑iniquity, unjust, unrighteousness, wrong.”

                                                    10. V 7 “Beareth all things”, means “to cover with silence (endure patiently): ‑(for‑) bear, suffer.”

                                                    11.Believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth:”

                              2. Because of this love that the Father gave us, we are like Him, so we should begin to pray for our loved ones and our enemies.

      II. MAT 7:7‑11

                  A. In these Vs. here I can see why the Jews could not understand Jesus.

                              1. If Jesus would have come along like the other O.T. prophets did, proclaiming judgment, and presenting a God who is far off, distant, and unapproachable.

                                          a. They might have understood Him better.

                                                      i. That was the picture of God they were accustomed to.

                                          b. When God came down and talked to Moses on the mountain, there was fire, thunder and lighten; if anyone touched that mountain they died instantly.

                                          c. When the presence of God moved into the Holy of Holies, no one dared to go in for fear of instance death. No one except the priest.

                              2. The Jews knew about God who was high and holy, who dealt with people with severe judgment, and they feared Him.

                                          a. But Jesus came with a message of love. He introduced God as a father. But the Jews couldn't comprehend that kind of God.

                                          b. We still see the same thing today. Many people think of God as far away, even in many of our churches.

                                          c. They don't really know God.

                                          d. But thank God he is our Father, and that we can come to Him any time we want because He is our Father.

                  B. The Vs we just read in (MAT 7), “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”

                              1. Most Christians are aware that it is in the bible. But I don't think that most are putting it to practice, or even know what it means.

                              2. Too often we fail to receive what we're asking for, we fail to find what we're seeking, and the door on which we've been knocking has not been opened.

                                          a. If that's the case then we're doing something wrong; because the promise in the next v, V. 8  [read]

                                          b. Then what's the reason for our failure?

                                          c. There was a man who was a missionary to Israel for 32 years. He said that he always thought that this V meant, that if you ask and don't receive keep on asking.

                                          d. But, he said, after living in the Holy Land for many years and becoming familiar with the Eastern thinking; that isn't what Jesus meant at all.

                              3. In those days if someone came to the outer court and knocked, seeking entrance, the more wealthy would send their servants to call out and ask the name of the visitor.

                                          a. If it was someone that was known, they could enter immediately. If it was someone that was unknown, the servant would go to the master of the house and ask if the visitor should be allowed to enter.

                                          b. The thought here is that when you knocked if you were known, they could enter immediately. “To him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

                              4. So when we ask and don't receive, we should ask ourselvesare we known by the Master”      [become acquainted]

                                          a. Having done that, the next step is faith.

                                                      i. HEB 11:6

                                                      ii. (MAT 7:11) “How much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

                                                      iii. God is eager to give you good things, but His Word says that you have to believe that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.

                                          b. God does not say that you need to keep on asking, He's saying ask and believe.

      III. All right turn with me to LUKE 11:5‑13 [LUKE'S account of this gives us a little more detail.]

                  A. In this account which deals with the prayer of importunity, many people have had the mistaken idea that Jesus was teaching us to keep on asking to get results.

                              1. In this parable we see a man who had a guest arrive during the night.

                                          a. This guest came to his neighbor's house because he didn't have any food to eat, so he came asking for a loaf of bread.

                                          b. But the neighbor responded, “I'm already in bed, don't bother me.”

                                          c. But when the man kept pleading with him he finally granted his request.

                              2. Jesus was illustrating here that although the neighbor would not get out of bed to give the man bread just because he was a friend, yet because of his importunity he gave it to him.

                                          a. Jesus is saying how much more our heavenly father will hear us and grant our request.

                              3. It's the importunity of faith, not the importunity of unbelief that gets results.

                                          a. We can keep on begging God, and we'll never get an answer.

                                          b. If we continue to ask over and over again then we really don't believe that God has heard us or that He wants to answer us.

                                                      i. Either way it's unbelief.

                                          c. It is the constant and continual faith that works.

                              4. Andrew Murray had real insight into this subject of importunity in prayer.

                                          a. He said that it is not good taste to ask the Lord for the same thing over and over again.

                                          b. He said that if the thing that you've prayed about hasn't manifest, don't ask again the same way you did in the beginning.

                                                      i. That would be a confession that you didn't believe God the 1st time.

                                                      ii. Just remind Him of your request.

                                                      iii. Remind Him that you're expecting the answer and that you are still believing Him for the answer.

                                          c. It's importunity in faith that will bring results.

      IV. Luke's account of this is more detailed than Matthew's, and in (V 13) Luke added something.

                  A. Matthew recorded in (MAT 7:11) “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (KJV)

                              1. Luke added something by saying, in (LUK 11:13) “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall {your} heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

                              2. There's a reason why the H.S. inspired Luke and Matthew to record it the way they did.

                                          a. God wanted us to see that He wanted us to have every good thing.

                                          b. That is also true for the H.S., He wants us to have his H.S., After all the H.S. is a good gift.

                  B. (JAMES 1:17) Says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

                              1. God wants us to have every good and every perfect gift and we can enjoy this abundant life that God has provided for us if we continue to walk in faith toward Him and all of His promises.

March 3, 1990 TFC and 7/19/92 WOLCC SUN AM

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