June 26, 2011

Asking and Receiving

Coming under God's fatherhood, we have the right of petition, and all necessary gifts He will grant.

Scripture: Matthew 7:7-11; Psalm 102:1-17

Sermon Notes:

  1. Taking the log out of our own eye is critical to praying rightly; hypocrisy in judging others prevents the right attitude of prayer.
  2. God hears and answers our prayers because He is our Father.
  3. Everything we do is before God – He is the environment in which we live — and our priority is to seek His righteousness and kingdom.
  4. The Sermon on the Mount is action oriented; it impacts the world.
  5. If we are lazy and slow in prayer, we are seeking our needs apart from total trust and dependence on God.
  6. If God is our total environment, we should be seeking all things from our Father.
  7. We can't dictate the answers to our prayers. Sometimes God's gift doesn't seem good to us.
  8. Prayer without faith in God's goodness is empty. We trust that His gifts flow from His sheer goodness.
  9. Much modern teaching on prayer is about manipulating God to “get what I want.”
  10. Coming under God's fatherhood, we have the right of petition, and all necessary gifts He will grant.
  11. In right prayer we're seeking God in terms of His kingdom and His will, by His Spirit.
  12. We're not trying to work up enough faith in ourselves for effective prayer. True prayer rests in God for His good purpose and plan.
  13. Prayer is a natural communion in our daily walk with God; you don't have to be constantly speaking to be in communion.
  14. Prayer rests on the conviction and assurance that the Lord God is in every event and consequence.
  15. In Matthew 7:11 Jesus shows that even imperfect humans want to give good things to their children, so how much more will the eternal God give you good gifts.
  16. It is more likely that a woman would forget her nursing child than that God would forget His children (cf. Isaiah 49:15-16).
  17. In the parallel passage, Jesus concludes, “How much more will our Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit?” (see Luke 11:5-13).
  18. The Spirit Himself intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:16-17; 26-30).
  19. In being given the gift of the Spirit we learn how to seek, ask, knock, and the Spirit conforms us to the will of God.
  20. Christ subjects our prayers to the will of God by His Spirit.

Application Questions

  1. How does right prayer depend on Jesus' teaching in Matthew 7:1-6?
  2. What is the basis for our confidence that God is listening to our prayer?
  3. What's the underlying problem when the focus in prayer shifts from God to ourselves?
  4. How should it affect our lives to know that God is our Father and He is our total environment?
  5. How do the following passages portray God's providential care for us? Isaiah 49:15-16; Psalm 102:17; Psalm 27:10.
  6. What is the popular error people make applying James 1:5-8? How should we rightly apply James 1:5-8 to our approach to prayer?
  7. What confidence do we have in prayer according to Romans 8:16-17; 26-30? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer?
  8. What is the condition of effective prayer in 1 John 5:14-15?
  9. How is God calling me to change in light of this sermon?
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