August 21, 2022

The Necessity of Prayer

Speaker: Series: The Gospel According to Matthew Passage: Matthew 7:7–14

Understanding the Text

  1. Jesus provides promises to our persistent prayers:
    1. Asking, seeking,  & knocking are not separate things 
    2. This communicates active and persistent prayer with the Father
    3. Find rest that He will make good on His Word.
  2. He describes God as a generous & approachable Father
    1. Appeals to their humanity and human relationships
    2. Our earthly fathers are not like God the Father
    3. We can go to the Father in prayer, with full confidence that He'll respond
    4. He's approachable & we can share our most intimate needs
  3. "Good" is defined for us in the Gospels
    1. Good things as the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13, Acts 1:8, 1 Cor. 12, Gal. 5)
    2. “Good” refers to the people of His kingdom (Matthew 5:45)
    3. Good tree is part of His kingdom, will bear good fruit (Matt. 7:17-18)
    4. Kingdom of God is the only true "good" (Matt. 19:17)

Tackling Our Warped View of Prayer

  1. “If God knows what we already need, what’s the purpose of prayer?” When we pray, our hearts and minds are set on His Kingdom. Our prayers become more kingdom-minded than all about one's self.
  2.  “Others are able to go through life without prayer, why should I? So prayer is just unnecessary.” We pray because we acknowledge our dependence on Him, not self, for all things.
  3. “Prayer never works. I prayed for [fill in the blank], which never happened. Why should I keep trying?” 
    Only God has the knowledge of what is truly good for us. We shouldn't want God to grant everything we ask for.
    We shouldn’t want God to grant everything we ask for.

The Encouragement of Christ's Words

  1. We receive when we humble ourselves before Him and His will.
  2. He will answer faithfully to you, but are you asking?
  3. When God does say "no", it is for His end purpose that we don't see.

Purpose of The Golden Rule

  1. It is a summary of the Sermon on the Mount
  2. Directs us as His disciples in living among and relating to others. We shouldn't be in isolation.
  3. The Negative Rule - Urges you to withhold harm to others, so that you wouldn't be harmed.
  4. The Positive Rule - Urges us to act lovingly & generously to others.
  • His goodness in giving us the kingdom is the grounds for us living out the kingdom’s values in doing good to our neighbor.
  • This sermon from Jesus sets the expectation for the disciples of the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • We can show off Christ’s example of humility and love to all people because that is what we want in return and that is what we get from our Good Father.