With Christ In the School of Prayer:
'Ask, and it shall be given you;' Or,
The Certainty of the Answer to Prayer.
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened..."
-Matthew 7:7, 8
(Jesus) wants to teach us what in all Scripture is considered the chief thing in prayer: the assurance that prayer will be heard and answered.
Observe how He uses words which mean almost the same thing, and each time repeats the promise so distinctly: 'Ye shall receive, ye shall find, it shall be opened unto you;' and then gives as ground for such assurance the law of the kingdom: 'He that asketh, receiveth; he that seeketh, findeth; to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.'
Next to the revelation of the Father's love, there is, in the whole course of the school of prayer, not a more important lesson than this: Every one that asketh, receiveth.
We cannot but
feel how in this six-fold repetition He wants to impress deep on our minds
this one truth, that we may and must most confidently expect an answer to
our prayer. Next to the revelation of the Father's love, there is, in the
whole course of the school of prayer, not a more important lesson than
this: Every one that asketh, receiveth.
Asking and receiving the gift would thus lead to seeking and finding the Giver, and this again to the knocking and opening of the door of the Father's home and love. One thing is sure: the Lord does want us to count most certainly on it that asking, seeking, knocking, cannot be in vain: receiving an answer, finding God, the opened heart and home of God, are the certain fruit of prayer.
...let the Word and the Spirit teach you to pray aright...
He therefore at the very outset of His instruction to those who would learn to pray, seeks to lodge this truth deep into their hearts: prayer does avail much; ask and ye shall receive; every one that asketh, receiveth. This is the fixed eternal law of the kingdom: if you ask and receive not, it must be because there is something amiss or wanting in the prayer. Hold on; let the Word and the Spirit teach you to pray aright, but do not let go the confidence He seeks to waken: Every one that asketh, receiveth.
and difficulties arise, let us not seek to have them settled before we
accept the Word.
Let us beware of weakening the Word with our human wisdom. When He tells us heavenly things, let us believe Him: His Word will explain itself to him who believes it fully. If questions and difficulties arise, let us not seek to have them settled before we accept the Word. No; let us entrust them all to Him: it is His to solve them: our work is first and fully to accept and hold fast His promise. Let in our inner chamber, in the inner chamber of our heart too, the Word be inscribed in letters of light: Every one that asketh, receiveth.
...we must seek for grace to pray so that the answer may come.
If no answer comes, we are not to sit down in the sloth that calls itself resignation, and suppose that it is not God's will to give an answer. No; there must be something in the prayer that is not as God would have it, childlike and believing; we must seek for grace to pray so that the answer may come. It is far easier to the flesh to submit without the answer than to yield itself to be searched and purified by the Spirit, until it has learnt to pray the prayer of faith.
...prayer and its answer, the child asking and the father giving, belong to each other.
He wills that I should come to Him day by day with distinct requests; He wills day by day to do for me what I ask. It was in His answer to prayer that the saints of old learned to know God as the Living One, and were stirred to praise and love (Ps. 34, 46:19, 116:1). Our Teacher waits to imprint this upon our minds: prayer and its answer, the child asking and the father giving, belong to each other.
Prayer is appointed to obtain the answer. It is in prayer and its answer
that the interchange of love between the Father and His child takes place.
God will teach those who are teachable and give Him time, by His Word and Spirit, whether their request be according to His will or not. Let us withdraw the request, if it be not according to God's mind, or persevere till the answer come. Prayer is appointed to obtain the answer. It is in prayer and its answer that the interchange of love between the Father and His child takes place.
...let us look to Jesus to teach us as none but He can teach.
But let us look to Jesus to teach us as none but He can teach. If we take His words in simplicity, and trust Him by His Spirit to make them within us life and power, they will so enter into our inner being, that the spiritual Divine reality of the truth they contain will indeed take possession of us, and we shall not rest content until every petition we offer is borne heavenward on Jesus' own words: 'Ask, and it shall be given you.'
Let us take time, as often as we pray, to listen to His voice: Every one
that asketh, receiveth.
us seek, not only just in our seasons of prayer, but at all times, to hold
fast the joyful assurance: man's prayer on earth and God's answer in
heaven are meant for each other.
Let us trust Jesus to teach us so to pray that the answer can come. He
will do it, if we hold fast the word He gives today: 'Ask, and ye shall
'LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY.'
Thou dost assure us that this is the fellowship of a child with the Father: the child asks and the Father gives.
O Lord Jesus! teach me to understand and believe what Thou hast now promised me. It is not hid from Thee, O my Lord, with what reasonings my heart seeks to satisfy itself, when no answer comes. There is the thought that my prayer is not in harmony with the Father's secret counsel; that there is perhaps something better Thou wouldest give me; or that prayer as fellowship with God is blessing enough without an answer.
And yet, my blessed Lord, I find in Thy teaching on prayer that Thou didst not speak of these things, but didst say so plainly, that prayer may and must expect an answer. Thou dost assure us that this is the fellowship of a child with the Father: the child asks and the Father gives.
Lord Jesus! I trust Thee for it; teach me to pray in faith.
Text is in the Public Domain.
Candle Photo & Layout: Copyright © 2002 S.G.P. All rights reserved.
Author of over 250 books, he was the minister at the Dutch Reformed Church of Wellington (South Africa) from 1871 to 1906, and lived there until his death in 1917.
This statue of Andrew Murray was erected in Wellington in 1923
His vision for winning Africa for Christ led him beyond the borders of Wellington. Missionaries from Wellington penetrated into the heart of Africa.
He was a proponent and at the forefront in founding schools both of education for girls, and of Higher Education for women. ______________
© 2001 S.G.P. All