Introduction: 1. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught at length about prayer. a. He taught His followers not to pray like: 1) the hypocrites (Matthew 6:5-6) 2) the heathens (Matthew 6:7-8). b. (Matthew 6:9-13) He gave His model prayer. c. (Matthew 7:7-8) He assured His followers that "God answers prayer." 2. We have several reasons for studying this subject today. a. One reason is today is recognized as Father's Day -- Jesus used the father-child relationship to illustrate the fact that God answers prayer. b. We will consider another reason later.
I. (Matthew 7:7-8) JESUS TAUGHT THAT GOD ANSWERS PRAYER
A. In dealing with this subject, Jesus also revealed our responsibilities in approaching God (vs.7). 1. We are to "ask" [to make a request, as illustrated in Philippians 4:6b]. 2. We are to "seek" [to search diligently, as illustrated in Matthew 13:45-46]. 3. We are to "knock" [to knock persistently, as illustrated in Acts 12:13-16]. B. If we ask, seek, and knock, Jesus said that God will give us what we ask, He will cause us to find what we seek, and He will open to us. C. Jesus emphasized the lesson He was teaching by repeating it in vs.8. D. Some people object to the Lord's teaching because God did not grant their requests. 1. We must keep in mind that God did not grant the requests made by: a. Jesus (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44) b. Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). 2. We must also keep in mind that there are other conditions for prayer. a. We must ask believing (Matthew 21:22). b. We must ask in Jesus' name (John 16:23). c. We must not pray with selfish motives (James 4:3). d. We must be obedient to God (1 John 3:22). e. We must ask according to God's will (1 John 5:14-15). E. As we study the Lord's teaching in Matthew 7:7-8, we must apply the other teachings presented in the Bible concerning prayer.
II. (Matthew 7:9-11) JESUS USED THE FATHER-CHILD RELATIONSHIP TO ILLUSTRATE THE FACT THAT GOD ANSWERS PRAYER
A. (vs.9-10) Jesus based His reasoning on the way a father responds to requests made by his child. 1. (vs.9) If a child asks his father for bread, how will the father respond? 2. (vs.10) If a child asks his father for a fish, how will the father respond? 3. By the way, does a father always give his child everything he wants? B. (vs.11) Jesus used His reasoning to show that God will give that which is good to His children who make requests of Him (see James 1:17). C. One reason why we are studying the fact that God answers prayer is because Jesus used the father-child relationship to illustrate His point.
III. THERE IS ANOTHER REASON FOR STUDYING THESE VERSES
A. We included these verses in our lesson last Father's Day, and we followed up with a series of lessons on asking, seeking, and knocking for a meeting place. B. God has granted our request, and we praise Him for doing so. C. The time has arrived for us to ask, seek, and knock for opportunities to reach people with the Gospel so we can grow and meet our financial obligations. D. I believe God wants us here, but He wants us to fulfill our purpose -- win souls. E. Let us adopt the request made by Paul in Colossians 4:2-4.
1. One of the keys to church growth is found in Acts 2:47. 2. For people to be saved the Gospel must be taught (Mark 16:15-16). 3. Have you complied with the terms of salvation that the Lord has given?