God Answers the Prayers of His Children (Matthew 7:7-11)
1. This morning we showed from John 1:12-13 that Christ gives the power to become God's children to certain people. 2. He gives this blessing to those who: a. receive Him b. believe on His name c. are born of God. 3. According to Matthew 7:7-11, those who comply with the Lord's requirements are assured that "God answers the prayers of His children." 4. Father's Day is a good time to study these passages because the father-child relationship is used to illustrate the fact that God answers prayer. Discussion: 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 they asked God for something and He 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 7:7-11, 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). Conclusion:
1. Through Christ we receive the power to become God's children when we: a. receive Him b. believe on His name c. are born of God. 2. After we become God's children we are assured that God answers our prayers. 3. Have you complied with the Lord's instructions?