Today's Bible Readings
     Exodus 8
     Job 25 -26
     Luke 11
     I Corinthians  12
''So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Luke 11:9-10)
            In our memory verses, Jesus is responding to the request of His disciples to ''teach us to pray." You would think that prayer would be the simplest thing the Christian was ever called upon to do; however, it is indeed the most difficult exercise of the Christian life.
            It is our natural tendency to look upon things as they seem to be. Prayer is spiritual defiance of what is in the name of what God has promised.  It is a tough assignment and a difficult exercise. Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural man. Prayer is the way of life that God has given to His children. We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the Biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.
            To say that ''prayer changes things'' is not as close to the truth as saying ''prayer changes me and then I change things." God has established things so that prayer on the basis of redemption changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person's inner nature.
            Look how simple these things seem to be. Jesus said, ''Ask and it will be given to you." That seems easy enough but there is nothing more difficult than asking. We must overcome our independent, self-sufficient spirit in order to ask. For example, I have made so many blunders in my life doing things on my own without the wisdom of God. Yet, I have been given the promise ''if any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God...''  (James 1:5)
            The word ''ask'' in this verse actually means “beg." You must realize that you are actually devoid of wisdom and become desperate for it in your life. Neither can we ask with a selfish purpose in mind. That is asking out of lust, not out of our poverty. A pauper does not ask out of any reason other than the completely hopeless and painful condition of his poverty. He is not ashamed to beg…''blessed are the paupers in spirit." (Matthew 5:3)
            James 4:3 tells us ''you ask and do not receive because you ask amiss . . .'' The ''why'' of your asking is extremely important.  Are you asking and seeking for selfish ambitions and purposes, or for the glory of God in your life and ministry.
So the key is in asking. Did you catch the acrostic?
            A - ask              S – seek            K - knock
So what is your need today? What do you want God to use you to accomplish? What is the desire of your heart?
What miracle do you believe God wants to see you accomplish? Is there something you believe to be the will of God that requires the supernatural? This is what to do; ask (beg Him for it), seek (His plan, purpose and power for you today) ''… knock and it will be opened to you." (Luke 11:9)
The pain, hurt, and the turmoil in Yugoslavia are beyond our imagination. This nation of about eleven million people has suffered greatly in recent years. Serbian nationalism, based on centuries of resentment of their victimization at the hands of other nations, has wreaked havoc in the Balkans since 1991. The ''ethnic cleansing of Catholics, Bosnian, and Albanian Muslims have left a bitter legacy of hatred and revenge atrocities. Our prayer needs to be for deep repentance, forgiveness on all sides, and a rebuilding of trust and cooperation for a better future. Pray for national leaders to be raised up who are free from the shackles of the past. Pray that, in this environment, we can see revival come and change the nation.
''Prayer…the soul's blood."
George Herbert