JANUARY 7

Today's Bible Readings
     Genesis 7
     Matthew 7
     Ezra 7
     Acts 7
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."  (Matthew 7:7)
 
THE POWER OF PRAYER
            In the midst of our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, He wrote one of the most incredible statements ever uttered. He simply says, ''ask and it will be given unto you." In this simple verse Jesus Christ has given us some awesome insight into prayer and intimacy with Him.
            This verse speaks of the persistence of prayer. The Greek actually renders, ''keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking ''. I am reminded of the Gentile woman in Matthew 15, who demonstrated the most tenacious persistence I can imagine. Her daughter was severely demon possessed. When she asked Jesus for help He would not answer her, and the disciples urged Him to send her away.
            Then He said to her something that sounded like an insult. Jesus said, ''I was sent to the house of Israel." This must have insulted and hurt this Gentile woman, but she persisted in asking, ''Lord help me." Jesus seemed to add to the insult when He said, ''it's not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs''. This persistent mother responded, ''Even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table''. Jesus was so moved by her faith and her persistence that He granted her desire and healed her daughter.
            By the way, what are you asking Jesus for? …To be a great person? …To have great things? God wants you to be in a much closer relationship with Him than simply receiving His gifts - He wants you to get to know Him. Things come and go and are really unimportant. ''Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." (Matthew 6:8) Then why should you ask?  So that you may get to know Him.
Go ahead and ask God for what you want and do not be concerned about asking for the wrong thing. As you grow ever closer to Him, you will cease to ask Him for things altogether.  You will be satisfied with the joy of being in His Presence.
The most beautiful truth apparent in this verse is that when you are at One with the Father and in the perfect center of His Will, you will not be able to ask for things to consume on your own lust and ambition. In a very real sense, His Will and your will become one and the same. This is the intimate relationship He desires with you. You will discover that a loving Father knows how to give good gifts to His children. You will receive not what you think you want but what a loving Father knows is best for you.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            As we ask God for His intervention in world events and on the mission field, we cannot trust the news we see on television. The view from heaven is a very different vantage point. The spiritual war between the forces of our Lord and the host of darkness and the effects on our world are dramatic. We must realize  the victory  has already  been  won  on the cross. May God build our faith for the pulling down of spiritual stronghold' s that still resist the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''Prayer ought to be part of our spiritual habits, but it ceases to be prayer when it is carried on by habit only."
E.M  Bounds