Friday, January 15, 2010

Effective Prayer, A.S.K.

Bible Study Fellowship is an International Bible Study open to all denominations. I imagine many of you have had the opportunity to belong. No matter where you live in the world, each group studies the same scripture and topic each week. I participated for six years, and during that time my knowledge of God's Word was expanded and strengthened. Having studied in this way has shown me that Scripture should be our basis for any "study". They have a prayer list for each individual small group called A.S.K., referring to the scriptural idea of "ask, seek, knock."

Version: NAS

Matthew 7:7-11
7. "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. 8. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. 9. "Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10. "Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Just in case you didn't know, God encourages us to seek Him. He is waiting for us to "open the door" of our heart and invite Him in. Not only for salvation, but for our every day needs and situations. Below are some scripture verses that prove God is asking us to seek after Him. His Holy Spirit "woos" us, yet God will not force us to seek Him. He wants US to come to HIM. That's part of our "free will". He gives us opportunity to come after Him.

Proverbs 8:17
"I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.

Matthew 6:33
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you."

Psalm 34:8-102
8. O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! 9. O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him, there is no want. 10. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.

2 Chronicles 7:14
...and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Hebrews 11:6
...And without faith it is impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Jeremiah 33:3

'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'

Let's look at these verses in a little more depth. Are we "diligently" seeking God? Not just half way with a "ho-hum" attitude, but are we serious about coming after Him? I can tell you it's worth the effort.

Are we seeking Him first? I love how Joyce Meyer says, "Run to the throne, not to the phone". I know it's really easy to want to discuss our problems with everyone else, check out what the Internet has to say, check in with the doctor, etc., but God asks us to come to Him first. If we do, we are giving Him the opportunity to speak to us and to "work on our behalf". He's not saying we can't consult others, just talk to Him about it first.

God tells us that when we look to Him as our Father and Provider, we will not lack any good thing.

And here's a touchy subject, do we have sin in our life that we need to hear from the Lord about? If there are things in our life that are unpleasing to the Lord we need to let Him speak to us. I'm sorry, I can't sugar coat this, this is the Truth of God's Word. I'm not saying He refuses us, on the contrary. He wants to help us.

God tells us that if we seek after Him that He will reward us. Intimate relationship, peace, joy, healing of body and mind. He is a rewarder of those that seek Him.

And lastly He says if we will just call out to Him, that He will answer! Good to know that we are not wasting our breath. He will answer.

So, not only does God encourage us to "seek" Him, He tells us that if we do He will reward us. He is a giver of good gifts, as we saw in the Matthew 7 passage. He is a good Father.
Seeking Him is part of the invitation to prayer. He calls us to come after Him. He's standing at the door and asking us to "open up". He isn't the one that we have to twist His arm. He's willing and ready to get involved with our prayer needs. All we need to do is ASK.

I will be posting the "Weekend Comments" post late Friday or early Saturday. Remember, if you need to catch up and want to leave a comment on any of the daily posts this week you can leave them on the weekend post, just reference which day and post name. I'll check in. Hope you're getting something from these prayer posts. I know they are simple and basic, but sometimes that's just what I need.
Have a great weekend, hope your weather is better than last weekend. I know ours is!


  1. Thank you! Simple and basic hits the mark here.

  2. I love Matthew 7:7-11 and have fond memories as a child of the picture of Jesus standing at the door knocking. It was a different version than yours. It made a lifetime impression and I am comforted when I hear those words.

    Thank you for all the scriptures today,about effective prayer, A.S.K.
    Debra, You really help me each day.

  3. Good morning everyone, the following is an update about Rebecca Spencer's grand-neice. Please read and be blessed!

    Update from Chris and Lisa about Annie. All good news. Please do continue to pray for healing relative to her brain. She still has the two holes in the frontal lobes and the shunts will remain implanted in her brain permanently according to the doctors. We trust “The Great Physician” to accomplish what is necessary for her.

    Subject: Annie Update 1-14-2010
    Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 21:19:20 -0500

    Family and Friends

    It is hard to believe, but our scrawny little 2 and a half pounder is now a whopping 6 pounds 5 oz! She just grew out of her Preemie clothes and is breaking in her Newborn outfits.
    She is doing wonderfully with her breathing, and is fully recovered from her scary bout with pneumonia. The doctors have taken her off all of her medications. She is drinking bottles and should be ready to come home in the next week! We are so excited to be able to report such positive news, and we can’t wait to give you the final word that Annie is home where she belongs.
    We are so grateful to everyone who has been praying for Annie and for us. We know that Annie is a living breathing miracle, and that all your prayers have made the difference for her and for our family. Also, we are so humbled by all of the phone calls, texts, cards, babysitting, and love that you have all showered on all of us.
    So, thank you for the bottom of our hearts! Please keep praying for Annie’s healing. We still don’t know the impact of all the damage to Annie’s brain, and her eyes are improving, but still not 100%.
    Hopefully, our next update, will be telling you all that Annie is coming home! Praise the Lord!!

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Chris, Lisa, CJ and Baby Annie

  4. What a wonderful testimony! And thank you Debra for a great lesson today. Love the A.S.K!

  5. Dear Debra:
    A perfect message as I sit here healing from my recent surgery. It's a great comfort to know we are never alone on our journeys.
    Hugs from Florida,

  6. Trying to play catch up with the wonderful teaching on prayer. It has been a busy week at my home and I don't want to casually read or gingerly post. But I do want to let you know that I am reading along and -re-reading to get all I can from this study. Thank you for sharing Debra.
    Blessings, GG

  7. I love those verses in Matthew you opened with - it gives us such a clear picture of the heart of God. That quote from Joyce Meyer is cute and so true. We all like to talk with someone "with skin on" but only the Lord can change things. I know when I am troubled, I immediately want to call a friend but I need to go to the throne - not the phone. As the other Rebecca said yesterday - I talk to the Lord all day long, but those real heart to heart talks in quietness and earnest prayer make the difference.

    Thanks so much for sharing about Baby Annie and for the sweet comments. God is so good and doing a great work in our family.

    Rebecca - I am praying for your little grandsons as well, and Donna, I will be praying for your healing form surgery.

    Blessings and Love,
    Rebecca Spencer

  8. I too have a tendency to run to the phone instead of the throne. It's my weak human nature to seek God "with skin on", so to speak.

    Once again, you've given me lots to ponder and work on!


  9. I was recently led to this passage by the Lord and have been blessed by all it has to say. I am also thankful that the passages that follow have to do with healing. The Lord is so good all of the time. I am grateful he gives us fish and not snakes,bread and not stones. The Lord who can calm the seas is the same God who can provide miraculous healing, and loves me enough to do so if I seek Him and surrender my will to HIs. I am so grateful for that! Thanks for posting this and that it was followed up with a story of God is working in the little girl who had pneumonia's life.

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