Contributed by Denise Mayfield of Compassion Katy
To cry out to God in times of distress is an instinct of human nature. Like a child crying in the dark, with painful longing for help from somewhere or other, the soul in deep sorrow cries to God for help.
I believe in the truthfulness of this instinct, and I believe that we pray because there is something in prayer. We find a powerful reason for expecting prayer to be effective in the fact that God institutes it.
The first mark of a follower of Christ is that he believes the Lord. Even in the face of ten thousand difficulties, the fact that our Lord Jesus said “I say unto you” sweeps them all away. Our Master’s declaration is all the reason we need. “I say unto you” is the only logic we need. He cannot err; He cannot lie; because He says, “I say unto you,” there is an end to all debate. The truth of His word stands – yesterday, today and forever! The words “I say unto you” settle all controversy forever. He tells us there is nothing inconsistent with your bended knee and streaming eyes and with the Father’s opening the windows of heaven to shower upon us the blessings that we seek. The One who promises to answer prayer is God Himself.
Nevertheless, sometimes doubts and other difficulties arise in our minds, which is connected with our own judgment of ourselves and our view of God. We feel that God is truly great, and we quiver in the presence of His majesty. But, we feel that we are insignificant and that we are also despicable. It seems incredibly difficult to believe that such guilty nobodies should have power to move the arm that moves the heavens and the earth. It is not surprising that fear often hampers us in prayer. But Jesus, who knows both the greatness of God and the weakness of man, answers it so sweetly. He says, “I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you.”
I ask you, my dear friend, are you in rags? That does not matter – “Every one that asks receives.” Are you filthy with sin? That means nothing – “He that seeks finds.” Do you feel as if you have been shut off from God altogether? That does not matter either – “Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asks receives.”
Trust the Holy Spirit to impress upon your heart to have faith in the promise of God that the ask-er will be heard. Faith asks, hope seeks, and love knocks. Faith asks because it believes God will hear and answer. Hope, having asked, expects and therefore seeks for the blessing. Love will bring you nearer still; it will not accept a denial from God but desires to draw you all the more close to Him. Therefore, love knocks and knocks…and keeps knocking…at His door until He opens.
Many a believer has said, “I trust God to hear and provide answers to my prayers, but I have been waiting for so long.” Child of God, keep the faith! “Every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”
Oh dear believer, if you have cried, seemingly unsuccessfully, cry on, soul, cry on! I urge you to cry yet more passionately, open your bursting heart and pour your cries out to the Lord in tears if words are beyond your power. Come to the Cross and lay hold of it and vow that you will never leave its shadow until you find the blessing your soul desires. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose trust is the Lord.”
Will you believe the promise that your prayers will be heard and answered? It is Christ who gives the promise. Oh, do not doubt Him. Go confident in God’s promise that when his word goes out, “I say unto you”, it never fails!