Ask and it will be given to you… -Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount What do we do with this seemingly astonishing promise? It seems incredible. Maybe even too good to be true. The answer is important because, unless you understand it correctly, it could crush your faith. “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” – Garth Brooks This promise misunderstood… Matthew 7:7-8 • God is • what’s best for me • The key to success is This promise rightly understood Matthew 7:9-11 • God is • what’s best for me “A God who should fail to hear, receive, attend to one single prayer, the feeblest or worst, I cannot believe in. But a God who would grant every request of every man would be an evil God – that is no God, but a demon.” – George McDonald • The key to success is “Sometimes we simply ASK and it is in line with His will and His timing, and we RECEIVE. Sometimes what we ask for is not in line with His will or His timing so we SEEK in prayer, trying to discover His will and timing. And we FIND it. Other times after much prayer, we still don’t have complete clarity. But God still promises to OPEN THE DOOR so we can see the good thing that our loving Father has done.” – Doug Kyle from the message “A person prays that he himself may be constructed, not that God may be instructed.” – St. Augustine This promise unleashed Matthew 7:7-11 • ASK knowing your Father will • SEEK what is • OPEN THE DOOR to what HomeGroup Questions: Have you ever prayed for something that didn’t happen, and it turned out to be a blessing that it didn’t? What was it? Have you ever prayed for something that didn’t happen, and it still stings? If so, what was that? Read Matt 7:7-11. What have you been reflecting on from this passage and message? Verses 7-8 are often interpreted simply as though Jesus wants us to persevere in prayer. While perseverance is importance, Doug pointed out that ASKING, SEEKING, and KNOCKING, is also part of the process God uses to align our will with His. How does that change one’s view of prayer? How would you differentiate each aspect of prayer? Asking — Seeking — Knocking — What do vss. 9-11 tell us about God? About ourselves? Doug pointed to the tendency to treat God as if He is our servant (rather than the other way around). “We view God as a waiter or a server. As if He is Siri, Google, UberEats or DoorDash. As if He is there to get me what I want. And quickly!” How does this show up in contemporary Christian thinking? Compare Matt 9:11 with Luke 11:13. Notice they are almost word for word except Jesus replaces “good gifts” with “the Holy Spirit.” How does that inform the way we think about how God wants to answer prayer? Take some time to share prayer requests as a group.