Tough Texts Part 4: Matthew 7:7-11 and Unanswered Prayer

October 6, 2009

vinebranchlogoThis week our Tough Texts series will look at Matthew 7:7-11, in which Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” Jesus teaches emphatically that the Father will give in response to our asking, yet most of us have experienced the pain of unanswered prayer. What is Jesus saying here? Does God answer every prayer? What difference does prayer make?

What questions do you have about prayer? Bring them with you this Sunday!

2 Responses to “Tough Texts Part 4: Matthew 7:7-11 and Unanswered Prayer”

  1. Jennice McKillop Says:

    Rev Brent, re ask, seek and knock. It’s not such a tough text for me because now I understand the real purpose of prayer, which is to have a personal relationship with God. I know that not all my prayers will be answered. We don’t always get what we ask for, in any aspect of life. And I have been to points where I have thanked God for not answering. I was also at points where I asked why did He answer such a stupid request from me. I know that ultimately His will will be done. I mostly pray these days for courage to accept His will, and wisdom to know what to ask for.
    But here is something that i found interesting: sometimes when we get what we prayed for, we are in total shock. What’s with that? Read the story of Peter’s miraculous release from jail (Acts 12) and how when the group saw him they could not believe it. The maid left Peter at the gate and ran back inside in disbelief.
    Well, thanks for reading my comments. And thanks for your insightful teaching.

    • brentwhite Says:

      In seminary we studied a sermon once by a German theologian named Schleiermacher (say that 10 times fast!) who said that answered prayer is the “happy alignment” of our will with God’s will. I kind of like that. As we grow in grace, the Spirit should transform us in such a way that over time we learn to desire what God desires, so our prayers will be answered more often.

      I haven’t heard that insight regarding Peter’s release from prison. Next time I preach that, I’ll be sure to point that out. Thanks!

      Peace,

      blw


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