Persevering prayer

Persevering prayer

Matthew: 7:7-11

7)““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 

8)For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 

9)Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 

10)Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 

11)If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew‬

I know some people who call themselves Calvinists, do not really believe that we should be constantly praying about things. Some Calvinists believe that prayer is unnecessary, which is unfortunate and uncalvinistic, because even Calvin was a man who prayed a lot and the men who followed him e.x the Puritans. At BBC (Birchleigh Baptist Church) we hold to the 1689 Baptist Confession. Chapter 3 of the confession deals with the decrees of God. And for your information the decrees of God has nothing to do with people prophesying and decreeing that this or that will happen. We can decree that all sicknesses and the corona virus be destroyed, but that will not destroy it, because we as humans cannot decree anything. The decrees of God refer to God’s unchangeable decisions made in eternity past. It refers to God’s counsel and his purposes to accomplish all that He pleases. And because God is eternal and not bound by time, he has made these decisions or decrees in eternity past. And as the Bible makes clear in Acts 15:18, God’s works are known to Him from eternity. Everything that happens, happens because God wills it. That doesn’t mean He is the author of sin, because God is not actively creating evil in people’s hearts, we are still free moral agents and are responsible for our actions. But all our sins, God, as it were, controls, and arranges to accomplish his purposes and his decrees. If God was not in absolute control of all things that happen He would not be sovereign.

But you may say to me, if this is true, prayer is not needed! if you say that God has predestined, some to salvation and not all, why pray for the salvation of the lost? Why pray at all if God has decreed whatsoever will come to pass? He has already decided!

Although God is Sovereign, and decrees all things that whatever comes to pass, and the salvation of the elect, He accomplishes his purposes in judgment and salvation, in conversion, in sanctification and many acts of providence and provision and protecting his people, THROUGH the means of prayer and the word, the gospel ministry.

This is the point we see over and over in the Bible. God accomplishes his purposes through secondary causes, through people, acting, and witnessing and working and praying and preaching. God accomplishes his purposes through different agents, through the church, but also through unbelievers and the laws of nature and creation. If this is true, we see how important prayer is! And specifically persevering prayer.

The whole point of the passage in Matthew 7:7-11 is this: prayer must be continuous, and he who prays must persevere. We see this fact, over and over in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Literally, Christ says in verse 8, everyone asking, receives, and he who is seeking finds, and he who is knocking the door will be opened. The words in Greek for ask, seek and knock is in the participle tense, and should be translated in English in the present continuous tense. These verbs, are also in the active voice, meaning this should be a continuous activity in a person’s life. We see this command over in over in Scripture.

Take Luke 18:1-8. ““And Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart”

Take Romans 12:12 “be constant in prayer”

Take 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing

Take Collosians 4:2 “continuing steadfastly in prayer..”

Take Ephesians 6:18 “praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.

Our passage says the same thing in different words, Jesus said, “ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened unto you.”

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