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Dear Partner,

When Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray in Luke chapter 11, he concluded the teaching with a parable. The purpose of the parable was for each person to discover in their own heart what they think God is like. Here is the parable Jesus used in his teaching:

Luke 11:5-13   And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Jesus teaches one of the things we are to ask in our praying is, "Give us day by day our daily bread." [Luke 11:3] Here we see He goes on to teach that this bread is not only to meet our own needs, but also the needs of others that we come in contact with. It could be physical bread to feed them, or it could be the bread of healing. (Jesus said that "healing is the children's bread" in Mat 15:26).

In this parable Jesus is asking us to examine our own attitude toward God. What do we think He is like? Is He like the man behind the door who didn't want to get out of bed in order to give the bread because it was an inconvenience to him? Many people think God is like that. They have been taught to "storm the gates of heaven" with prayer until God finally, and reluctantly, opens the castle door just a crack and throws you out a little biscuit just to shut you up. If we think God is like that, then our faith is weak because we really don't know what He is like at all.

Jesus is teaching exactly the opposite. Notice he changes the example from a "friend to friend" relationship to a "father to son" relationship. God is our Father. He is good, kind, generous, merciful, longsuffering, and so much more. He is more eager for us to receive the answers to our prayers than we are. Notice the powerful statement Jesus makes when he says, "Ask, and it SHALL be given you." SHALL be given you! Not may be given you. SHALL be given you!

If you ask most people how they will know if their prayer is answered they will respond with something like, "Well, when I see the answer manifest." That attitude is why most people do not get their prayers answered. Jesus said the key to answered prayer is to believe you receive your answer WHEN YOU PRAY! Not when you SEE the answer manifest in the natural.

Mark 11:24   Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

When we link the teaching in Luke 11 with Mark 11 we discover a marvelous truth. Why do we believe we receive when we pray? Because we have come to know God as our Father who DELIGHTS in answering our prayers. Faith believes He answers our prayers the instant that He hears them. We don't need to SEE the answer first. We have faith IN HIM first!

1 John 5:14-15   And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

John is teaching the same truth. As soon as God hears our prayer we can have 100% confidence that we "have" the petitions that we desired of him. When do we have confidence? When we SEE the answer in the natural? No. We have confidence the instant God hears the prayer. Or, said another way, we have confidence we receive "when we pray."

Notice in Luke 11 Jesus says that the way our Father answers our prayer is to give us the Holy Spirit. Why does He say it that way? Because the Holy Spirit is the member of the Godhead that manifests material results in the earth. Remember it was the Holy Spirit that was moving upon the face of the waters in Genesis chapter one waiting for the command, "Let there be light." The Holy Spirit is the molecule changer. All things are possible when the Holy Spirit is there to manifest answers to prayer.

Let us be a people of faith. A people who knows our heavenly Father well enough to know that He hears us when we pray. A people who knows that the instant our prayers are heard, we can have full confidence that we have received our answer. Let us hold fast to our confidence in that truth and then we "shall have it."

Sue and I love you and appreciate you.   We thank God for your generous and giving heart.   God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter

 

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