"Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receieveth, he that seeketh findeth and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)
"Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20). "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3); “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5)
GOD’S GUARANTEE TO ANSWER PRAYER
The Bible is the authoritative, divinely inspired, and perfect WORD of God! God's signature is on the original autographs, written by holy men as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
St. Peter emphasized, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:20-21).
MARTIN LUTHER AND THE BIBLE
Martin Luther had not seen a Bible until he was more than 20 years old, and his colleague Dr. Carlstadt had received his doctorate in theology from a prestigious Roman Catholic Seminary without ever reading the Bible! The Roman Catholic Church refused Christian laymen to study and read the Holy Scriptures, for hundreds of years! They claimed that it was too deep. Only an educated priest or theologian could understand God's Word, they pontificated! This of course, was a trick of the devil!
THIS WAS A TRICK OF THE DEVIL
Satan knows how powerful God's Word is and used this deceptive tactic to keep people in bondage. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32). No wonder Martin Luther stated, "The papacy is a general chase (hunting expedition) in which the Bishop of Rome is seeking to capture and bring to hell as many unsuspecting people as he can."
Sadly, Roman Catholic Theologians put their own private interpretation on God's Word, as do the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and other religious cults today.
St. Peter said, "No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation...." What did he mean? St. Paul was simply saying: God interprets the Scripture, Himself. The message God wants you to receive is not what a certain sect or denomination reads into the scripture, but what He (God) is communicating!
HOW DOES GOD INTERPRET THE SCRIPTURES?
God interprets the scriptures by using other scriptures which the Holy Spirit has anointed! Scripture interprets scripture and God does not contradict His Word. When taken in context, you will find that there are No contradictions in The Holy Bible! The Holy Spirit and the Word of God agree totally, for the Holy Spirit anointed holy men to write the scripture, and God has no mental block or speech impediment!
We pray effectively and have communication with God through prayer. The power of prayer is powerful. GOD SAID WHAT HE MEANT AND MEANT WHAT HE SAID – God honors His Word today with all power and authority.
Jesus Christ Himself is the Living Word of God while the Holy canon of scripture, the Bible, is the written Word of God. Therefore, if you will believe the Word of God and appropriate it for yourself, Jesus Christ will come out of the pages of this holy book and come into your heart. This offer from Christ is open to every person in the entire world, regardless of age, race, or color. This offer is worldwide and has no strings attached.
St. Paul said, "For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar..." (Romans 3:3-4)
There are more than 33,000 promises of blessings in the Bible, and they all have to do with God's dealings with mankind! His promises are not for angelic beings, but for lost, sinful, sick, and fallen man. His promises are for you and me!
CHRIST'S INVITATION IS GENUINE
Jesus invited, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). The most beautiful word in any language is 'Come'. This is a word of invitation and when Jesus calls, we must always be ready to answer His call!
He said, "Come unto Me". He is the only one with solutions to our problems and answers to our questions! How do we come unto God? The only way we can respond to His invitation of “Come Unto Me", in through Prayer. Prayer is our direct communication with God.
DIRECT COMMUNICATION WITH ALMIGHTY GOD.
While on a visit to the USA some years ago, the then Soviet Union's communist president Mikhail Gorbachev stated, "Only Jesus Christ had the solutions to every problem. I don't possess that skill." When asked by US reporters, the reason for glasnost, perestroika and the new freedom of religion which was happening in his country, Gorbachev replied: "JESUS CHRIST"!
As startled reporters asked him to repeat his answer, he stated without hesitation: "JESUS CHRIST". Then, as if realizing what he had just said, Gorbachev quickly changed the subject.
What a reassuring feeling it is to know that Jesus Christ honors His Word. When you are in need of a miracle healing or are in danger and must have an answer to your prayers, you can depend on the LORD Jesus Christ. He has given us the Invitation, "Come Unto Me", so it is up to us to respond to His invitation, through prayer.
Why is prayer so important? Prayer is how we communicate with God.
MY OWN TESTIMONY OF GOD ANSWERING PRAYER.
I can verify that God is a "God at hand and not a God afar off". (Jeremiah 23:23) I can confirm that God answers prayer, through my own personal testimony. In 1984, my team and I were conducting a crusade in Northern India, when a staggering miracle occurred. I had planned to have a very large crusade in the South, where nearly all visiting evangelists go.
Previously I had been in the South and Central parts of India but had not ventured into the North where the zealous, devout, and often fanatical Brahmin Hindus have almost total power. In fact, for the previous twenty years, the number of Christians had declined there each year! Thousands of pastors were ready to embrace our ministry in the South, and we were expecting 100,000 persons on the opening night, with prospects of larger crowds as the crusade progressed. And I was excited about going!
GOD CHANGED MY PLANS
I PRESENTED THE CLAIMS OF CHRIST
Without fear I presented the claims of Christ where He stated: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me". (John 14:6) "I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:9-10)
I quoted St. Paul: "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:3-6)
I declared that Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God - that He was born of a virgin, His sinlessness, His miracle ministry, His victorious death and His glorious resurrection. Less than 100 came forward for salvation in the first service, but God performed several miracles of healing in answer to my prayer!
The next evening there were 6,000 in attendance. Again, I shared the Word of God. I chose for my text Acts 17:18-32 where St. Paul preached his famous Mars Hill message, ‘The Unknown God’. I said, “I saw your images, idols and gods of wood and stone. They are dead and lifeless.”
I said, "I entered your city last evening and beheld your temples and places of worship - I saw your images, idols and gods! Idols that are made of wood, stone, plaster of paris and plastic; gods that have eyes that see not, ears that hear not, mouths that cannot speak, hands that have never helped anyone and feet that are stationary"!
I continued, "They are dead and lifeless, and so ignorant that if I were to slap their faces, they wouldn't have enough sense to move out of the way or say ouch."
THEN, I PRESENTED JESUS CHRIST
The Hindu religious leaders wanted to stop the Word of God being told and kill me, if necessary! Hindu religious leaders had called a meeting and decided to conduct another 10-day revival of their own, in the same park we had permission to use. They had already alerted the police that there would be a riot on the crusade grounds and 50 fanatics with stones and sticks were on their way to start an uproar, stop the crusade and kill me, if necessary!
On those same grounds, two years previously, the Moslems had started a riot in a Christian crusade, to stop the meetings. Moslem fanatics had overturned a bus with 17 men, women, and children, poured gasoline on it, setting it ablaze and killing them all! Of course, everyone fled, and the crusade was history!
More than thirty years earlier, a well-known American evangelist was conducting a successful crusade in North India. Fanatics began a riot and he had to leave. The Indian government then declared him non-grata-persona, effectively barring him from the country since his crusades were dangerous and prone to violence and riots. In this manner the bigots had stopped one of the world's greatest soul winners from preaching in that nation for more than 3 decades!
God intervened and saved the crusade and protected me! Just as the fanatics were entering the grounds, I was making the altar call. More than 500 people were so gripped by the message and by the Holy Spirit, that they rushed forward to accept Christ!
I PRAYED A POWERFUL PRAYER, REBUKING THE DEVIL AND CALLING UPON GOD.
Then as I prayed a powerful prayer, rebuking the devil and calling upon God - in Jesus' Name - for miracles among the people, a 6-year-old boy who was lame in one leg from birth was instantly healed! His parents who were Brahmin Hindus rushed forward to testify, along with their healed son.
Upon hearing the commotion and the testimony, the fanatics asked, "Who is that man? Is he a prophet?" Those around them in the crowd said, "Yes, he is a prophet from Canada". Then, they dropped their stones and sticks, saying, We will give him another day” and they pulled down the loud speakers!
THE NEXT EVENING, I PREACHED ON GOD'S LOVE AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS
The next evening the crowd grew to 10,000 and I preached on "God's Love and the Blood of Jesus"! The fanatics who had previously wanted to hurt me, now wanted to kiss my feet... And the revival continued with the crowd growing to approximately 40,000 persons.
The Christian community was not only strengthened but also grew! Thousands enrolled in the New Converts Class, by mail. And hundreds took special courses for Christian Ministry! To God be the glory!
WE CAN COME TO GOD ANYTIME, ANYWHERE AND EXPECT TO RECEIVE AN ANSWER
God's Word says, "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3). All of us have times of difficulty and trouble, and God is more willing to give than we are to ask. In fact, Jesus said, "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24)
GOD'S INVITATION IS "COME UNTO ME" AND "CALL UPON HIS NAME"
We are invited to call upon Him in the day of trouble and He will deliver us and show us His mighty arm outreached, in sign, wonders and miracles! All we must do is call, and He will answer! It is humbling for us to acknowledge our weakness and need for help. It is humbling for us to request assistance from an outside force in this proud, efficient, and materialistic world in which we live.
Jesus said, "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"? (Luke 11:13). Again, our Lord stated, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
Jesus invited, "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.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
WE MUST SPEND TIME IN PRAYER AND LEARN TO PRAY
The simplest thing in the world for anyone to do is to ask for something. And yet, it can be the most difficult! We must spend time in prayer, learn how to pray. Why is prayer so important? Prayer is how we communicate with God. To ask God for guidance or for strength, we must acknowledge our weakness.
Prayer is how we communicate with God. Why is prayer so important? To ask God for divine healing, we must admit that we are sick and that we need help! But Jesus made it so easy! He said, we must become like little children and ask with child-like faith and expectation. And His promise is sure and guaranteed to work. He will keep His Word!
Jesus said, "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7). Again, He stated, "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: That whatsoever ye ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you." (John 15:16)
WITHOUT CHRIST, WE ARE LOST AND POWERLESS AGAINST SATAN
We must remember Who our Source is. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to function by His grace. And the Word of God is Supreme, that God may be all in all! Jesus promised, "But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto Me..." (Acts 1:8) Again our Master stated, "Without Me, ye can do Nothing”! (John 15:5). And our Lord said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. I will be with you until the end of the world." (Hebrews 13:5)
PRAYER REQUESTS SHOULD BE SPECIFIC AND WE MUST ASK IN FAITH.
When we approach God's Throne of Grace, we must ask specifically for what we need or desire! We must be specific so that we can prioritize our request and focus on our needs, or the needs of others all over the world. Prayer requests should be specific. It is important to lay out our needs in a definite request, believing that He hears us and will keep his promise!
FAITH IS EXPECTING AN ANSWER WHEN YOU PRAY - FAITH IS TRUSTING GOD.
Faith is expecting an answer when you pray. Faith is trusting God so implicitly, that when you have met the conditions, He has set forth in the Bible, He will respond favorably! The Bible says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1). Here is Moffat's translation of this verse: "Faith means we are confident of what we hope for; convinced of what we do not see."
Faith is like the title deed to a property you own but have never seen. You know it is yours because it has been bequeathed to you in a will or it has been given to you as a gift - possibly in another part of the world, and you still haven't received it or seen it. That is how faith works. You have God's promises regarding prayer and His desire to answer, but the things you prayed for haven't happened yet!
YOU MUST KEEP TRUSTING, BELIEVING AND EXPECTING THE ANSWER WILL COME.
Keep on trusting, expecting, and believing and the answer will come. Loved ones will come to Christ, sicknesses will be healed by God's power, and your many prayer requests will be answered when you pray in the Name of Jesus! The Bible says, "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." (Psalms 37:5) Jesus showed us how faith works in Mark 11:22-24:
“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore, I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
In my opinion, Hebrews 11:1 is a theologian's definition of faith. The layman's definition of faith is found in verse 6.
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 1:6)
WHAT IS FAITH? FAITH IS 3 VITAL THINGS:
Faith is coming to God with your needs and making your requests known to Him. By asking God for help you are exhibiting faith! This proves that you believe He is greater than yourself and your need! You are in fact saying: "Lord you are bigger than I am and more powerful and that is why I am approaching you for help”!
You wouldn't come to God for help if you didn't believe He could help you!
FAITH IS BELIEVING THAT GOD EXISTS
Faith is believing that God is real, that He is eternally existent in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit! And that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and eternal!
FAITH IS BELIEVING THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD
Faith is believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins and arose from the dead for our justification. Jesus said: Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself, but the Father that dwelleth in Me. He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; or believe Me for the very works’ sake.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall as any thing in My name, I will do it.” (John 14: 10-16)
FAITH IS BELIEVING IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE
The Bible says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ (Hebrews 11:1) Faith is a reality! Faith is a fact and action, because "faith without works is dead, being alone." (James 2:26) Faith is now! And faith is a present-day reality and faith gets the job done - Faith Works Miracles!
Faith is expecting a miracle when we pray! Here is our Lord's invitation to you: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Amen.
Max Solbrekken World Mission Box 44220, RPO Garside, Edmonton, AB T5V 1N6; Email: ma[email protected]; comehomejesus.com; YouTube, Facebook; Donations can be made by e-Transfer. Make your donation to [email protected]. Thank you!