Let’s Believe and Obey; Let’s Open the Door of Prayer
In today’s scripture, God said to “ask,” but we must first believe in our God and obey Him. Only then will the door to prayer open.
Matthew 18:19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.
1 John 3:22 and whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
Because we do not believe, we do not pray, and subsequently, we do not receive. This is the problem.
1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
If we pray according to God’s will, we are told to ask anything from Him, and He will hear us.
Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all.”
Both Mark 11:24 and John 14:13 state the same. When we ask in faith with the Word of God abiding in our hearts, He will certainly answer our prayers. However, He will turn a deaf ear to our supplications if we pray without believing or understanding the Word. God is no fool. He is the “God of those who believe.” When we believe, God enters into our hearts. John 15:7 is the faithful, true, and honest Word of the living God. Prayer is breathing. If a person can’t breathe, he dies. All cells are destroyed. If the Bible is our daily bread, then prayer is breathing. We cannot live without eating, but we cannot even eat without breathing.
1 Samuel 12:23 Furthermore, as for me, far be it from me that I would sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you…
According to the prophet Samuel, failing to pray is a sin before God. First Thessalonians 5:17 also states, “Pray without ceasing.” Prayers must not cease until we enter into the kingdom of heaven. Nothing comes to fruition without prayer. The twelve books of the “History of Redemption” series are the fruit of prayer. I wrote the original manuscripts during my time of fasting and prayer up in Mount Jiri. Whenever I ran out of paper, I would write on fallen leaves and bind them using twigs so that the wind wouldn’t blow it all away. Then, I would transcribe them on paper after purchasing more.That’s how stacks of manuscripts heaped up taller than I was. They’re the fruit of tears, sweat, and prayers.
We have heard repeatedly the importance of praise and prayer during our many years at church, but are we putting into practice what we have heard? “At attention” is the basic posture of a soldier where they stand completely still in focused attention. Likewise, whatever we do, whether it is praying, reading the Bible, or receiving the Word of God, we must do it with such concentrated focus so that we won’t be distracted by trivial thoughts or noise. To be physically at church while our thoughts are elsewhere (on shopping, loans, our children living abroad) is a terrifying transgression against God. Through Moses, God gave the command to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37-40). He desires 100% from us. When we love God in this way, we cannot help but stand before the Word; doing so is obeying the Word. Beloved saints, have you striven continually in prayer like the prophet Samuel? You’ve labored for your children and businesses, but if you had given even a third of that time to praying, you would not be stuck in whatever is holding you back now. Don’t worry about your children, because the Lord holds onto them with the workings of His grace. Rather than the parents worrying over their children a hundred times over, all is resolved when God just remembers them once.
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
When thanksgiving is lacking in prayer, praying becomes a nuisance and an afterthought. Be thankful in prayer. The Bible is not a pipe dream. Our prayers will determine what unfolds. I can truthfully testify of this because I pray.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.
Are you awake in prayer with thanksgiving? Those who live immersed in the world may look as though they have their eyes open, but really they are, in fact, slumbering. Those who stand with God and pray are awake; moreover, they are awake to the world. That is why Abraham, the forefather of faith, was blessed by God in every way even at the age of 175 (Gen 24:1). Prayer are the railroad tracks that propel the train of God’s works. Do not forget this. Prayer is what enables the work of God to race forward. Nothing can halt the works of God when there is prayer.
John 5:17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”
God is almighty and there is no prayer He cannot hear. It’s hard to understand what is being said when even only two people are talking simultaneously, but imagine the impossibility of 10 to 100 people. But God is able to discern and hear every prayer that is given, even if all seven billion people in this world were to pray at the same time. The Lord would never say to us, “Pyungkang saints, stop praying! I need to listen to another country that is praying to me right now.” Please pray. Nothing can happen without prayer. God will not carry out His work unless prayers prepare the way for His will (Eph 6:18).
No one will fail by praying. People do not pray because they are unbelieving, tired, sleeping, or ungrateful. Imagine your child is at the top of her class and being admitted into a prestigious university. You would be so invigorated, no matter how tired or hungry you are. A place without prayer is a place where all people do is gather and work. But in places of prayer, we are told to “Be still,” for it is God who works. But if we don’t pray and just say, “I have to do it,” then how foolish are we! Us desperately struggling for days on end is nothing compared to God remembering us just once. We succeed in the world when we know the right people, but, in Christianity, all we have to do is pray.
Beloved saints, Satan thrives and feasts in the places without prayer. In contrast, Satan’s funeral is hosted where individuals, families, organizations, and churches pray. Satan hates most the saints who pray. His knees shake and his entire body cowers in fear. Why do we not realize this? When we fail to pray, our hearts are burdened by the heavy weight of this world, and we feel so pressed down without lifting even a single blade of straw. We lose our appetite, grow fatigued, and become ill. But when we pray, we experience heavenly gifts through the fervent workings of the Holy Spirit, and the world of glory will fill our hearts. Even if we tried to hold onto the earthly things, we wouldn’t be able to do so; we would only seek the things above. This is how precious prayer is.
In prayer is the joyful strength by which all generations of believers live as they receive the mighty and glorious commandment and promise of blessings. The Lord, who created the heavens and the earth and rules over all creation, says to you, “Ask.” How blessed we are! It is overwhelming when someone of high standing comes to our home, yet God comes to us and our families, sinners deserving of death, saying, “Ask of Me.”This is such a blessed command! It is a command of life, a guaranteed promise, which is given to the living and not the dead. It is not a difficult command. To live, we must breathe; it’s so simple. It is a command in which the possibilities are unlimited and anyone can follow, whenever, wherever we are and whatever it may be, no exceptions. We are so capable of doing this but we still cannot truly believe. We just don’t want to do it. There is no thanksgiving. We cannot remain awake, instead slumbering away in our drunkenness of the world. This is why we do not pray. From now on, when you petition for God’s help in all aspects of your life, increase the intensity of your prayers. Pray prayers that go forth, advancing step by step!
Matthew 7:8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
First, to pray is “to ask.”
“Ask” is aiteó in Greek and means “to request; to beg.” We ask, “Lord, what shall we do?”
because we do not know. Never forget. It is begging God, saying, “I cannot bear this anymore.”
Second, to pray is “to seek.”
“Seek” is zéteó in Greek and means “to search in order to find; to desire; to crave.” When God sees the desire in us, He says of us, “You serve Me and hope in Me.” Praying is hoping. When we desperately entreat the Lord with our requests, our prayers are conveyed to Him. When we pray, our respective angels will descend from heaven and add our prayers to their golden censers before ascending and reporting to God (Rev 5:8; 8:3-4).
Third, to pray is “to knock.”
This, too, is a command, not an option. One must knock. In Greek, “knock” is krouó. Knocking speaks of doing one’s utmost to fulfill a desire. With decisive conviction and patience one must desperately knock. When we knock and call out, “Lord, it is I!” He will open the door. Prayer is the active effort and desperate action that people do out of necessity to have their desires granted. It is certainly not remaining still, mumbling, being repetitive, or speaking nonsense. Ask before the living God, believing in the name of Jesus. Nothing is impossible.
Prayer will resolve our bitter, deep-rooted resentment. There was an unrighteous judge and a widow in a city. The widow knocked on the door of the unrighteous judge daily, to the point that he found her bothersome. He expected her to bribe him, but how much money could a widow have? Unable to withstand it any further, he determined to give her justice and waited, but the widow did not come that day. After Jesus spoke of this parable, He asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” He’s asking if He will find the faith that prays while believing to the end. I pray in the name of our Lord that we ask, not with humanly thoughts, but with the convicted faith that we will receive an answer because we ask in the name of Jesus Christ.
The dead do not breathe so their nostrils will not flare. But the living’s nostrils flare out when they breathe. This is similar to prayer. The dead do not pray; this could include pastors, elders, and eldresses. When they do pray it is only out of formality. Their prayers are void of earnestness and focus. Even as they are sick and dying, they only look for skilled doctors and the best hospitals. They do not ask God, just as King Asa did. God waited three years for Asa to seek after Him, but Asa never did, so God struck him dead in the end. Although he believed in God well for 39 years, he did not seek God for three years. His disease was not fatal, but he died as a result of failing to pray.
Prayer is the real task that we’re called to do in our everyday lives amid the struggle to survive. God is asking us, “Are you trying to make money with your business? Do you seek to live in comfort in your old age by sending your children to prestigious universities? Then, why do you not pray?“ Do not respond with, “My children are smart in everything they do. Their brains are extraordinary. They excel academically even without tutoring.” To do so would make you utter fools. See how King Nebuchadnezzar was demon-possessed for seven years for speaking such words (Dan 4). If you remain childless, pray the following: “Lord! Please grant us children and permit them to grow in You so that they come to believe in Jesus and understand the Word. Enable them to become Your children who stand with You in grace, possessing the ironclad authority to crush the devil.” Believe that God will provide! This is a guaranteed promise. In Matthew 7:8, the verb is written in the future tense passive voice (“it will be opened”), which means He will open it to us eternally. God is telling us, “I will indeed open it for you, so do not worry and just pray while believing in Me.” Ignorant of this, we attempt to work everyone out on our own. We try to be everywhere at once, skipping meals to get everything done just to return home with exhausted bodies and darkened hearts. We go great lengths by the sweat of our brow without a single cent to show for it. Our homes are in disarray and we’re frustrated with the negative state of our spouses and children. Everything is tangled up like trash. Why do we live like this? God tells us to pray; He says He will take responsibility for it all.
This prayer commanded by Jesus guarantees the answers to three desires: provision fitting with our asking; findings to our searchings; the opening the door in response to our knocking. According to Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, this verse presupposes “lack.” We ask because we are in want of the things that ought to be present. We seek because we have lost. We knock because the door is closed. It’s frustrating and unresolved. My income is cut off and no one is willing to lend to me because that person is closed off to me. Prayer is the key of life that supplies what is lacking, finds what is lost, and resolves what is unsolvable. Peter was guarded by four squads of four soldiers each during his imprisonment. Then, an angel appeared and woke Peter, and the chains on his hands and feet fell off. Even though they went through three iron gates, the sounds went unheard by the guards (Acts 12:1-19). Such a thing could only happen because the church in Jerusalem was fervently praying for Peter. This could not have occurred if it were not for prayer. I pray in the name of the Lord that this Word will become yours, for all the saints who are present today. Take this spiritual key. The moment you receive the key of prayer, the things that were closed will open, and your family that brings pain and anguish in your heart will change their attitudes overnight. Believe that God will bless your children with wisdom, understanding, intelligence, knowledge, and the presence of His grace.
Matthew 7:11 So if you, despite 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!
God is our Father. When we realize that we’ve become children of God, we spring to our feet for our joy is great (John 1:12-13). Who in this world can atone for our sins? God will not remember our sins for one reason alone: because we believe His Son was crucified and shed His blood for our sins (Rom 3:24-26). He sends His Spirit by whom we call, “Abba Father” (Rom 8:14-16). He becomes the Father of Spirit, the everlasting Father to all believers. The fathers in this world cannot be holy, but our Father in heaven is holy. His authority and power are boundless. All creation moves with one utterance from Him. And we’ve been chosen as His children. God brings about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night (Luke 18:7). He answers with good things (Matt 7:11). “Good things” are the heavenly gifts and He mobilizes His entire army to bestow good upon us (Rom 8:32).
James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Luke 11:13 “So if you, despite being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Our survival depends on prayer. It determines whether we live or die. Never forget today’s message shared through this unworthy servant. If you fail to pray, your very right to exist will be taken from you. Prayer is our breath. We must see it through to the end through prayer. Though you claim to have believed for many years, I pray in the name of the Lord that you now have the fervent and solemn resolve in faith to see your prayer through to the end. Pray with this determination: “If I don’t pray, then I will die, my family will not see good days, my children will fail, and my loved one’s health will deteriorate.” This year, see your prayers through to the end. Nothing is impossible when there is determined prayer. See how the seas parted and manna poured down. Praying is to receive, find, and to have the door opened. Prayer is a deep-seated sorrow that must be resolved (Luke 18:3, 18), or one will die from heartache. Prayer is the key that releases sorrow. Please believe this. Prayer is not optional; we must pray at all times (Luke 18:1; 1 Thess 5:17; Eph 6:18). We must stay alert in prayer (Col 4:2; Luke 21:36).
As Pyungkang members, you are all at the forefront of global missions. None of it is possible without all of you. When you come to realize that seven billion lives are waiting for you, I hope that you will devote your lives to your calling, being thankful for your entrusted tasks, and remaining faithful, even if it means dying to yourselves countless times. Do not be like those who are crazed and lost in the worldly temptations of praise and wealth. Rather, I pray that you believe that better is one day in His courts, the church, than thousands elsewhere. God will take responsibility for you. As a church at the forefront of global missions, Pyungkang is blessed with a meaningful existence and clear purpose. Believe that it is not human strength that upholds all of you, but the powerful workings of the Holy Spirit.
Everyone, please act now. Move with the Word given to you. Nothing is impossible for those who believe. There are no limits. According to the Bible, the nation that prays will live. Revival and prosperity will be brought forth, and God’s blessings, love, grace, and peace will abide in the praying nation. But even the nation that flourishes will perish when it fails to pray. It’s a downhill road. Be thankful for the Word that is given and do not despair over the heaping problems that loom over you like mountains; just keep praying, believing in your prayer. Do not doubt and think to yourselves, “I’m a nobody without power, honor or money. Will praying actually work?” When we kindle the fire in the heart of God who rules over all creation, the burning heat in His heart will compel Him to see us.
Joel 2:18 Then the Lord will be zealous for His land, And will have compassion for His people.
For Pyungkang to become a world leader in the future, there is much work to be done. Through His blessings upon us and our families, may our children, whom He has given to us as gifts, grow in faith and wisdom, so that they can come to possess great faith that is most pleasing to our God. And I pray in the name of our Lord that works of faith in God and works of prayers will cover the earth.
Rev. Abraham Park
July 29, 2008, (Tue) Yeoju Summer Conference
*This post can also be read in 'Champyungan'. (http://champyungan.com/en/)