By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“You can tell how popular a church is by who comes on Sunday morning. You can tell how popular the pastor or evangelist is by who comes on Sunday night. But you can tell how popular Jesus is by who comes to the prayer meeting.” – Unknown Pastor, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire
I love to read. It’s how I relax, where I find entertainment, and my go-to pastime. I’ve been a book lover since middle school. When I first began reading for fun, it would take me quite a while to finish books. I wasn’t that quick of a reader. Over the years, I have found my reading speed getting faster and faster. However, there is one pitfall that I always fall into even though I’ve been reading for so long.
So many times, I’ll zone out. My eyes will float across the page but my mind won’t comprehend what I’m reading. Sometimes, it’s not until I’m at the end of the page that I realize I hadn’t actually read what my eyes had skimmed over. Maybe you’ve experienced the same thing.
Sometimes, I feel like we read our Bibles in a way similar to this. Our eyes float over certain verses and we only fully comprehend one half but ignore the other. Here’s one of the biggest examples:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
So many times, we become enamored with the good things in these verses. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Verse like this bring us hope and encouragement. But too often we skip over the most important part.
In this verse we see that God will answer us, we will find what we seek, and He will open doors. But each of these things carries a prerequisite that we should be careful not to skip over:
We have to call upon Him and seek Him.
We can look to these verses and expect God to answer us and open doors, but we fail to truly spend time in loving prayer to Him. Receiving answers to our prayer, according to this verse, requires that we spend time calling upon the Lord and seeking Him.
I know that I’ve been guilty of tapping my watch and thinking, You sure are taking your time God. Why haven’t you answered my prayer yet? It’s been so long! But in those times, I failed to truly devote time in calling out to God. I didn’t fall on my knees at the altar in desperation and intercede on behalf of my situation. I never fasted or spent time in His presence. I didn’t truly seek Him and the wisdom of His Spirit. Yet, I still expected an answer to prayer.
We should be persistent in our prayer, constantly crying out to God until He has answered our prayer because God always answers us. All it requires is that we call out to Him.
Parents: Explain to your children how easy it can be to focus on good parts of a passage and ignore the rest. Tell them how we need to call upon God so that He will answer us.