Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

How Should I Pray, Week 3, Day 2

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MATTHEW 7:8-10

The request, in the realm of the Spirit, in the Kingdom, and even in secular life outside of God’s rule, is powerful. A request feels like a needy appeal, almost a weak action. But notice the one who asks receives, the seeker finds, the knocker gains entrance. When our children are hungry and ask for supper, it is felt by us as a powerful thing and only someone deeply disturbed would ignore it or substitute a snake or stone for a salad or a pizza! Asking usually results in a positive response. That is why we drive a different way to avoid that person on the corner, with the sign, at the light. Or we give them some money, or we feel the weight of not doing so. Dallas Willard asks “Who really enjoys eating a sandwich in front of the family dog?...here is the face, the eyes, the paw on your knee…you know the rest. You are up against a fundamental force of the universe.”

Jesus uses human examples to illustrate the power of requests and by contrast, the power of requests in prayer. If we know how to respond to them, how much more will God, who is gracious to do so?

Prayer

Please restore my confidence in the power of asking, particularly the power of asking you. Grant me confidence in your great wisdom and your eager readiness to respond in ways that bless my life and deepen my soul. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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How Should I Pray, Week 3, Day 1

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MATTHEW 7:7-8

The request stands at the center of genuine community. A demand separates one from another. A request brings us together—we stand in a place where there is no coercion or necessity. This is the Kingdom place we were meant to live and thrive in. We get what we ask for but only through an acknowledgement that the other may refuse and we must accept this exercise of their freedom. We must not punish refusals. The instruction of Jesus to “ask and knock” so you may “receive and have the door opened” is primarily about the attitude we bring to others as well as to God. Jesus moves from asking what we need of others to asking what we want from our Father.

Prayer

Teach me to ask, Lord. Show me the way to make a request, without pressure or manipulation, without deploying guilt or threat. Help me to enter that place where I respect the one whom I am asking and where he and I, or she and I, are together. Amen.

 

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