Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 May 2022 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.       And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Well, a good Tuesday morning to you my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! And may this day be an interesting and fruitful one in your life. And if you doubt it will be, then just do as that favourite song of ours declares: ‘Count your blessings, Name them one by one, Count your many blessings, and see what God has done.’ Yes friends, I think that’s a useful habit we should all cultivate: counting our blessings every day. 

And why is that you ask? Because we will find that we always have more blessings than troubles, and that will boost our spirits at the beginning of each day and enable us to surrender our all much more easily to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as we ought to, if we expect to have fruitful days. 

Unfortunately though, we humans, even Christian folk, seem to focus on our troubles more than our blessings, even though they are much fewer in number. And that’s the deceitful work of the enemy, as he tries to lower our faith and the sensitivity of our spirits, thus making us poor, unhappy, complaining and miserable apparitions of our true selves, which, in Jesus, are truly bright and glowing like the noonday sun! 

That brings us to this amazing scripture, the words of Jesus to His disciples, after He had cursed the fig tree. ‘And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away? Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:20-22) 

Oh my people that is indeed a magnificent and most powerful scripture, and if we believers would take it more seriously and practice it more often, many of us would not have the miserable and complaining lives we now have! It’s all about faith in Christ, about believing what He’s said from day one right down to now! So, let’s listen to Jesus once again as He pronounces on the awesome power of prayer. 

In His Sermon on the Mount, He offers this discourse. ‘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. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt. 7:7-11) 

And right here, let’s turn to the scholars for some very good explanations on the subject of prayer. They say: ‘The three imperatives, ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (vs.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth! We have no excuses whatsoever for failing to become spiritually mature in Christ because we already have it all implanted in us; that’s the fruit of God’s Spirit, and we only need to water it and properly tend it with prayer, goodness and meditation on God’s Word, for it to grow into a beautiful example of Jesus Christ! 

And the scholars go on to further explain: ‘Both Jesus (Luke 18:1) and Paul (1 Tim. 2:1) emphasized the importance of prayer, noting that people ought always to pray. Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23). 

When we pray, we should follow the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father – beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name (Matt. 6:9-15; John 14:14). Illustration: Jesus pointed out that God heard the prayer of a humble publican rather than that of a proud Pharisee (Luke 18:14). Application: God will answer our prayer when we obey Him (1 John 3:22), ask in faith (Mark 11:24), have pure motives (James 4:3), and live peaceably with our mate (1 Pet. 3:7). (First ref. Gen. 3:8-13; Primary ref. Matt. 7:7; cf. 1 John 5:14-15 ).’ 

Yes my brethren, prayer is very important in our Christian walk, and it must not be taken lightly, as so many of us do. And merely asking God for stuff does not constitute prayer. It calls for all the other things that the scholars mention above there. And most important of all, it calls for obedience to God, and then asking for things that fall within His will for our lives. And we have the perfect example of the latter when Bruh Paul asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn from his flesh, and what answer did that great man of faith receive? 

The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor, 12:9a) So God did not answer Bruh Paul’s prayer there because it served His purpose more to leave him as he was. His awesome power would be even more noticeable in Bruh Paul’s weakness. And though Bruh Paul was obviously disappointed, listen to his response nuh. ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

And who says our God doesn’t have sense of humour? I note that with a chuckle, because the Lord might have purposely led me to that scripture this morning, when I’m experiencing some serious joint problems and pain, and man’s medication and prayer don’t seem to be helping much. So, I guess I’ll just have to take pleasure in my infirmities and let God’s superior power shine through in my weaknesses. (smile) And there are many more scriptures we can note to show the power and importance of prayer, but that would take forever (smile), so let’s go home now declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

In strong and confident voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now, let’s go out and do just that nuh, share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with others, so they too can come to LOVE and worship Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…and Jesus spake a parable unto them…to this end…that men ought always to pray…and not to faint…not to lose heart… (Luke 18:1) 

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