Prayer That Obtains
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
~ Luke 11:9
There are many conditions of true prayer. For instance, it must be earnest. There are times when we know we are on the line of God’s purposes, when we may dare to be importunate. Prayer must be offered in the Name of Christ, i.e., it must be in harmony with the nature of Christ, which was devoted to the glory of God and to the blessing of men. That Name will eliminate the ingredient of selfishness which will mar any prayer by whomsoever offered. Prayer must also be based on some promise of God, which is presented to Him as a cheque or note is presented to a bank.
All these are but steps to the faith that obtains, for it is, after all, not prayer but faith that obtains promises. That is why our Lord lays so much stress on receiving. Much of our prayer fails because we forget that He said, “Every one that asketh, receiveth”; and again, “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them” (Mar 11:24).
So far as one can describe the process, it seems something after this fashion. The soul reverently kneels before God, glorifying and praising Him for His greatness and goodness. It is conscious of needing some very special gift which is promised. In the Name of Christ it presents the request with the confidence of a child. With earnestness of desire and speech it unfolds the reasons why the gift sought is so necessary. But it does not leave prayer at this point to go away in uncertainty as to what the issue shall be. By an act of the spirit, the suppliant seems to receive definitely the spiritual or even the temporal gift; and realises that it has received, that the special grace has been imparted, to be discovered and used under stress of need; that the temporal gift has also been received, though it may be kept back until the precise moment when it can be delivered, in much the same way as a present may be purchased long before the time of handing it to its destined possessor (1Sa 1:15, 1Sa 1:18, 1Sa 1:27).
This is what Christ meant by “receiving,” and it has a mighty effect upon prayer, because it makes it so much more definite. It leads to praise, because we are able to thank God for His gift. You must take as well as pray.
We rejoice that our Saviour ever lives to intercede as our High Priest and Mediator. Through the rent veil, let our prayers ascend to Thee mingled with the fragrance of His merit in whom Thou art ever well pleased. Amen.