and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and
it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7)
We were on our way to a meeting in
Yucca Valley, and passed a
number of interesting signs, as we drove deeper into the California
Desert. The Church of Morongo Valley, which, not surprisingly,
is in the heart of a community called Morongo Valley, had a marquee
containing these words: “Send
God Your Knee Mail.”
That’s good advice. My wife
commented as we passed the sign, “He’s
open to listen to your knee mail, 24 / 7.”
Interesting! As people, we’re often quick to tell a friend of
our problems, whether by
phone or email, but are often slow to tell God, and as my wife,
Genevieve, indicated, He’s always there for you and me.
Decades ago, the
Lord saw fit that I would spend many years in the mortgage banking
industry. At one point, I was visiting over 100 real estate
offices a week, hoping that the salespersons would use our loans for
their customers, instead of going to other companies. Turning
in ten to twelve hour days, seven days a week, took a toll. I
began to have a deep need to pray.
I stopped at a large
Tucson city park, one day, between real
estate offices, and sat next to a man-made fountain of water.
In front of me were the magnificent Catalina Mountains beyond the
fountain, as I poured out my heart to the Lord. This was to be
the first of many occasions where I set aside business in the middle
of the day, and sent my “knee mail” to the Lord. He responded
by comforting me, on a “24
/ 7” basis. God indeed answers prayer.
J. Kirk Johnston in “Why
Christians Sin” (1992, Discovery House, pp. 39-41)
Roger Simms, who was hitchhiking his way
home from the army on May 7th. He was disappointed
when a new Cadillac passed him, thinking it would not stop.
But it did. Roger felt he should witness about Christ to the
driver, apparently a successful businessman, but put it off.
Finally, he was just 30-minutes from home in the
Chicago area. Roger cleared his
throat and told the driver, Mr. Hanover, about the Lord. Mr.
Hanover pulled over to the side of the road. Instead of
ejecting him from the car as he thought he would, Roger was
surprised when the businessman bowed his head, received Christ, and
then thanked Roger, saying “This is the greatest thing that has ever
happened to me.”
Five years later, Roger
was married, the father of a two-year old boy, and had a business of
his own. While packing for a business trip to
Chicago, he found the small, white
business card Hanover had given him five years before. In
Chicago he looked up Hanover Enterprises. A receptionist told him it
was impossible to see Mr. Hanover, but surprisingly said he could
see Mrs. Hanover. He was ushered into a lovely office and
found himself facing a woman in her fifties. She extended her hand.
"You knew my husband?” Roger said her husband had given him a
ride when hitchhiking home from the army. “Can you tell me
when that was?” “It was May 7th, five years ago, the day
I was discharged from the army.” “Anything special about that day?”
she asked. Roger hesitated. Should he mention more? Since he
had come so far, he might as well tell it all. “Mrs. Hanover, I
explained the Gospel. He pulled over to the side of the road
and wept against the steering wheel. He gave his life to
Christ that day.” Explosive sobs shook her body. Getting a
grip on herself, she sobbed, “I had prayed for my husband's
salvation for years. I believed God would save him.” “And,”
said Roger, “Where is your husband now, Mrs. Hanover?” “He's dead,”
she wept, struggling with words. “He was in a car crash on May 7th,
after he let you out of the car. He never got home. You see--I
thought God had not kept His promise." Sobbing uncontrollably, she
added, "I stopped living for Him five years ago, because I thought
God had not kept His word.”
God does keep His word. God answers prayer.
preaching with great power, was asked the secret of his powerful
secret,” he replied, was “thirteen
hours of consecutive prayer.” When Charles
Spurgeon was asked the secret of his spiritual power, he answered: “Knee
work! Knee work!” not unlike our title for today.
John Bunyan said, “He
who runs from God in the morning, will scarcely find Him the rest of
the day.” Billy Graham uttered this sad truth: “Heaven
is full of answers to prayers for which no one ever bothered to ask.”
God keeps His word. He answers prayer, and He longs to answer
you right now.
In our Scripture for
today, we are told to simply “ask”
and our need will be met, “knock”
on the door of God’s kingdom, and His gates will open (Matthew
7:7). James made the interesting comment that, “you
ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that
you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
In J. Kirk Johnston’s book, we saw
that Mrs. Hanover lost her husband in this life, but Mr.
Hanover was gained for the
Kingdom of God. She had prayed the right prayer and
subsequently learned that God did answer her need.
How can you really
know HOW to pray, in a manner that your “motives”
(as James put it) become synonymous with God’s will? To know
the MIND of God, you must look TO God, who longs to lead you into a
life of prayer, within HIS purposes and will. God keeps His
word. God answers prayer. But you must LOOK to Him for
the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know
how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us
with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).
Here’s the way it
generally works: He prompts us to pray in the will of God. We
miss His urging and pray as it logically seems right to do.
The Lord Himself intercedes for us, and THAT prayer (the right
prayer) is answered. God responds to 100% of our needs, but we
mostly don’t understand. Just know this – He IS responsive to
your every need, and He loves you without limit.
Lord, I understand
that I often complain inside, when I should pray. Other times,
I do not pray as I ought, because I do not LISTEN to Your Spirit.
Teach me to listen, enable me to hear, cause me to pray, and Lord,
THANK You for loving me. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
Tel: (562) 688-5559
PO Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"