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Sermon – 1/19/03 –
Kneel Mail - Matthew 7:7


Knee Mail

Ask, 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) tells of 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.

James Duncan, preaching with great power, was asked the secret of his powerful preaching.  “The 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 His direction.

 “In 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
    "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)


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