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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Today we continue our series titled Listening To Heaven’s Infallible Teacher.

The messages for the next couple of weeks will be coming from the Sermon on the Mount.

Today we are talking about Prayer Is for Real.


In Jesus name we pray.



Matthew 7:7 AMP

Prayer and the Golden Rule

7 “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 7:7-11 AMP

Prayer and the Golden Rule

7 “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. 

8 For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened. 

9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will [instead] give him a stone? 

10 Or if he asks for a fish, will [instead] give him a snake? 

11 If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.


Prayer is for real!

It cannot be explained away psychologically as an expression of wishful thinking.

Nor can it be ignored as the residual of some ancient social custom.

Prayer is neither child’s play nor is it a religious exercise.

It is as much a part of life as breath itself.

But the question still comes, though often unspoken, “Can we, in a scientific age, continue to believe in prayer?”

This question is not peculiar to our generation.

People have always questioned the value and effectiveness of prayer, even in the time of Christ.

Some have honest doubts, some are skeptics, and still others question the value of prayer because they have observed professing Christians misusing prayer.

In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ unequivocally said, “Prayer is for real! Ask, and it shall be given to you, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you.”

In Jesus’ assertion that prayer is for real, He offered a pattern, a promise, and a proof.

  1. A pattern.

Jesus offered a pattern for prayer in Matthew 7:7.

It is a pattern of asking, seeking, and knocking.

The followers of Christ recognise that He, more than any other person, could teach them how to pray.

They were fascinated with His preaching, yet they never asked Him to teach them how to preach.

They would sit for hours and listen to Him teach, yet they never asked Him to instruct them how to teach.

But when they heard Him pray, they came to Him and said in Luke 11:1, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Jesus continues to stand as the supreme authority on prayer, for His whole life was bathed in the spirit of prayer.

He knows what it can accomplish, and He knows the power it can exercise.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus outlined the pattern to be followed.

  1. “Ask”.

To ask means that we acknowledge our need to admit our own helplessness.

We all experience times when we can only come before Christ asking.

We are very much like a blind man on a corner who asks for someone to take him safely across the street.

He asks and at the same time offers nothing in return.

True prayer is always offered in this spirit.

Such prayer can never be ours if, like the self righteous Pharisee, we compliment ourselves and criticise others.

Prayer has nothing to do with personal merit or promise of doing better in the future.

Real prayer is in the words of the publican who said, God be merciful to me a sinner” in Luke 18:13.

Therefore, asking means that we acknowledge our need.

Asking means that we address ourselves to a person.

We cannot ask some inanimate object for a response.

Thus, when we pray, we address ourselves not to a thing, but to a personal God who hears and cares.

Certainly Jesus was saying that God is always approachable.

He is present with His ears open and His hands extended.

Asking also means that we can pray specifically.

Paul said in Philippians 4:6, Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.

Our is not to filter out our requests before offering them to God, but like a little child, we are to open out hearts to God.

He is a good and loving Father who will answer those requests that He knows are best for us. 

And He will answer them in such a way as to fulfil His will.

To pray is to seek God’s will.

Many times we do not know what God’s will is, so we simply let our request be made known and ask God to grant it only according to His will.

In such a spirit we can pray with confidence, knowing that if we pray according to God’s will, He will hear us.

B. “Seek.”

Seeking conveys the concept of effort.

In the model prayer, in which Christ told us to pray for our daily bread, He was not instructing us to sit down and passively do nothing.

Rather, He was indicating that we should ask God to give us the opportunity to earn our daily bread.

When a farmer prays this prayer, it means that he is asking for the opportunity to prepare the ground, plant the seed, cultivate the crops, and tend to the plants.

And when we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we are praying that will become so committed in the matter of personal soul winning and building up one another that God’s kingdom will be hastened.

C. “Knock.”

The third step in Christ’s pattern of prayer is to knock.

Knocking carries with it the concept of effort plus persistence. 

Jesus illustrated this with the story of the man who continued to knock late at night on his neighbours door until the man got up and answered his request.

In Luke 18:1 Jesus taught that we are “always  to pray and not lose heart.”

We may allow lack of understanding or disappointment or bitterness to cause us to give up.

How long must we keep going on praying?

Until the answer comes.

2. A promise.

In Matthew 7:8 Jesus offered us the promise that if we ask, we will receive, and if we really seek, we will find, and if we continue to knock, the door will be opened to us.

The verbs, ask, seek, and knock are in the present. 

Thus Jesus is telling us to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.

We are never to be discouraged in prayer.

God promises that He will always answer our prayers.

He may not answer them in our way, but He will always answer them in His way, which is the best way.

He alone has perfect love, perfect understanding, and perfect wisdom.

The question comes, “To whom is this promise made?”

It certainly isn’t a blank cheque made out to all humankind.

It is a promise made to followers of Christ who are sincere enough to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.

Prayer is for real when the pattern is followed and the promise is accepted.

3. Proof.

In verses 9, 10, and 11, proof is offered.

Here Jesus used the analogy of a father kindly responding to the request of his son.

Then He drove home the point that if we as frail, sinful human beings desire to answer our children’s requests, our heavenly Father  surely desires to answer the requests we bring to Him.

Proof that prayer is for real is found in the God to who we pray.

It is found in His nature, His resources, His wisdom, and His love. 


Prayer can become real in your life if you follow these simple steps, first, decide what your need is and get it clearly focussed in your mind.

Second, in light of what Scripture teaches, determine if your desire is right.

Third, put your request in writing.

This will help clarify your thinking.

As you talk to God, get in such a place or such a state of mind that other things will not distract you.

Remember that you are talking to God and not to a human being. Share with God what you will do as His instrument to help bring about the answer to your own prayer.

Answered prayer is more often a cooperative effort between a person and God than simply a unilateral action on the part of God.

When your prayer is finished, never forget to be grateful to God and express gratitude through thanksgiving.

Be willing to accept God’s answer, whatever it may be, remembering that God’s will is always best.

When you have taken these steps, you will discover through the pattern, the promise, and the proof Christ offers that prayer is real!

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings


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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us


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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia


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