You Might As Well Ask

Do Not Give Up On Unanswered Prayers; Come Before God in Persistent Prayer

Dan Franklin
Jul 2, 2023    36m
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Have you ever felt like God isn't listening to you? This message reminds you to come to God in persistent prayer and to not give up on unanswered prayer just because you didn't get an immediate answer. In Matthew 7, Jesus encourages us to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Life Bible - You Might As Well Ask
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Unknown: [00:00:19] Today's scripture reading is from Matthew 7 verses 7 through 14, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. The Narrow and Wide Gates. 13“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." This is God's Word.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:22] Amen. You can have a seat. So I want to share with you how the service will end as we get into this time. The way that the sermon and also the service will end today is by us gathering together in groups of three, four, and five, standing up and praying with each other. Which as we go through the passage more and more, if you're paying attention, you're going to feel like that seems like that's where it should end. And I wanted to tell you now, because this is one of my favorite things that we do when we're gathered together, especially those of you that that were part of our church during the shutdown, that there was this sense of, all right, we can still kind of connect as a church. But we began to realize that there are things that you can only do when you're together. There are still ways that you can seek Jesus on your own, and you can listen to great sermons, and you can hear great worship music. But there are certain things that we do together, and when we are seeking and praying together as a church family, it's not a time where we have to wonder if God is pleased with that or if he's listening. It's one of those great moments where we're like, we know we're doing exactly what God has called us to do, that's where we're going to go at the end. Some of you have a hard time when we do this, you're like, you feel uncomfortable with it. Here's the good news, that's when God grows us, he grows us through our discomfort. So if you're like, I'm uncomfortable when we do that, you're welcome. I'm giving you an opportunity to grow, you can thank me later.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:50] That's how we're going to end the service, the way that we're going to begin the sermon is with the question, How bad do you want it? And there's lots of ways that we can ask this question or have somebody ask us this question. It could be about our grades. How bad do you want really good grades? It could be about our health. How bad do you want to be healthy? It could have to do with money. But this is a question that sometimes comes up, and we have to come to a point of asking ourselves, well, how bad do I really want this thing that I want? Because there's lots of things that we want, but a lot of those things that we want, we don't want them bad enough to do what it takes to get them.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:29] For example, I love reading, I've always got a couple of books going, and I'm always looking for new books to read. And so sometimes I'll get an email or I'll see a list of like, here are the top books that everybody should read, and I'll identify one of them that I haven't read before. And I'm like, all right, I should go for it, this will be stretching, this will be good, a lot of people think that this book is great. I remember this happening to me earlier this year where there was a book that I'd identified, and I was like, I'm going to read this book. I went to go get it from the library and I found out it was 700 pages long, and I was like, I want to read this book, but not that bad. It's like, I'm kind of interested, I'm not 700 pages interested, so I abandoned the project. And sometimes that's not even bad, sometimes we have to do that with different things. Some of you are like, I want to be fit, and I want to be really fit. And then you're like, no, I don't want to be that fit. And that's okay, you're like, all right, I want to be generally healthy, but I don't need six-pack abs, I don't need to do everything that it would take to get that. A lot of you are looking to be faithful in your work, and you're like, yeah, I want to continue to be good for the company that's employed me, or I want my business to continue to grow, but you've come to a point where you've said, you know what, I'm not willing to do what it takes to get to the top because that would be too much time away from my family and it would involve some different sacrifices I'm not willing to make. And that's fine, sometimes it's okay to answer this question How bad do you want it? By saying, not that bad. Like I want it, but I don't want it bad enough to do what it takes to get it.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:58] But we have to ask this question, Jesus is going to push us to ask this question about how badly we want to live life with Jesus as king, which is what the Sermon on the Mount is all about. And I love that Andy and the team led us in that song at the end about the idea that the Hallelujah is the best thing that we have to offer to the King. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is calling us to live with Jesus as king. I think there probably, if there's anybody, there's not many of us in here that wouldn't say, yes, I want that. I want to live with Jesus as my king. I want to live in greater closeness with him. I want to live in greater prayerfulness, greater obedience. I think almost all of us, if not all of us, we want that. But if we were totally honest, some of us would say apparently, I don't want it that bad because I'm not doing what it takes to get it, and that's a sobering moment for us to come to.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:58] And so in some ways, what we're going to talk about today is really important. It's important for all of us, but it's important because Jesus is going to let us know that if we really want to live with him as the king, if we really want to experience all that God has for us and what he's called us to, there's going to be some obstacles, it's not going to be easy. Some of us already know there are obstacles, otherwise, we'd all be there. There are obstacles, and Jesus is going to call us in Matthew chapter 7, verses 7 through 14 to persevere, to pursue God through those obstacles so that we can experience life with Jesus as our king.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:41] And just a preview for this, Jesus is going to tell us two specific obstacles. But I want to let you know that even while he's going to highlight obstacles, he is going to highlight promises. For those of us that are like, I want the bad news, I want you to tell me how hard it's going to be upfront, we've got to remember that Jesus is not only going to tell us, hey, it's going to be difficult, there's going to be some challenges, it's going to be hard, but he's also going to tell us why it's worth it, and that's what we're going to get to walk through in this passage. So real simple, two obstacles, two promises to help us to persevere through those obstacles.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:22] The first obstacle is in verses 7 through 8, so you can look up on the screen, you can open your Bible, you can open up your Bible app if you have it. We're going to go through Matthew chapter 7, verses 7 through 12, and Jesus starts with three commands, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." Now it might not seem as obvious, but Jesus is sort of burying an implied obstacle in his opening command here, and that implied obstacle is discouragement. He gives three commands, it's really one command, ask, seek, knock. The reason he's hammering us with these commands is because he knows that we might start off asking and seeking and knocking, but we're going to somehow get tempted to abandon that somewhere along the way.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:27] In fact, this is significant, in the Greek, which the New Testament is written in Greek. In the original Greek, all three of these commands, ask, seek, and knock, they're all in the present tense, and in the Greek, that implies an ongoing action. So one way that this could be translated in verse 7 is to keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. Don't allow the fact that you didn't get it right away, or that you didn't get an answer immediately, to discourage you. Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:03] Do you know who's really good at this first one? Do you know who's really good at keep asking? Yeah, you guys all got it, it's kids. If you're a kid in here, you are the best at this, you are the best at the whole keep asking. Like, can I watch this show? No. How about now? How about now? Can I have a cookie? How about now? I'm keeping after this. This is actually something that's frequently in the Bible about the idea of perseverance, so the idea is to keep asking. Some of you are like, well, I ask God for this six years ago, I prayed. I remember asking for it, but it didn't happen, so I haven't asked since. In fact, for some of you what you're going to be praying at the time that we have at the end is going to be related to a prayer that you've given up on. He says, don't just ask, keep asking. And keep seeking, staying on thinking back to when we were kids, when you play hide and seek, you don't just go and look under one bed and then say, well, I didn't find him. You look in every room and every closet and under every bed and in every hiding place, you keep going. And with knock, the idea behind knock is not just that you come up to the door, give a couple of knocks and nobody comes, and you walk away, the idea here is that you're waiting patiently and insistently.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:15] And here's the powerful thing with all three of these, with ask and with seek and with knock, the implied idea here is that it's not fruitless. The reason why you keep asking is because you're confident somebody is listening. The reason why you keep seeking is because you're confident that there's somebody who wants to be found. And the reason why you keep knocking is because you're confident that there's somebody inside ready to open the door for you. Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking, don't become discouraged, don't become distracted, keep after it. Now, some of you right now are like, ask for what, we're going to get to that, that's going to be a really important part of where Jesus goes with this.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:59] But look at where he goes next, in verses 9 and 10, he starts leaning us into something that's a profound truth about God. He says, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?" And both these examples seem very strange to us, but first of all, bread and fish were like the normal meal in first-century Israel, this is why Jesus takes bread and fish and multiplies it later on in the gospels. So he talks about the kid isn't asking for luxuries, the kid is asking for basic sustenance. Can I have some bread? Can I have a fish? And the image here is of the father deceiving him by giving him a stone, which sometimes stones look like rolls, and by giving him a snake, which is probably an eel of some kind, that's not going to give him any real sustenance. So it's like the father being like, oh, he's asking for his basic needs, I'm going to trick him. Like everybody, gather around, and watch this. He asks for bread, let's watch what happens to his teeth after he bites into the stone.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:00] And Jesus is implying, obviously no one's going to do this. Nobody's going to do this, nobody would behave in this way, and he uses it as a much more opportunity in verse 11. He says, "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Some of you are like, are we just skipping over the fact that he just called us evil? That's pretty shocking, if you, though you are evil...And at the very least, what Jesus is doing here is building a contrast, saying, certainly compared to God, we are evil. And even those of us who are parents, and so we think of this analogy of parenting, we all know there are times that we are very selfish and self-consumed, even though we love our kids. So Jesus is saying, you guys aren't anything amazing, and you still do this for your children, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him? Once again, he's saying, ask, because you're confident that there's a loving Father who's listening; week, because you know there's a loving Father who wants to be found; knock, because you know that there's a loving father who doesn't hold out on you, who's going to open the door?

Dan Franklin: [00:13:26] Now we're going to camp on verse 11. But first, we need to take some time on verse 12. And verse 12 is a famous verse, we call this the Golden Rule, but it comes at a strange time. It seems like Jesus has been building toward our relationship with God and seeking him and asking and knocking, and then he concludes it by talking about our relationships with others. So verse 12, famously, he says, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." And we might think, well, maybe that sums up the law and the prophets, it doesn't seem like it's summed up what he just said, though, it seems like kind of a right turn out of what he just said. But it's not a right turn, and here's the reason why, it's very easy for many of us as Americans to make a sharp differentiation between like, I got my relationship with God here and my relationship with people here, and they don't really have a lot to do with each other. And if you've been paying attention through the Sermon on the Mount, you know that's not what Jesus thinks. He does not think that there's a sharp distinction between what it looks like to walk in harmony with God and how we interact with other people. So when Jesus talks about the golden rule here, what he's saying is if you really are living in a full relationship with Jesus as your king, this is what you're going to look like, you're going to treat other people the way that you want to be treated.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:55] Now, some of you might know that people have said Jesus didn't actually make up the golden rule, that there are lots of different ancient traditions and ancient religions that have basically the equivalent of the golden rule in them. And that's kind of true and kind of not true. It's kind of a version of this is in a lot of different traditions, but Jesus turns it on its head. Because in all the ancient traditions, the way that the golden rule comes across is in the negative. It basically says this, don't do to anybody else what you don't want them to do to you. Which that, by itself, I just want to say that still is a pretty good rule, that still is pretty good. If you're about to do something, to say, wait, would I want them to do this to me? No, then I won't. That's good, but Jesus' message here is much more all-encompassing, he's calling us to positive, active action here. He's saying we should actually be thinking about the people around us and saying, do you know what I would want somebody to do for me if I was in their situation? I would want them not just not to do bad things, but to actively bring me a word of encouragement, to actively forgive me, even if I've wronged them, to actively give me food so that I can feed my family, to actively do something to help me, and that that is the sign of somebody who's living with Jesus as king. Jesus pauses to say, hey, you know what this is going to look like if you do this at the end, it's going to look like you living a life where you're looking at other people and you're choosing to do towards them what you would wish they would do toward you.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:31] But let's back up again one verse, back to verse 11, because again, this is the key in this first half, is that Jesus has already given us the obstacle. He's saying, some of you you've stopped asking, you've stopped seeking, you've stopped knocking because you're like, well, I did that once and it didn't work. He says, keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. Why? Because of the promise, and the promise is God's generosity, the promise is God doesn't hold out on his children. God is not stingy; he is actively generous in giving us what we need. Now, here, I said earlier, some of you are like, what should I ask for, what should I seek, and how should I knock? What is it that I'm after? And that's a good question because I think all of us know well, it can't be just anything that I want. God is not a vending machine; he doesn't do it that way. I don't just go to him and say, I want this and expect that he's going to give it. But apparently, Jesus wants us to know there are certain things that if we ask, we will get.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:36] And I think we get some insight into this because of not only what Jesus says here, but of something that he says in a parallel passage in the Gospel of Luke. I'll put it up here on the screen in a minute, but Luke 11:13 is almost the same exact verse as Matthew 7:11. He says almost everything exactly the same, but something's different and you'll spot the difference right away, partly because I have it underlined up there. So Luke chapter 11, verse 13, "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” In the Gospel of Matthew, how much more will God give good gifts? In the Gospel of Luke, how much more will God give the Holy Spirit? Now, it's possible that because these were two different things that Jesus said at different times, he could have totally different goals in what he said, but I don't think so. I think that what is implied here is that the good things, the good gifts that we're after are not just things that God would give us and that we would have, but it's God giving us, to put it crudely, more of himself. That we want the Holy Spirit leading and guiding our lives in ways that we don't have it right now. That we want joyful closeness with God in a way that we're not experiencing it right now. That we want God's wisdom and guidance to lead us in all that we're doing, that that's what we're asking for. And what Jesus is making clear is that if we are coming to the Father and we're saying, Father, I lack wisdom and I lack strength and I lack stamina, I lack all of these things, I need more power and leading from the Holy Spirit so that I can treat you as king. God is not going to say, nah, nah, I don't think so. He is always going to say yes.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:37] You might think, well, why do you have to keep asking? Well, for a couple of different reasons. One is that maybe part of the reason why God sometimes calls us to persevere in our asking is because he is building in us a good gift, and that good gift is patience and perseverance, that in some ways the good gift is him leading us to persevere. But then the other part of this is that sometimes we ask God for things that seem to be good, but we don't know the whole plan, and so God says no, because if he gave us what we ask for, it would thwart a greater plan. I mean, if you've been around the block a little bit, let me just ask, by a show of hands, how many of you can think back to something that you prayed for and you're really glad God said no? All right, a whole bunch of hands. You're like, I thought I knew what I needed, God knew better. Some of you are like, I can think of times that I was really praying for a job, a specific job that I had applied for. God said no, I was sad, and then later on I was like, God, thank you so much, thank you so much that you didn't give me that job, I would have missed out on this other one. Has anybody ever prayed for a certain person to become your husband and wife, and you're really glad God said no? Like a lot of us have done that, and you're just like, I thought I knew everything, I thought I knew what I wanted, I was really mad at God. Thank God he said no because he knew things I didn't know, and he had somebody else lined up for me. God gives good gifts.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:09] If right now there's something that you're asking for and you're seeking and you're frustrated, and the reason you don't have it right now is not because God holds out on you. God never holds out on his children. And you know how we know that? Because God didn't hold out on his children, he gave his beloved son to be sacrificed for all of us. God does not hold out on us; he promises his generosity. So Jesus says, you're going to face discouragement, you're going to want to give up, but keep going because God is a generous God who doesn't hold out on his children, that's obstacle and promise number one.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:51] Obstacle number two shows up in another famous passage verses 13 and 14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." So if obstacle number one is discouragement, to put it really simply, obstacle number two is difficulty. Jesus says, if you're looking to treat me as king, your life will be difficult. In fact, it will be more difficult than it would be if you weren't treating me as king. Jesus says there are two roads, kind of two paths you can be on. One of them is easy to find, it's easy to find, and it's even easier to walk on because it's wide.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:45] Hunter was up here earlier talking about some things with overseas. If you've been overseas, one of the things that you find out quickly is that in the United States, we are unique in how much we like our personal space, like we like to spread out. This is the wide road, guys, there's plenty of room. I mean, it's got a lot of people on it, but there's still plenty of room, you can bring all your stuff, you can bring all your friends. You know, sometimes people will say of religions, like, hey, all religions kind of funnel into one place, that's almost true, all false religions do funnel into one place, right along with every atheist, every materialist, everybody. Everything is funneling towards this one wide road where it's comfortable to walk, and you can even have people on that same road who are living totally differently than you, and it's okay because they don't bother you that much because they're way far away because it's a wide road and it's easy to walk on.

Dan Franklin: [00:23:37] And then Jesus says, but there's another road, it's hard to find and it's harder to walk on. In fact in verse 14, when he calls it a narrow road, the Greek word has to do with the idea of being constricted. So you almost want to imagine somebody hunched over as they're doing this because there are different trees and plants hanging down and you've got to duck and walk through a difficult road. Anybody in here, the kind of person that you're like, give me the bad news first. Some of you, you like, Jesus is kind of doing this right now. It's like, I'm going to give you the bad news first, I'm going to tell you that it's going to be difficult. Some of us, we come to faith in Jesus, and we start walking with him, and then something difficult happens and we're like, hey, I was promised that this wouldn't happen to me. No, you weren't, Jesus says it's a difficult road. In fact, in many ways, it's more difficult than if we were apart from Jesus. It's difficult because we're waging a war against sin, and you're looking around at other people and you're like, they're not even fighting, they're just indulging. It's a difficult road because you're looking to be generous and to not be owned by your money, and there are other people that are just getting whatever they want with their money, and they're not worried about generosity. It's difficult because you're called to forgive people that don't deserve it, and it's difficult because you're called to sacrifice things that you kind of want. It's a more difficult road to walk on, and Jesus makes that clear. He says, know what you're getting into, if you're going to live with Jesus as king, it will be a more difficult road to walk on. But he lets us know that there is a reward for this, because if we were going for a hike and somebody was like, hey, we got a road that's easy to find and easy to walk, or a road that's difficult to find and really hard to walk, we would choose the wide road unless we found out that they were leading to two different destinations. The wide road leads to destruction, the narrow road leads to life. And that one word life is the second promise that Jesus gives, life is at the end of this.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:48] Now, it would be tempting for us just to think, well, what Jesus is saying is that your life is walking on the narrow road, but at the end of your life, at the end of that narrow road, you get to heaven. And that's there's a truth to that, but Jesus is saying much more than that because the way that Jesus depicts life is not just what happens to us when we die, eternal life begins when we know God. And the more closely we're walking with God, the more eternal life we are experiencing. So in many ways, Jesus is not painting a picture of the idea that life is just at the end of the road, the idea is that we're on the road and you know who else is there? God is there; we're there, and he's there, and that means we have life.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:33] There's a great passage in the Gospel of John, in chapter 6, when Jesus gives the speech about him being the bread of life. This challenges a lot of people, a lot of people who call themselves disciples of Jesus, and then they leave. They're like, I'm out, this is too hard a speech, this is too hard an idea for me to take on because Jesus is basically saying, I've got to be everything to you. A whole bunch of people leave, and then Jesus turns to the 12 and he says, are you going to leave also? And Peter speaks up for all of the 12, and he says this, he says, "Where would we go, you have the words of eternal life." And one of the reasons why I love what Peter said is because he sort of is implying that they kind of do want to leave. Because he doesn't say, no, Jesus, we would never leave you. He says, where would we go? He's like, we looked, we looked around, and you are the best option; you are the only option because only you have the words of eternal life. And I don't think that Peter was just saying you have the words that tell us how to get to heaven, although that certainly is true, I think that he was saying only you can bring us the hope and the peace and all that we need, only you are revealing to us who God is. When you walk on the narrow road, it is more difficult, but you have peace in all of the trials because you have somebody working all things together for your good. And sometimes the narrow road is dark, and you can't see as well, but you have hope because you have the light of Jesus leading you every step of the way. You know that you have answered prayers. You know that you have God's ear. You know that he's working with you. And so when we go through different things and we're kind of like, yeah, all right, I do want to walk with Jesus, but that means that I'm going to have to sacrifice, that means that I'm going to have to forgive people who I don't want to forgive. The reason why we forgive people is because when we're forgiving, that's where Jesus is. He's right there, and we don't want to go anywhere else because he has the words of eternal life. And when we're seeking purity, it's not just because we're saying, oh, these other things are bad, it's because we're saying, well, seeking purity, that's where Jesus is and I want to be close to him. And persevering in love and care and going on a mission trip and sacrificing all of this I want to do because that's where Jesus is. And I want to be near to Jesus because he is my king, and he is my hope. Man, Jesus tells us, he tells us it straight, he says, hey, it's going to be more difficult, buckle up. But he says the reward outshines anything that you've lost. And there are many people in here, that if we had a testimony time, we'd have people in here who would be able to talk through trials and losses and difficulties and what it has cost them to follow Jesus, but what they also would all say is what we lost pales in comparison to what we've gained. Jesus says it's a narrow road and it's difficult, so buckle up for it, but it is the road that leads to life.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:41] So let me return to that question again. How bad do you want it? Maybe some of us, maybe we're going to end up praying is, to want it more than we currently do. Because if we're just raw and honest, some of us are like, I do want it, but gosh, I'm not sure I want it bad enough to do what it takes to get it. And when I say do what it takes to get it, don't misunderstand me to be saying you have to earn your way into God's family, that's not what's going on at all. This is not just for you if you're a non-Christian, this is for you if you're a Christian. Saying, all right, I'm in the family, I'm welcomed in, my sins are forgiven, I have full access to God and I'm just sort of limping through life without him. I'm just sort of moving through life on my own, and you know what, I want more of him. I want more of the Spirit's leading, I want more love to be thrown into my heart, and I want more of his wisdom to lead me where I'm going. How bad do you want it? Because according to Peter, it's not just that there are no other options, but there are no other options that lead to life.

Dan Franklin: [00:30:44] So in a minute, I'll give some introduction to it, but in a minute, we're going to break into groups like I said, we were going to. You're going to stand up, you're just going to look at people around you, groups of 3, 4, or 5 people around, you're just going to gather and pray. Don't introduce yourselves to each other, just pray. Don't spend time giving prayer requests, sometimes we're like, we're going to have a prayer meeting and we spend 45 minutes giving prayer requests and 15 minutes praying, we're not going to do that. So don't even give prayer requests, you pray for yourself, and you pray for what God has put on your heart. And maybe for some of you, it's a prayer request that you gave up on long ago and you're like, God, I got to re-enter into this; I am praying for victory over an area of struggle that I gave up on, and I'm reentering the battle. God, I'm praying for a family member who's not walking with you, and I gave up on it, but I'm re-entering in, I'm asking again. God, I'm praying for more of your wisdom, for more of your joy, for more of your peace, for impact for people around me, for guidance on what you're calling me to do at this church as far as ministry, God, I'm coming to you and I'm praying for me. And what might happen is, as you pray for yourself, somebody else in your circle might say, I'm going to pray for them on that too, I'm going to cosign, I'm going to join in in that.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:55] After an appropriate amount of time, I'll come up here, and I'll close our time in prayer. But let's not hold out because we have a Father who hears our prayers and doesn't hold out on us. So go ahead and stand up where you are, turn to some people around you, and again, just get right into it, let's lift our voices to God in prayer.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:34] Father in Heaven, I thank you so much that you are not confused by all of this noise, and that you have heard every prayer. Father, I even believe that you heard some of the unspoken prayers that were on people's hearts, and either they didn't have time, or they just didn't have it within them to say them out loud. Father, thank you, you know our heart cry's, I pray that you hear and respond to our heart cry's as we say, ultimately, there are many things that we want, but most of all, we want you, and we want to want you more than we want you right now, and that's the work that you have to do because we fall away and we get distracted. Father, I pray that you lead us as a church family to be so dedicated to Jesus as our king that we really do stand out and give the world another option, that they could say, I could go lots of places, but only in those who are following Jesus do I find the words of eternal life. May we be a part of this? May you hear prayers? May you encourage hearts that decided to reengage and call out to you about something that they had given up on. Father, encourage those hearts, give us glimpses of your goodness, and give us encouragement in our hearts of your grace toward us as we follow you on the narrow road, trusting you all along the way. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.



Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848