Jentezen Franklin - Ask, Seek, Knock - Part 1
Luke 11. I'm going to read today, a little more than I normally read. But I want you to follow me because it's so important, and I won't preach long. "Now it came to pass as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of his disciples said to Him, 'Lord teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.' So, He said to them, 'When you pray, say'", Everybody out loud, let's go, "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who've sinned against us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one".
Now, then He shifts gears, this is how you're to pray. Now, watch this. He gives this illustration: "And He said to them, 'Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey and I have nothing to set before him.' and he will answer from within and say, 'Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, my children are in the bed, it took me 2 hours to get them to sleep, and they are in the bed with me. I cannot rise and give it to you. Bread? Three loaves? At midnight?' I say to you, though he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, his importunity, he will rise and give him as much as he needs.'"
Verse 9: "So I say to you", everybody read, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone, come on, who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened". Lemme finish, I'll finish the rest. "If a son asks for bread from his father, would a good father give him a stone? If he asks for fish, would he give him a serpent instead of a fish? If he asks for an egg, would he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those", here's one stipulation, it's all predicated upon this. He'll give it all, the Holy Spirit will give it all to those who what? Ask him. This story centered around midnight.
The parable that Jesus taught about prayer is actually teaching us what the posture, the position of the church should be right at midnight. Midnight is a type of the coming of the Lord. Midnight means Jesus is on the verge of coming. And what is the posture of the church? Jesus, in His school of prayer in this text, after he teaches the Lord's prayer, draws a beautiful mental picture of a desperate knocking on the door at the midnight hour. The posture of the church is pounding on the door saying, "I recognize I don't have bread". Bread is Jesus, the bread of His presence. This is my bread, take it. I don't have enough of you. I need more of you in the midnight hour, not just for me, but I have friends coming. They're on a journey, and if I'm not full of you, I can't win them. If I'm not sold out to you, they won't want what I've got. The position of the church in the midnight hour is to pound on the door.
The University of Chicago has a clock, that they have been keeping since the 1960s when the nuclear weapons were developed. The scientist who developed the nuclear weapons started this clock, it's called a Doomsday clock. And recently, in the year of 2022 they moved the hour hand has been on midnight, on 12 for a long time, and the minute hand has been moving as they assess the condition of the world, and the dangers of the world, of how close are we to midnight. And this year, in 2022, they voted. These are scientists, these are nuclear, these are cyberwar experts. These are not preachers and prophecy preachers, these are some of the brightest minds in the scientific world and they said that things are so dangerous, from pestilence to all type of things, that they voted to move the hand to 60 seconds from midnight, 60 seconds from midnight.
What should the position of the church be this close to midnight? How many of you do believe and recognize that Jesus is going to return to this earth just like He promised? Jesus taught, and He said that there are two examples of prayer I wanna give you. Number 1, "There's the Lord's Prayer," and He laid it out first. The Lord's prayer is grade school prayer, it's about personal needs. You go through. "Give us this day our daily bread". Gimme enough to get by today, give me bread enough for me. It's about me being full, me having what I need. First of all, it tells us that God delights in meeting our needs. I want you to get happy about that because God really does delight in meeting all your needs. He delights in you having home, and clothes, and car, and jobs, and blessing. He's not in any way against you having your needs met, He wants to meet your needs.
A loving father doesn't want to give you a stone if you ask for bread, doesn't wanna give you a serpent if you ask, simply ask, and acknowledge Him, and believe in Him, and trust Him. He doesn't wanna give you a serpent if you're asking for meat. And He says, "I delight in meeting your personal needs," and that's good that you pray like that. That's one example of prayer, but then He instantly shifted it in the same chapter, and He said, "Once you get your personal life straightened out, and you have bread, you're in a relationship with me, you're eating of the bread of heaven, you're taking Communion in faith, you're washed, you're cleansed", I want you to shift gears at the midnight hour because He starts talking about...
Now, when we move into the midnight hour, when we are getting, the signs of the times are happening everywhere, there is a position, it's grown-up time now. No, you can't be no casual Christian no more in the midnight hour. You can't have mama's religion and daddy and them really love the Lord. You can't do that; you can't play that game. You will be... I am talking to people, even as I am speaking, who will not be ready for the rapture. And the posture of the church is not one of just trying to hold on to Jesus. Once you get your daily bread, it's a piece of bread, one piece of bread. He shifts and He starts telling a parable, and He said, "I wanna give you this parable, it's centered around midnight". Prophetic alert. Prophecy alert.
There is a man who went to the house at midnight and started beating on the door at midnight. When the world is reeling and rocking at midnight, the position and posture of the church is it has grown from immaturity of "Just bless me. Just save me. I'm going to heaven. I don't really care about the world. I don't care about these lost people I'm working with. And yeah, I got family loss, but that's God business, and I guess He'll save 'em. Good luck". But there has to be a spiritual ness that comes in the church, that shifts in the midnight hour that the church becomes that man pounding on the door. "Give me bread for my friends. They're gonna die. They're gonna be lost. They're gonna go into eternity or even worse. They're gonna be left behind when Jesus comes. And I know God has my friends on a journey".
Notice they're not brothers. This is not for the family; this is not for the kingdom. This is for the friends, the people out there that are not brothers and sisters in Christ. They are lost and I'm not mad at 'em, they're my friends. I'm not mad at the gay community, I'm not mad at people who disagree with what I preach, I'm not mad at people of other religions. They're my friends, and God is going to allow their journey to be... If I can get... And notice he said, "Give me three loaves for my friends". We just think we come to church just to keep our little... God said, "I want you get a burden for a lost world and ask me for three loaves". Not just enough for you to get by, but you've got enough that you can share it, and people see what you've got, and they want it, and when they do you say, "Yes, here I was waiting on you".
Friends looking for bread, friends looking for authenticity, and realness, and honesty, and truth, and integrity, they're going to come our way. In the midnight hour the only question is will this house, will this ministry have bread? Or will we be just another church having church services where people don't feel life, and they don't feel, because that's what that bread is. Jesus said, "I am life, I'm the Bread of life. I can fulfill that hole in your soul, that thing that is missing, that gnawing hunger that alcohol cannot take away, that drugs cannot take away, that illicit sex cannot take away, I am the one who can fill the hunger of man's soul and I need a church that is pounding on the door saying, 'Bread! Bread!'"
Can you see that man? I'mma preach like I want to now. I can see him at midnight, "Bam! Bam! Bam! I need some bread," and the dogs start yapping, I could hear it all. I put my... All lights are going on, old granny's got a stocking on her head and her outfit saying, "What in the world is going on"? All the dogs are barking, babies start screaming, crying, and "Bam! Bam! Bread! Bread"! "Why? What's the urgency"? "It's the midnight hour and if we don't have bread, my friends are gonna be lost". "Oh, it's up to you Preacher. We pay you to do that". No, you do not. Jesus said, "You will be my witnesses".
You, you are to be so full of bread. How do you get full of it? Pray. What was the whole lesson? What was the whole parable about? Pray. Ask. Seek. Knock. You don't do it, therefore, you don't have it. In the midnight hour when we have bread, we must stir ourselves from slumber. The ten virgins were pure. they were holy, they were clean, but all ten of them in the parable Jesus told, were asleep. And they, all ten had to be awakened. I am your wake-up call. You gotta get a prayer life. "I'm just a teenager and, you know, I spend 14 hours on Facebook". You gotta get whatever it is, I don't know, they change it every week, but you gotta get a prayer life. C'mon! C'mon! C'mon! C'mon! No more excuses, this is your generation.
What you gonna do when you see the world going to hell? What are you gonna do when you see America in decline? Hey, it's on your watch, and there's gotta be some people who first understand, there's no politics or politician that can fix this nation. There's no intellectual answer. The answer is not in education. The answer is not in politics. The answer is not in medicine. The answer is not in technology. The answer is in getting on our knees. "And if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray like they need me, I'll turn the nation around".
Come on somebody, I feel this thing down in my soul. Revival is coming to Free Chapel and to the body of Christ, especially the churches that are knocking in intercessory prayer, crying, "Bread! Mr. Jones. Get up, Mr. Jones". "He's a little extreme". I am, and I'm getting worse the older I get. Intercessory prayer is the secret weapon of the church. If somebody don't want to hear your witness, intercessory prayer will go get in their car. Intercessory prayer will go get in their apartment where they're shacked up. Intercessory prayer will go in a drug den. Intercessory prayer will go behind prison bars. Intercessory prayer will go in an ICU unit. Intercessory prayer will go beyond the division in your family and the wall of no communication. Intercessory prayer, an invisible force of Heavenly Angels will begin to surround that property if you will pray. Clap your hands and say, "It's prayer time in America".