Jentezen Franklin - Ask, Seek, Knock - Part 2
Luke 11, 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.'"
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. I love the fact that when the hounds of hell were on the loose, when demonic forces are assaulting families, and marriages, and everything good, and everything right, calling evil good, and good evil, that the bible says the church is supposed to not becoming more and more like the world, thinking like the world, acting like the world, but we are to move into a position of intercessory prayer where prayer starts taking over the church. Everything we do is bathed, and saturated, and marinated in prayer, and we're pounding on the door. We know the friends are coming, we know the lost are on a journey, they're headed this way, and we're a ministry you can trust because we will pound the doors of heaven until you give us three loaves for our friends.
Listen to what Jesus said. Everybody say, "Jesus said". If a church starts doing that in the midnight hour, "Though the master of the house would not give bread to him because he was his friend, he gave it to him because of his persistence". He gave it because of his persistence, his importunity, he kept coming back, and coming back, and pounding harder, and hitting harder, then that's when Jesus taught that marvelous verse. Ask! We've turned the whole saying around. We used to say, "Pray and you don't have to worry," but now we say, "Worry and I'm not gonna pray". It's sad, it's sad. It's like, prayer shouldn't be the last thing on your list, prayer should be the first thing that comes to your mind when crisis comes, and that's a good temperature taker of how spiritual you are.
If you think the moment stuff comes and hits your life, if your first thought is "Let me fix it. Let me call so and so. Let me call the doctor. Let me call this one, that one". Nothing wrong with doing all that, but the first thing ought to be, if there's any God in you, "Oh, Jesus! In the name of Jesus"! What's wrong with us? We gotta be more spiritual than just showing up at church. We gotta get some loaves of Him to where He is what we have to offer more than anything else. And when a church, when a choir, when the ushers, when the workers, when the pastors, when the singers, when the congregation, when they all move into a position of intercessory prayer, God starts loading down the bread, and He said, "Though he will not give it to a friend", this guy is knocking on that door.
This is not a light rattle, He's not using that little brass thing, this is, c'mon church, that's about how our prayer life is, thick. Did I hear somethin'? I close with this. I'm sure somebody, when that man, I'm sure there was enough lights on, I'm sure somebody screamed out the window, "You better stop. We gonna call 9-1-1". This man said, "Nope. It's the midnight hour and I don't have what I need". That's the miracle, that's the miracle of the story. So many people don't even realize they don't have what they need in the midnight hour. They've grown cold, they've grown lukewarm, there's no prayer in the home, there's no prayer in the family, there's no prayer during the week. And this man, recognizing the desperation of friends coming and "I don't have what I need. I'm barely hanging on myself, and I'm supposed to be a witness to them". And he said, "I don't have what I need for my family, this loss, for people I work with, I don't have what I need".
Jacob wrestled with an angel, the angel could have whipped him from the very beginning of the wrestling, he could have destroyed him, he pulled his hip out of joint, he could have taken his head off, but the fight was fixed. And when the angel said to Jacob, "Let me go," under his breath he was saying, "I hope you don't" because if you would hold on, if you would say, "I will not let you go until you bless me," your name is gonna be changed from Jacob to Israel which means 'a prince with God' and you're gonna be given power with God and favor with men. You're going to win such a victory. A door is going to open for you Jacob that will change his... I stood on that ground this week in Israel, which His name was changed from Jacob to Israel, he had 12 sons.
I stood in that city of Jerusalem. I stood all over that sea of Galilee. I stood and I preached from those places where I was and taped, and all of that, and I'm standing there and realizing it all came because a man would wrestle. I'm simply saying to you Jacob, and I'm saying to every one of you, and if you don't hear anything else this preacher says you might ought to write this down. You're going to be crippled before you will be crowned. Joseph there's gonna be a pit before there is a palace. And the only question is will you hold on through the crippling long enough to get to the crowning? Will you hold on through the pit long enough to get to the palace? Because if you keep pounding, and knocking and wrestling, even though you go through a season when you've been crippled, you will be crowned, He will bring beauty out of ashes, He will turn the battle, He will do what He promised in His word.
Take a praise break at every campus and praise the Lord, even for the crippling, even for the pits because on the other side is a crown, on the other side is a palace, a high place. Asking for bread, I've got some friends on a journey, and I know they're gonna come by me. The Apostle Paul said, "I count myself accursed that I might reach the Gentiles". He had such a burden for those people who were lost that he said, "I'll take the curse". 1 Theologians said Paul said, "I'll be willing to go to hell if Israel can go to Heaven". Moses had the same spirit, he said, "Blot my name out". God said, "I'm gonna destroy and I'mma start all over just like I did with Noah, but you're good, you're good. You've got bread. You're mine. We're friends. I've talked to you face-to-face Moses". And Moses said, "You blot my name out if you blot their name out".
That's that three-loaf, friends are coming. "What do you mean"? Three loaves, not just enough for me and my family, but for my state, for my nation, and for my world. Three loaves. "Somebody's coming. You should be witnesses, you shall be what I will use". And on the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter got so full of the Holy Spirit that he presented to the world at the birth of the church, three loaves. In Acts 2:38, here's the first loaf of bread: "Repent, everyone of you". And loaf number 2: "Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin". Loaf number 3: "And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost for this promise is to you, and to your children, and to those that are far off. They're just out there, but if you'll get in this position, you can repent. You can be baptized, and the past washed away. And then I will fill you with so much bread that it will be passed down for generations".
And I'm hungry for all three loaves this morning. I'm done. I want you to get so full of this bread, that when they come to your churches, and they're atheists. And they've had been raised in other religions or no religion. That when they come asking, "Alright, if you got it, let me have some. It took you years to get me here. I'm here, now, I wanna feel something real, I wanna experience something powerful". And Jesus gives this illustration, He says, "If a natural father, when they ask for bread, would not give a stone; if a natural father, when they ask for me, would not give a serpent or a scorpion, how much more will the Holy Spirit give to them that ask"? But the question is what are they gonna get when they come to Free Chapel? And it's not just up to a pastor.
I'm telling everyone of you you gotta get a prayer life, but boy I feel it, I feel it, I feel this thing. As I was leaving my hotel room, I... You say, "He spiritualize everything". I do, I believe in God, I know how God speaks to me. I was walking down the hall of the hotel, had two bags and my briefcase, and I'm pushing those little things, and the last door that I see before I turn right in the elevator is right there, in Jerusalem. But as I'm leaving, the last door, wasn't on the other doors, and because it was the feast of Pentecost and all the Jews were down, the Jewish people, the religious Jews were down in the lobby by the hundreds. They were with their little families, and they had their little... It was just the sweetest thing, and they were celebrating the Feast of Pentecost, and it was just, I'm just in awe.
And to the Jewish mind the Feast of Pentecost is the celebration of harvest and so you know what was on this hotel door? Somebody had taken a stalk of harvest, of wheat, a stalk of wheat, and had taped it on their door. And so, as I'm leaving Jerusalem, and I got my bags and I'm walking through there, I look and the last thing I see is a reminder the harvest is out there. It's coming. Friends are coming. They're coming. They're coming. You're in the midnight hour. They're coming. The only question is will this ministry pound on the door of Heaven until we get three loaves? Stand to your feet please. I'm giving a different altar call this morning.
I realize if you need to leave, you need to leave and there's nothing wrong with that, but if you're here today and you would say, "I recognize my need for more of bread. I know our family. I know me personally. I know I've got friends. I've got relatives. I've got lost loved ones. I've got people searching. I've got people on drugs. I've got people who are alcoholics that are in my family and even if they came to me now, I'm barely hanging on myself, I need"... Here's what I'm calling you to, I'm calling everyone today who will hear the call to prayer. To say, "God, I need three loaves. Fill me first this morning". This is different, I'm going into overtime, I'm warning you, but if you would say, "Pastor I feel the call to prayer, I need a prayer life," and I'm asking everyone who will give yourself, Jesus turned to his own disciples after all those miracles, after all those blessings and He said, "Could you not tarry with me for one hour in the midnight hour"?
This is midnight, I'm about to be a, "Could you not tarry one hour"? "Well, you putting it on us Pastor". I sure am 'cause I'm gonna give an account for this flock. We're not playing games, we got to pray. It's three loaf time 'cause they're coming. Turn to somebody and say, "The lost are coming. Your sons and your daughters are coming. Your grandchildren are coming". The question is will you be pounding? Your friends. You know your friends? You know your friends that are struggling? Well, come on, come on, from the top balcony, wherever you are, at every campus, fill the front, throw your hands up. You don't have to kneel, you can if you want to, but throw your hands up and let's... Well we can't all get down there. The hungry will, the ones who want three loaves will, the three loaf will. And hold up! Even as a family, come. What could be more important?
It's the midnight hour. We must awake from slumber. We must! We must! The only thing that can do it is prayer, is prayer. And I don't want the praise and worship team to pray for you and fill the room with noise. I want you to lift your hands, I want you to lift your voice, and I want you to begin to pray all over his building. Pray for your sons, pray for your daughters, pray for your grand... Close your eyes, forget about people around you, lift your hands and begin to knock. You have not because you ask not. Ask and you shall receive; knock and it shall be opened; seek and you shall find. C'mon, c'mon, pray. All over this room, we're going to pray, we're going to pray, we're going to pray. Seek Him, seek Him, seek Him.
Lord, we love You, we seek You, we praise You. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Lord, fill us with the Holy Ghost. Give us all three, all three loaves. Baptize in the Holy Spirit, give prayer languages. Let sons and daughters speak in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. Fill this house with bread, fill this house with miracles. They're coming. They may have to see a miracle to believe, so let this house be full of miracles. They may have to see some other sign of wonder. Fill this house with bread. We want three loaves. We're not asking for little things, we're not asking for a little bit of power and a little bit of Sunday morning church, we want all three loaves, we want the power of the Holy Spirit, we want the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
I need some intercessors to pray. We want more than tinkling cymbals and sounding brass. "We walk not by might nor by power, we walk by my Spirit," sayeth the Lord. Oh God, we cry out. Oh God, we recognize we don't have enough bread. We recognize we're in the midnight hour. We see the signs of the times. And they're gonna be two different worlds going on. The church that's just playing church and there's going to be a church, a remnant, that are going to be praised. fasting, crying out, and saying, "I've got bread" to a lost and dying world. I wanna be that church! Fill me. You know, when He multiplied the bread, He put it in the disciples' hands first. And then as they started, got so full of what they had, they started giving it away, and then it multiplied, then it multiplied. You need to get full of Him right now. Say:
Come on, Bread of heaven! Bread of heaven! Bread of heaven! Bread of Heaven. Fill us! Fill us! Fill us! Give us three loaves for our state, for our nation, and for our world. Use the influence of this church. We ask you for bigger things, we ask you for greater things, we ask you for it exceedingly, abundantly, above all we could ask or think, we ask you for miracles, we ask you for miracles, we ask you for miracles. We ask you for our friends that are lost, our friends that are suicidal, our friends that are strung out on drugs somewhere today. Oh, give us bread, send them our way and give us so much bread that they don't have to go to another bakery. They don't look anywhere else but the cross.
"This is my Body. This bread that is broken for you". Pray! Pray! Pound the door of heaven. Pray! You and you may be amazed at how much God prospers you if you'll be willing to ask. Gimme three loaves and I'll build orphanages, I'll do something that God weighs on your heart, for the poor, and the needy, and the lost, just looking for people who will pray.