Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be
opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh
findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matt.7:7-8)
This is one of the most amazing promises in the entire Bible. It almost seems unbelievable, except we know that Jesus Christ is trustworthy, and if he said it, (and he did), then it has to be true. But he must have known that we would find it hard to believe, because as soon as he had said it in the first sentence, he immediately said it over again in the second, just to assure us that this fantastic promise means exactly what it says, and is not to be brushed aside as a mistake. It's no mistake! Try it, and you will see for yourself. Prayer really does work, and we really ought to use it more often than we do, because, as someone said, "More things are wrought by the power of prayer than this world can even imagine."
A good many years ago, when I was a fairly new Christian, I experienced a simple little miracle, if there is such a thing, which has always been very important to me, because it illustrates so graphically that this wonderful promise is indeed true. I had stayed up late one night working on a business proposal, and my wife had long since gone to bed. I finally finished my work, and went out to the kitchen to get a glass of milk. There was a light on over the stove, but the switch to turn it off was broken, so I reached up to unscrew the light bulb, which usually went out with one twist. This time, however, it didn't, so I immediately gave it a second turn, without thinking to give my fingers a moment to cool off first. That was a bad mistake, because I burned my thumb very badly.
First I tried putting butter on the burn; then I tried ice; but no matter what I did, the throbbing did not abate. Finally, as a last resort, it occurred to me to pray. As I was about to do this, I thought, do I really believe that God can and will heal this burn? and I had to admit that honestly, I could not say that I did. Well, somehow it didn't seem right to ask him to heal it, if I didn't even think that he could; and besides, I had read that Jesus often said such things as "According to your faith, be it unto you," and "Your faith has made you whole." And so I started to try and work up enough faith so that I could say yes, that I believed he could and would heal my thumb.
It took about half an hour, with my throbbing thumb spurring me on to ever greater efforts to believe, and finally I could honestly say that I believed the Lord could and would heal me. "Lord, please heal this burn," I said out loud; and AMAZINGLY, the pain ceased INSTANTANEOUSLY and completely. I was awestruck. Nothing that has ever happened to me has ever left me so dumbfounded. I just sat there without knowing whether to laugh or cry, and I did some of both.
It was a most glorious couple of minutes, until another surprising thing happened. I suddenly had the thought, "I wonder if the pain will come back, and IMMEDIATELY the throbbing pain returned. "Oh, no," I said. "I was healed, and I know I was healed; and no one is going to take that healing away from me. I believe it, and I claim it, in Jesus name, so be it!" As quickly as before, the pain was gone, and this time for good. That was a bad burn, and there should have been a blister on my thumb the next morning, or at least a mark, but there was nothing.
God heard my prayer, and he answered it in a dramatic way, I think in order to teach me something, and to encourage me in my walk with him. I have since learned that he answers in different ways. Sometimes, he waits for HIS time instead of right now; sometimes he gives us what we need, instead of what we want; sometimes he gives us something much better than that which we asked for; and some times he says "No," just like any loving father sometimes does. But of one thing I am absolutely sure: God loves me; God blesses me; and God always hears and answers me, whenever I speak to him.
Contributed by Stephen B. Elmer firstname.lastname@example.org
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