“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 also taught his disciples.’ So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.’
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, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. ‘So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will 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 who ask Him!’”
The Prayer Taught by the Lord
We have read some verses from the Gospel of Luke chapter 11 together today. Through today’s Scripture passage, the Lord taught His disciples “the Lord’s Prayer.” The Lord wants to teach proper prayer to His children. He speaks the truth of how to pray with faith. The Lord illustrates this truth through a figurative story and we will take a look at that first.
The Lord said, “If one of your friends visited you at night and said ‘I do not have anything to eat. Please lend me three loaves of bread,’ would you say ‘My friend, can’t you see what time it is right now? It’s too late now and my wife and children are asleep. Therefore, I cannot give you bread now. Come back tomorrow morning if you want?’”
Let’s think about this. Although it may be bothersome and we may not have much to give, who in the world would refuse when a close friend comes and asks for help. No matter how late it is at night, anyone would want to help out a close friend if he knocked on the door continuously like that and asked earnestly, “Please lend me something to eat for I do not have anything to eat.” Then, what is this saying? It means that if flawed humans grant the request of a person seeking earnestly, then our God would surely hear and grant the things His children are seeking.
That’s right. Our Lord is saying, “I say the same thing to you. Ask, and I will give it to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock on the door, and I will open it for you. I will definitely give it to you. Wouldn’t you grant the request of your close friend no matter how bothersome it may be if he came and asked earnestly! If you are like that, how could I turn away from the prayer that you seek?” God always hears and grants the things we plead to our God through prayer. That is the main point of the Scripture passage we’ve read today.
If there is something we desire in our hearts, we must pray and ask God based on the faith that God always grants the things His children ask in prayer. A prayer simply means a plea. It is a request for help. It is asking for something. You and I must certainly pray with faith. That is correct. Before we pray, we must first have faith that the Lord will surely grant it. Even with such full-fledged trust and faith needed in prayers, we must have faith that is based on the fact that the Lord has become the Savior for you and me. We need to have the faith of believing that the Lord saved us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, became our Shepherd, and that we have become His sheep and receive His guidance. As we go to a close friend with trust that “This friend will surely help me when I go to this friend,” we must also seek God trusting Him wholeheartedly. When such faith is firmly grounded in our hearts, we can finally pray to God and God grants whatever we ask for.
The Lord Is Speaking to You and Me Now
God is saying, “Ask if you actually have such faith. I will give it to you if you ask. Seek, and I will surely let you find it. Knock, and I will surely open it. Have faith in Me and ask, for I will surely grant it. Have faith and seek. Have faith and knock. This is the command and the promise of the just God who surely wants to help us.
This wholehearted faith is really important to us. We believe the entire Word the Lord has spoken here without omission. If there is anyone here who does not have faith, ask for that faith by praying to God now. You will experience that God gives such faith if you seek earnestly. You can pray together when the forerunners of faith pray if it’s difficult for you to pray by yourself. Though a young saint does not have much faith, all his wishes are communicated to God if he prays with the predecessors of faith in the Church. As a parent would not refuse his child’s request just because he could not speak well, the Lord understands our hearts and grants the request if we just believe clearly and pray, even if we were not very good with prayer and the things we said weren’t logical. I am sure we will experience the Lord answering our prayers if we just pray with even tiny faith that professes, “The Lord is my God and my Savior. The Lord has saved me and He has become my Father. He has become my Master. He will surely grant what I ask because the Lord told me to ask. I will surely receive from the Lord if I pray with faith.”
The most pivotal faith for us believers is the faith of believing that “We have received salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” We must first have this faith. The faith we need next is the faith of believing, “Everything will be fulfilled according to the God’s promised Word.” That faith is also the faith you and I definitely need because the Lord has already promised this to you and me.
Actually, we the saints who have received the remission of sin are people who have been clothed with very special grace from the Lord. They are special people who have become the faithful children of God by receiving salvation before the presence of God because they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit the Lord has given. They are the privileged class of the Lord who deserve to be exalted. That’s right. Among the people living in this world, only the born-again who have believed the gospel of the water and the Spirit have special privilege. Because only they have the privilege of praying and having their prayers answered. People who want to have their prayers answered by God must first be born again by believing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Of course it’s not the end of everything just because you have become born again by believing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Even if a person has been born again, he must not just believe in his privileged status and pray dispassionately. Instead, he must continue to pray with faith that God answers his prayer, because God really answers the prayer when a person prays with that kind of faith.
We Pray to God Whenever We Do God’s Work
We the saints pray to God for the work of spreading the gospel saying, “Let the gospel be preached throughout the entire world. Let many coworkers arise.” We also pray with prayer topics that may seem impossible. Then we experience even those things that seem unlikely to actually be fulfilled. Through such a process, you and I understand a very important truth once again and confirm our faith that “It is very important to pray with the faith of believing in God’s promise.” When we believe in God’s promise in our hearts like this and pray, then we experience the fulfilling of all things and receive blessings of God. Then, how much do you believe and pray? Though how much you believe in your heart is the question, we can pray with faith because God has already given faith to you and me who have been born again and given us the privilege of praying also. Our prayers will surely be answered if we just pray properly with faith that God will grant the things we pray for according to His promise if we just have faith of believing, “The Lord will surely grant this.” We must have faith that believes our prayers will surely be answered sooner or later because God surely answers anything that seems righteous and beautiful in God’s eyes. The only thing we really need is that faith.
We want to guide the souls of our family members during this discipleship training camp. Therefore, we need to first pray to God for our family members that are close to us. We must also pray for the spread of the gospel throughout the entire world because we want to share the Lord’s gospel to all souls. What else is there? Aren’t there things you absolutely need in your life? We must join together and pray for the things we need. Let’s bring forth everything as prayer topics and pray to God. Then, our God will definitely answer that prayer.
God said, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” What is the meaning of this Word? It means that the Lord will give to us whatever we want. God will definitely give it to us if we want something and ask earnestly, and that is not something bad in God’s eyes. God will give the thing we want if it is appropriate in God’s eyes.
There are some things that seem impossible because the door seems to be locked firmly in our eyes. But if that is really God’s will and if it is something God is pleased with, then God fulfills even those things that seem impossible. Believe in your heart that our Shepherd who has great ability fulfills all things if we just pray with faith. The Lord said God would open the door, make us receive the things we like, and find the things we seek if we just have faith,
Prayer is like breathing in our life. However, how much do we ask God for the work of spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the entire world? How much do we seek this? How much do we knock on the door for God to open the way for this? We often neglect prayer even though prayer can be the absolute condition for us receiving a lot or a little of blessing of God while we are living in this world. Let’s, therefore, not neglect prayer. There is nothing that cannot be fulfilled before the presence of the Lord if we really believe in Him in our hearts and pray.
Though we really do not have any power, the power of God Almighty is infinite. The Lord said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). We sometimes think, “It goes against my conscience if I just seek my own things through prayer. Therefore, I should just work diligently than just praying.” But because this prayer for the gospel is not only for oneself and it is seeking the profit of God’s Kingdom and profit of other souls, it is right to pray with faith, believing that it must definitely be fulfilled. God will definitely fulfill this if we pray earnestly, pleading that the thing we need for the spread of the gospel must be granted. God definitely grants the things we seek if we ask for the preaching of the gospel and ask for the spiritual things instead of just seeking fleshly things for myself. Therefore, we must first learn to pray for the Kingdom of the Lord and His righteousness. Let’s pray for His Kingdom and for His righteousness, and the work of the preaching of the gospel of the Lord throughout the entire world, instead of praying only for ourselves.
God certainly grants the things we pray for when we pray, “Lord, let many coworkers arise overseas. Let all the people who read our books and hear the gospel of the Lord receive salvation. Give them understanding and faith. Allow faith to my family and my relatives so that they may receive the remission of sins and live for the work of saving other souls that God is pleased with. Lord, I want to live for the gospel. But, my flesh also has things it needs. It needs material things; a good environment and a job. I need material blessings, too. I need a good environment. I also need faith. Protect me from all dangers. Give me faith so that I may give all my heart to serve the gospel.” He really gives all these things. Prayer is asking for things we need in our life. We are God’s people who can pray before the presence of God with proper faith.
Even though it cannot be done with our power and it cannot be done with the physical power of the saints and the servants of God, I believe that all such things can be fulfilled when we believe in God and pray within the righteousness of God and within His benevolent will. You and I have such boldness. No matter what problem we face, we can pray with boldness before the presence of God if we ponder whether it is something God is pleased with or not and come to the conclusion that it is something God is pleased with.
See whether it is profitable to the gospel. Then pray earnestly before the presence of God if you think it is profitable to the gospel. Then, our Lord will grant everything. Even though I do not have power to achieve it, God Almighty definitely achieves this.
Should we look at one example? During the 2002 FIFA World Cup, I prayed much to God for our country to do well. It would be profitable for our preaching of the gospel if our team did well and the name of our country became well known throughout the entire world. Therefore, our country, Korea, made it to semifinals and many people all over the world came to know the name of our country. As such, God fulfills everything the righteous asks for in prayer if it is beneficial to the fulfillment of His will. We have boldness in our hearts because we pray with the heart to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the entire world, and not only for our flesh. Therefore, you and I do not have to be anxious in our hearts when we pray to God since we have bold faith. We will definitely have our prayers answered if we ask boldly with such faith and wait unwaveringly. That is the power of faith.
Can our physical needs be treated well without God’s help? No, they can’t. We always need God’s help even when it comes to our physical affairs. Even our flesh needs to do well to preach the gospel of the Lord. Our body must be healthy. Food and shelter must be taken care of. There must be a good environment and caring. Our flesh always needs God’s help just as our soul needs God’s caring. You and I need things for our flesh just as we need things for the righteous work of God’s Kingdom.
Let’s first pray for God’s Kingdom, and then serve the righteousness and will of God and live with faith. We must pray first for the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then, we can pray for the things we need for our flesh. God gives us this and that if we seek the fleshly things after first seeking the righteousness of God. That is the privilege of God that has been given to the saints who have been born again.
Think about it. The president would grant all requests of his son within his authority that the president of a nation could grant as long as it is not illegal. That is same with our God the Father. Our God also fulfills all things for you and me who have become His children. All our prayers to God reach Him because we really are His children, and our faith is not lacking even though we may be lacking in everything else. Our prayers are definitely answered when we pray according to God’s will, “Give us this and that. Make this and that to be fulfilled well.” When we follow the example of the predecessors of faith and go forth together with them, God is pleased with us and answers our prayers perfectly. There is such rationality and logic to the prayers of us who have been born again. When we pray to God, we do not pray nonsensically like the advocates of superstition or shamanism pray, “I plead with you. I ask you. I do not know you, but I am pleading to you.” Our prayer is the truly rational prayer that is offered to God Almighty.
That Is Why We Need To Learn How to Pray to the Lord
In today’s Scripture passage, the Lord says, “Pray like this,” and teaches us how to pray.
He said we must first pray, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”
Before we meditate on this passage, we must first have the heart of keeping our faith before we pray to God. You and I can depart far away from God if we just let our flesh drift wherever it flows to because you and I have weak and inadequate flesh. We must draw the line between us and the other people if they have different faith, no matter how close theirs seem to be similar with our faith. If you are the born again saints, you must first think of God and His work as His people and join your hearts together with God’s people instead of associating fleshly with people who have not been born again. Whenever you face such sinners, you must always think, “I am one of God’s children. I am God’s people. You are a person who should listen to the gospel to be my brethren.”
We must also pray first for God’s righteous will to be fulfilled throughout the world and go forth together with God’s Church with faith. If you do not know what prayer topics to set for yourself, and if you don’t have much to pray about, I want you to try to follow with the prayer topics of the predecessors of faith in God’s Church. You must learn from them how to pray properly with faith within God’s will even though you cannot do it with your own faith. You can gradually live according to God’s will if you learn little by little how to pray starting with small faith like that. That is the spiritual life of faith that you and I must live.
Prayer is seeking everything that we need in life. Asking for help before the presence of God Almighty is prayer. God surely gives real help and answer to prayer when God’s children seek help. We the saints must have faith first of all. I believe that we the saints and the servants of God who have been born again must have the faith of believing that “God will surely fulfill this.” When we desire to share the gospel of the Lord to many young people and pray for this, this will definitely be fulfilled. I also believe that many people, including the scholars and the lay Christians overseas, will read our books and definitely receive the remission of sins.
What is the reason? It’s because we wrote these books with unwavering faith. Therefore, it is natural for people to be transformed because this gospel of the water and the Spirit is the exclusive Truth. Many people gained some understanding after reading our two books on Romans. They do not come to understanding forcibly because we coerce them into obedience to our teachings. Rather, they attain spiritual understanding naturally saying, “I have believed totally incorrectly until now. This gospel of the water and the Spirit is truly correct!”
These days, many people encounter the gospel of the water and the Spirit through our web site, as many as 13,000 to 14,000 people a day requesting our books. Some people visit our web site because we sent out invitations through search engine advertisements and many others also visit our web site after reading stickers, name cards, and books our coworkers throughout the world have distributed. The Kingdom of God is becoming expanded as more people visit our web site, and more and more people request our books. Many people have actually been transformed spiritually through our books. Many people who have received and read our books now send e-mails to us and they testify that they have met this Truth while they were seeking God. God surely makes people find Him like this when they seek God.
God certainly gives to you and me whatever we seek Him. Therefore, we must continue to seek to God. Is there anyone in the world who could say, “Ask of me, and I will surely give you whatever you ask from me?” There is no one other than Jesus Christ who can do this because He alone is God Almighty who created the whole universe and saved us from all our sins. Think about it. Do you have the power to say, “Ask of me anything you need, and I will give them all to you?” We do not have such love to give to other people and we surely do not have the power to do so. How often do we find ourselves as parents powerless to do what our own child we have raised so preciously asks from us? However, our God who has created this world and saved us from sin says to you and me, “Ask of Me, and I will give it to you. Seek, and I will give it to you. Seek from Me. I will give it to you. Knock, and I will open it for you.” What a powerful Word, and what a blessed promise this is! How great is the promise of God that says He will give to us whatever we pray to God. There is no one other than God who can make such a definite promise. There is no other human being in the world that can make such promise.
Think about it. Did Siddhartha Gautama, who is considered as one of the Four Sages of the world promise so? He could not say, “Believe in me. Then, I will forgive your sins.” Rather, he said, “Achieve deliverance of your soul by gaining understanding through ascetic practices. Become a god yourself by being free from your greed. Become a Buddha by yourself.”
What about the other saints? No matter how great Socrates was, the only thing he did was to show up a philosophical thesis that said, “Know thyself.” Confucius and Mencius also could only talk about virtues that humans should keep in grandeur fashion. They only spoke of the things to do to keep a good relationship between humans saying, “Keep the three fundamental principles in human relations and five cardinal rules of morality.”
But what did Jesus Christ our Shepherd, who is God Almighty say? He said, “Do you have sin? Then, come to Me. I will blot out all your sins. I have blotted out all your sins through the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, believe this. Receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Do you believe? If so, you have received the remission of sins. Do you have anything else that you need? I will give it to you if you ask Me.” He gave to those who ask Him at the right time as He had promised. He also provides their necessities continuously at the right time. Our Lord not only gives us salvation, but He also continuously grants things we need. What amazing power is that! What amazing promises of blessings of God! We must believe in this. That is the true faith.
We must pray for this summer discipleship training camp; pray for the salvation of our family members, and also pray for God’s blessing upon your material things, your health, and the environment you live in. Furthermore, we must pray to God to live out our faith properly. Because it is God’s will for this gospel of the Lord to be preached throughout the entire world, we must also pray for that wholeheartedly. Remember this: God fulfills His will through us the righteous, and He blesses us who have become His children.
The thing we must learn through today’s Scripture passage is this: How much do we actually pray? How much help do we seek from God in our everyday life? Do you try to take care of most things by yourself instead of seeking help in all things? That’s actually true. We take care of things ourselves more conveniently if we can do so with our own strength. Then we finally plead and pray to God only when there is something beyond our capability. However, there is an even greater aspiration that we could not help but seek from God because we cannot take care of it with our own ability. There is an even higher ideal, and to achieve it is beyond our ability. Therefore, we must definitely pray and seek God’s help in order to fulfill this.
However, it is appropriate to ask God for all things whether it is something we can do or not. We do not even have ability to make a living if God Almighty takes His blessings from us. We the righteous need God’s help every day, every moment we breathe, and every minute and second. Therefore, we must pray to God unceasingly.
We are really living in a vain world. We live in a sinful world where evil people do whatever they want to do. That’s why we must pray to God to protect us. We must pray to God to protect us from the hands of the evil ones, protect us from evil spirits and protect us from evil environment, too. The more we pray, the more God helps us. God answers such prayers of ours. The righteous, who have been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, can live with faith each day through God’s answer without dying.
The righteous, who have been born again, must definitely learn such faith and prayer. I as well as you must learn these. God promised, “I will definitely give it to you. Therefore, pray.” Then, how evil is it before the presence of God if we procrastinate and do not pray from our fleshly standpoint? What about you? How much do you seek God who says that He will definitely give whatever you ask? How much do you believe in Him? Have you ever prayed just once for something and thought, “If it happens, then it happens. If it doesn’t happen, then that’s fine, too?” Now, try asking earnestly. That is the faith that receives the answers to your prayers.
We Must Really Pray Unceasingly until God’s Will Is Fulfilled
Think about the person that appears in the figurative story from today’s Scripture passage. He went to his old friend and pleaded with him continuously. Do we really, like this person who pleaded to his old friend until he received what he needed, seek the presence of God until the thing we need is granted? Let’s think about this by ourselves, and have faith like this person. Those who pray with clear faith that God grants when we seek God are people who have true faith.
Do you believe in God’s promise? I do, too. We who are like this must really pray for all things. You must pray for the salvation of your family members, pray for your future, pray in relation to you serving the Lord now, pray for your spiritual life of faith, and pray to receive blessings in physical things. We must hope and pray that all things including material things, health, and environment are fulfilled. We must pray and seek God for help in all things spiritually and physically. I believe that God will give us the things we need at the most appropriate time. We live out our faith praying every day like that. God definitely helps. If we are the righteous who have received the remission of sins, that is, if we really do not have sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with our hearts, then God will definitely give such blessings to you and me. We must truly live with such faith.
I want you to be men of prayer. Actually, there isn’t much time to pray for the saints who work hard for the gospel. You and I also do not have much time to pray individually. Therefore, we must pray a lot when we are together like this. We must have this kind of meeting often and we must never omit prayer time when we gather together like this. We must not think prayer to be bothersome. Whenever God’s children gather together, they must pray for the righteousness of God, for the upright work of God, and tell God of our personal situation and seek God’s help. We must seek the Lord’s help for the things we need for the Church, seek His help for everyone’s personal faith, and also seek His help for those who are young in faith. Do you understand?
We also should pray for the preaching of the gospel to the young people in Korea and young people throughout the entire world. We have to pray for many people to attain their salvation after reading our books, and for such books to be published properly and continuously. We should also pray for our brothers and sisters to have faith in their hearts. We must also pray for God’s blessings upon our environment and flesh, and pray for bountiful blessings of material things and blessing of health.