In Matthew 7:8 we find these words: “Everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
The words used in this passage, “ask”, “seek”, and “knock”, imply continuous, persistent action. Jesus didn’t tell His disciples that they should only ask once, seek briefly, or give a single knock when they pray to their Father. One of our age-old questions in our Christian walk is why there are often such delays between the time when we pray with our requests and when we get answers to those prayers.
Has God not already made provision for all of our needs and every aspect of what He has called us to do in this life even before we ask? Couldn’t He just give us the answer we need immediately? Yes, He could, but He usually doesn’t do so. There is much more purpose in our prayers than just the asking and the receiving. It also has to do with us learning more about who He is.
Much happens between the time when we pray, make our request, and when God actually makes delivery of His answer. Sometimes we are driven past a casual asking to have our needs met, to an intensity in our prayer life that we may not have gained otherwise. The intensity of prayer makes a mark on our spiritual life that we are more likely to remember, and it also tends to ultimately benefit those around us as well. In the end, when God does bring the answer to us (which provision He had prepared long before we even asked) both we, the petitioner, and those that sometimes become involved by agreement in prayer with us, experience the goodness and wisdom of God in a way we probably would not have otherwise. Unfortunately, most of us humans tend to forget the good things God has done on our behalf if it has not made a mark in our spiritual walk that we will remember.
So, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to fall into the trap of dropping our prayers because we think God is not hearing us. God is the only one who sees the entire picture. He is constantly fitting all things together for the maximum effect and benefit for all concerned. God is the one who is building His Kingdom, but He allows us to participate in the process. What an honor and privilege it is! So, stay persistent. Don’t just ask, seek, and knock — once. Keep asking, seeking, and knocking. God will always answer in His own perfect timing. Even His “no” to a request will turn out to be “perfect.” Be Patient in your prayers but flavor them with Persistence!
Now to the House of Blessing…
In the last call I received from Pastor R, he shared a few details of another story that came about a few days ago. As it was told to me, Brothers Omar, Ayeat Rahmani, and a large group of HOB missionaries were out ministering to people when a man named Muhammad approached him, inviting them to his house. I was told that this man was from a mosque that had been visited by Omar and others sometime previously. Muhammad was very polite to the men and told them that he would very much like to have some old friends of his have the opportunity to meet Omar and the brothers. If Omar would give him ½ hour, he would be back and have his friends with him.
As promised, Muhammad was back within about half an hour and had 15 men with him, one of them an Imam. After the initial introductions, they sat down and spent the next two hours or so sharing the Good News of the Gospel with the men and answering questions. These men had apparently borrowed a Bible from a believer some time ago and had been sharing it between them all and reading it. The result from the time of sharing with these Muslim men was that they decided they believed what they had read and now were better able to understand who Jesus Christ really was and what Christianity was all about. They then asked to be prayed with so they could also become followers of Jesus, the true Messiah. The missionaries then took the hands of each of the 15 men and prayed with them. They asked Jesus for His forgiveness of their sins and for Him to become the Lord of their lives. What a blessing it was! The harvest keeps on coming in…
Pastor R reminded me again that there are at least 1,200 refugee camps, just in Syria alone. The House of Blessing is not able to get to them all of course, but there are HOB communities of believers all across Syria, in Iraq, and Western Iran. HOB also has communities of believers in Jordan from the very beginning of the outreach that began in early 2012. The HOB missionaries reach out to as many camps as they possibly can. They of course also minister to the people in the cities and towns scattered in and around their communities of believers. Much seed is planted and God brings in the harvest. The fields are genuinely white!
Pastor R also told me that Sister Mufiedah is back with her group of missionary women. We are thankful for the Lord’s mercy in bringing her through this difficult time and getting her back on her feet. She, and those she is again working with, are a big part of spreading the Gospel to as many as will listen. It appears that a great many do. Even if people don’t accept Jesus as their Messiah immediately, the seed is planted, someone else waters, and if it has taken root, God brings in the harvest in its time. An excellent example of this is the Muhammad and his 15 friends above.
As usual, the missionary teams continue going out and visiting with as many family tents as they are able. During this very hot part of the season, most of this is done in the evening time and often into the late night when it gets a bit cooler. HOB was able to distribute another ten truckloads of water this week. Clean water is so critical for these people. Many have died of cholera just from contaminated water. During the extreme heat, however, more are dying from heat stroke than by the typical viruses or diseases.
Over 2,200 families were visited, shared with and prayed for since the previous update. Communion services are also continuing and the teams go from camp to camp, sharing with all that have accepted Jesus as their Savior and would like to participate. Generally, there are about 45 attendees per service and these services continue to be made available five times a day as both teams, Hafezeh and Feriel, and Fatima and Marian, along with their volunteers move from one refugee camp to another.
Pastor R continues with his health struggles but knows that our Father in Heaven will continue to sustain him until his task has been completed. Please keep him and all of HOB in your prayers.
Thank you all for your earnest prayer support and financial help for the House of Blessing! God is good!
Forever in His Service,