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April 30, 2006

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Sermon Outline

“When will God Give Me What I’m Praying For?”

Prayer Can Change Your Life  -  Part 2

 

Introduction

 

Ever said the following:

-         "I tried prayer and it didn't work.  I had a need and prayed about it.  After I'd prayed for a while, nothing happened and I didn't see any results.  I'm disappointed and I don't believe in prayer." 

o       If we were honest we'd probably all say there are thousands of prayers that go up but there are very few answers that come down. 

        Why is that? 

        What causes that? 

        Is prayer fake, a superstition, something we just con ourselves into and pretend that it works but it really doesn't? 

 

Sometimes when we pray, we are told to wait for answers.  Sometimes we never get what we want and we have to trust that God is doing what is in our best interests.

 

However,

Are there ever times when God does not give people what they ask for in prayer?

 

The scriptures show us some times when God completely ignores some people's prayers. 

 

The Bible shows us that there are some conditions, some rules that must be followed if we have a chance for God to give us things we are asking for.

 

Until you meet God’s conditions/ rules for answered prayer, you may be wasting your breath.

 

What are five conditions for God (to give me what I’m asking for,) to answer my prayer?

 

Ask yourself, “Am I doing the following?  If not…why should I expect God to give me what I’m asking for, to answer my prayers?”

 

God operates under a certain order.  He has laid it down for us and we are to follow it.  We don’t do just whatever we want to do because we are not in charge!

 

 

 

1.  We must listen

John 15:5-7

 

Asking means we are also listening.

 

The Word of God is His Words spoken, so when we read it, We are hearing what He has to say. 

 

my words remain in you

 

We must truly listen and what the Bible says becomes part of who we are.

 

-         God requires that we listen to Him first before He listens to us. 

o       If I don't pay attention to what God says to me in His word, why should He pay attention to me when I talk to Him? 

o       If I ignore His word, why should He pay attention to what I say to Him?

        He tells us to listen first because if we listen, we will…

        Know what to ask for

        Know what to not ask for

o       Often, we beg and plead God for things He already said the final Word on!

        EXAMPLE: Like the goober who never listens to the teacher and asks the dumbest questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  We must be right with God

John 15:6.

 

-         this is a picture of the opposite of someone who remain in Jesus and gets their prayers answered

 

That is the problem with human nature:

We often do some things to break our relationship with Him.

 

The same thing that separated us from Him in the beginning is the same thing that will continue to separate us from him in the future…sin

 

Do I or have I refused to admit things that I have done wrong in the past? 

Do I have unconfessed sin.  It may be an activity, an attitude, a habit. When we go our own way, do our own thing, it breaks the connection between us and God. 

 

Psalm 66:16-20

Isaiah 59:1-3.

 

What can we do about unconfessed sin? 

 

1 John 1:8

-         Repent and go the other way/ make things right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  We must have the right motives

 

James 4:1-3

 

Why you pray is more important than what you pray for. 

 

Is it possible to pray for the right thing with the wrong motive? Sure. 

 

We can pray for what we need and what we want.  However, are you willing to share your blessing with other people or are you going to horde it all to yourself?

 

God is not interested in simply satisfying our selfishness. 

 

This life is temporary.  We must invest in the eternal.  The things God gives us often is meant for someone else, to bring someone else to Jesus.

 

1 John 3:21-23. 

 

What are His commands? 

 

1 John 3:16-18

 

We are a ditch.  Plug up the ditch and God (the water) will find another way to go…around you!

 

When you plug up a ditch you kill everything downstream of that ditch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  We must get Jesus’ permission first

 

Jesus tells the disciples He is going to the Father soon, but He gives them a powerful promise.

 

John 14:12-14

 

Some people end their prayers like a spiritual sign off.  CB sign off -- "Ten-four, good buddy." 

 

Some people think "In Jesus' name" is kind of a mystical password that gets you into God.  Like the secret word.  "Here are all my requests.  By the way -- codeword:  In Jesus' name." 

 

What in the world does it mean to pray "In Jesus' name"? 

 

A. We can only talk to God because of what Jesus already did for us on the cross.

 

I don't have any right to get any answered prayers from God.  God doesn't owe me anything.  I owe him a lot but He doesn't owe me anything.  When I come and pray and ask God for requests, I don't ask on my own merit but I come on the merit of Christ.  I come and say, "Father, I'm coming to You because Your Son said so.  I'm coming because of what Jesus Christ has already done for me on the cross and He's promised and He said I can ask in His name.  God, I'm coming in Jesus' name."

 

Jesus is the bridge between God and man. 

 

John 14:6.  Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

 

B. We are asking on His behalf. 

 

Either He tells us what to ask for

or

We already know what He would want us to ask for

We do what we know He would approve of.  It falls in line with His character….And guess what?  You can’t fool God, He knows His Son pretty well.

 

You should take some time to get to know the son so you can know what to ask for.

 

1 John 5:14-15

Find God’s will in His Word and then stand on it!

5.  We must believe (have faith)

 

Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." 

 

-         If you ask in His name, he has told you to ask so there is no reason to believe it wont happen.

-         Sometimes this means believing in faith that God is who He says he is and can do what He says he can do (That’s faith) and yet leaving the results up to Him (That’s trust)

 

Matthew 9:22.  A woman with a blood disease is healed because of her faith

Luke 18:42.  A blind person receives his sight because of his faith

Matthew 15:28.  Jesus casts a demon out of a lady’s daughter because of her faith

 

James 1:5-7.

-         we should expect wisdom when we ask for it because he promised He would give it to us

-         When He promises it, we have faith in His promise

 

God wants us to ask what we are supposed to ask but he also wants us to know that He will take care of it, He will do what He promises to do…that’s faith