Summary: Believers can be certain that their sincere prayers of faith are heard by God.
A Prayer-Hearing God Part 1
(Reworked from a sermon preached by Jonathan Edwards in 1735)
Mar. 5, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A Clip from "Meet The Parents" (DVD Chapter 5, Start @ 24:27-26:16
1 As Greg’s experience clearly demonstrates, we do not know how to pray.
a Pray should be more than just empty words.
b Prayer requires a relationship be in place between the one praying & God.
2 Too many Christians today pray what I call "soap opera prayers." I used to watch a little Days Of Our Lives back in college, and usually when a character would pray on that show, it went a little something like this:
a "uh, God, I know I haven’t been much of a church person. But I really need you to help me out here, and if you do, I promise I’ll turn my life around."
b It’s too bad that prayer is often viewed as a last resort. A spare tire. Something to use only in emergencies instead of a way of life. If Jesus our King has given us the high honor of being his priests, let’s take full advantage of this awesome privilege!
B There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God, and to You the vow will be performed. 2 O You who hear prayer, to You all men come. Psalms 65:1-2 (NASB)
1 Essence of the text in a sentence: The psalmist praised God for some remarkable answer to prayer.
a Possibly praising for an anticipated answer (v.1)
b Looking forward to when all will come to God with prayer!
2 Essence of the sermon in a sentence: Believers can be certain that their sincere prayers of faith are heard by God.
a I hope you’ll have a higher level of understanding of prayer in your relationship with God (Objective).
b What are you going to do in your prayer life that proves you believe that God hears? (Probing question)
3 Transitional sentence:
I What is it about God that makes Him a prayer-hearer?
A God’s character/nature is conducive to hearing prayer.
1 It’s the nature of a tree to produce leaves, provide shade, lose its leaves in the fall, squirrels & birds nest in its branches, its wood burns in a fireplace.
a Tree’s nature...created to do these things.
b God, by His very nature, hears prayers. It’s what He does!
2 God wants to hear our prayers.
a The mighty Maker of heaven & earth wants to hear our prayers.
b He delights in our offering of prayer. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight. Prov 15:8 (NASB)
3 The price God paid for us to have our prayers heard came at a high price.
a And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. 38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Mark 15:37-38 (NASB) Veil was ripped from top to bottom.
aa The veil divided the temple common & the Holy of Holies
bb By the cross, the veil was removed & God became acceptable to all through Christ. (Invitation)
b Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:14,16 (NASB) 24/7, day/night, at all times we have the privilege to pray!
B God’s character/nature is conducive to answering prayer.
1 God had presented Himself to us as a loving Father.
a "Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 "Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 "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?" Luke 11:11-13 (NASB)
b God wants to answer the prayers of His children.
2 Sometimes God wants to answer prayer with power.
a Moses with the plagues, Joshua with the sun/moon, Samson with the water from a lion’s jaw, Elijah with a 3 ½ year drought-powerful.
b He’s God & He can do mighty & powerful things.
3 Sometimes God answers prayer with peace.
a As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. 1 Sam 1:13a (NASB) Hannah prayed a silent prayer & a miracle happened.