Summary: We ask but we do not receive, why? Is it our faith? What did that centurion know that we don't
A praying Faith
Comparing our faith, is it solid like a barrel cactus, it grows in the most extreme circumstances or is fragile like the African Violet which even the slightest change causes it to wilt?
What affects our prayer life?
1. We do not ask (James 4:2)
2. We ask with wrong motives (James 4:3)
3. We treat our wives badly (1 Peter 3:7)
4. Our lack of, or weak faith
1. A God-fearing Gentile living in Capernaum at the time.
2. A cry for help, my servant is paralyzed and in need of healing
3. I am not worthy, just say the WORD.
What did he Know?
1. He knew Jesus had authority and power
2. He knew Jesus could heal.
3. Do we know that?
Illustration: When Christian Herter was governor of Massachusetts, he was running hard for a second term in office. One day after a busy morning chasing votes and (no lunch) he arrived at a church barbeque. It was late afternoon and he was famished. As he moved down the serving line, he held out his plate to the woman serving chicken. She put a piece on his plate and turned to the next person in line.
“Excuse me,” Governor Herter said, “do you mind if I have another piece of chicken.”
“Sorry,” the woman told him. “I’m supposed to give one piece of chicken to each person.”
“But I’m starved” the governor said.
“Sorry,” the woman said again. “Only one to a customer.”
Governor Herter was an unassuming man, but he decided that this time he would throw his weight around a little.
“Do you know who I am?” he said. “I am the governor of this state.”
“Do you know who I am?” the woman said. “I’m the lady in charge of the chicken. Move along mister!”
This is Jesus
1. He spoke and the universe came into existence
2. He spoke and the lepers were healed (Luke 17:12)
3. He spoke and Lazarus rose from the dead
4. Could He speak to our need, our request and do what we ask?
Why our prayers are not heard.
1. We don’t ask
2. We mistreat our wives (1 Peter 3)
3. We ask with wrong motives (James 4)
4. Our faith is weak (James 5)
Many times I believe we fail to get the answer when we are not focusing our belief in the person has all power and authority in heaven and in the earth. We are often not in agreement with God on things. We are not focusing our faith in the one who has all authority to do the impossibilities. Or we often do not believe that he wants to do it for us. Jesus is able to work with us--with all of our idiosyncrasies. He looks past our lacks and our limited understanding. He worked with this man who was a Gentile, a person the Jews considered an outsider. He wanted to help him and He wants to help us as well. Let Him do it for you. Begin to focus on what He is able to do. We rely too much on our own competencies and our own strength. Strengthen your faith by focusing on Jesus who has all power and authority. The centurion’s faith was invested in the right person and he got his answer. Jesus could work with him and he can work with us as well. He is not opposed to meeting us on our own terms--at our point of need.
CONCLUSION: We can strengthen our faith in troubled times to the point where we have unwavering faith as this centurion had. We can do it by realizing who our faith is centered in--
1. Jesus, the one who has all power and authority in heaven and earth.
2. We can strengthen our faith by believing that he is glad to answer our prayers.
3. We can strengthen our faith by realizing that everything doesn’t have to be perfect in our life for Jesus to work with us. He can work around our hang ups.
We ask the Lord to speak to our need, we ask the Lord to build up our faith, We ask the LORD to hear our pleas, and we believe He will do as He has said. It is a leap of faith, it is getting out of our comfort zones, we have to step out in faith, sometimes he calms the storms, and sometime he calms us in the storm, sometimes he tells us go, sometimes he says I will go with you