Summary: How to get answered prayer. What to ask for so you will get results. How to pray the kind of prayers the Lord wants (and wants to answer)
ASK. Psalm 2. WBC 30.04.06 am
Intro: I want to tell you about Miracle on Jewry Street. Last week- on the Tuesday after Easter a lady called Angela turned up at the Bookshop that is part of City Church (one of our nearest neighbours). She was looking for her son, Phil, and showing photos of him. Frances said she hadn’t seen him. Daphne, from the Salvation Army, didn’t recognise his name (but saw no photos).
Angela is from Flockton, outside Wakefield, W Yorkshire. Her son, phil, has bad acne and was having treatment for it that left him incredibly low and changed his personality. He was suicidal. They had rowed. He walked out 10 weeks ago. She had no idea that when he left she wouldn’t see him again. Radio adverts and contacts with the police yielded nothing.
Last Monday night she went to bed desperate praying ’just let me find him and know that he is alive and well, Lord’.
That night she had a dream that she was walking down a street called Jewry St and found her son who asked ’how did you find me’. She immediately woke up. Went to the internet. Searched for Jury Street. Gave up. Searched for streets that sounded like it, found us, and was on the first train the next morning down here.
Her search of Jury St yielded nothing. She went to the High St and sat on the buttercross. 2 lads sat next to her. Another 2 joined, one with his back to her. As he spoke she thought she recognised his voice… then his posture and whispered "Phil is that you?"
He nearly fell over. "How did you find me?" He asked.
The story goes on. It turns our Daphne from the SA did know him- but he didn’t use his real name down here. The SA had taken him under their wing, housed him at Keystone and he had started going to church there.
The mother asked. God the Father and her went seeking the prodigal. He’s on the journey home.
- tingles down the spine, eh? This stuff works!
WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR?
What are you asking for?
- the Father longs to give what we ask for. What matters to us
- there are some things he particularly longs to give
What really matters to you? What do you keep badgering Him for? What are your priorities?
Or perhaps I should entitle this-" be careful what you ask for. You might just get it!"
- you see- some things are better to ask for than others. Some things are more in the Father’s will
- which means sometimes He says "no." Sometimes "wait"
- but my fear…. and observation over many years… is that sometimes God does, in the end, give us what we pester for- even if it’s not His best for us
In fact, there are times when I ask
- "gosh, Lord, why did you let them have that? I wouldn’t have.! They didn’t know what they were asking for"
- "gosh, Lord- if anyone is pushy enough can they get whatever they want in this world?"
- (in fact- I think you almost CAN! Whatever you set your sights on… go for… even idolise, covet or worship- can be yours)
o you CAN have anything you want (almost irrespective of God)
- AT A PRICE. Cost.
- And it may not be good for you
Let me give you just one personal example of this: Sarah. My fiancée, 20 years ago.
- both Christians. But the closer we got before courting I still felt the Lord say "No. this is not for you. Not now". She persisted. I persisted. I argued with God, ’claimed’ this and that. Kept on.
- then, strangely enough I felt the Lord simply say "okay", one day
o (but there was a strange tone to His voice!)
- the relationship went very well for quite some time- but while I was away in the USA I later found out she had had an affair! 6 days before the wedding
o that explained why she had almost lost her faith.
You can have what you ask for (oftimes!). So- ASK- but, perhaps, ask with care and wisdom
- some ask for money. Sometimes we should! But be careful
1 Tim 6:10 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
- Illustr: Some very dear friends of ours. He was a Vineyard Pastor. Resigned in the end saying ’this is not for me, for life!". Now huge in Cadbury’s. He’ll end up as head of Cadbury’s personnel global- mark my words
o They’ve got what they wanted. Wealth. Travel