Summary: A look at the confidence we can have that God has heard our prayer as well as some of the reasons He doesn't always respond immedately.
CAN I BE CONFIDENT THAT GOD HAS HEARD MY PRAYER?
1. Christ has promised access.
- Through what Christ has done for us, we have access to God the Father.
- It’s important that our right to come to the Father is not based on our actions or behavior. If that was the case, we’d constantly be losing that right.
- Rather our right to access was purchased through Christ’s death on the cross.
- This gives us confidence to know that Jesus has opened the door for us through what He did, not what we did.
2. Boldness has been encouraged.
- Look up a verse or two.
- It’s not just that we have access, but we have been invited to be bold in our prayers.
- This is not a begrudging right that God has granted, only to be reluctantly answered. God encourages us not only to pray, but to pray boldly.
THEN WHY HAVEN'T I SEEN HIM MOVE?
1. There might be issues with your spiritual maturity.
- James 1 speaks of delays increasing our faith.
- Waiting and seeing God come through causes us to have more faith and confidence in Him.
- Faith, after all, is the evidence of things not seen.
- Two specifics:
a. Active sin in your life.
- There may be significant sin in your life that’s keeping God from being able to do what He wants to through you.
- Obviously, confession is the first step.
- If we’re unsure if this is the problem, we should start by sincerely seeking God. Ask Him if there are things in your life that need removed.
- God has clear reasons to answer that request, since He wants you out of that sin.
b. Greater maturity to handle answers.
- Sometimes the doors that we want Him to open would ultimately be destructive to us.
- It might be a job with significantly higher pay, but we’re not mature enough to handle the money wisely.
- It might be a romantic relationship, but we’re not mature enough to see that have a solid foundation.
2. There might be issues with others’ hearts.
- God will not force people to do things they don’t want to do. He has granted us free will.
- Sometimes God may be ready to move forward on our request, but a full answer requires someone to change their heart. God is simply waiting on that piece to fall into place.
3. There might be issues with timing.
- There may be issues with the timing of bringing the answer. Various pieces falling into place require a delay.
- God may be bringing things in a much larger picture than just our lives, which may necessitate the part we want completed to be held off.
- Example: Karen and I at Marshall, not meeting for five years.
4. There might be issues with spiritual warfare.
- In Daniel there is an interesting story where an angel says that he was delayed in delivering a message because of demonic opposition. There may be times when prayers are not answered as quickly as we’d like because of spiritual warfare in various forms.