Summary: God answers prayer when His conditions are met.
A pastor had earned a vacation from his flock and he decided to make it a golfing holiday. He went to a golfing resort, and on his first day out on the course he learned that Arnold Palmer played the course frequently.
The toughest hole was the 17th, and as the pastor approached the tee his caddie said, “When Arnold Palmer plays this hole he uses a No. 3 iron and says a little prayer.”
“I’ll give it a try,” said the pastor. But the ball landed in a sand trap. “Ah, well,” he said, “I guess the good Lord didn’t hear me.”
“He probably heard you,” said the caddie, “but when Mr.. Palmer says his prayer, he keeps his head down.” —Submitted by BBFI Missionary to Kenya, Jerry Daniels
It is amazing to discover how many people think that God is obligated to answer their prayers positively, and, of those, how many think He is obligated to answer their way, on their terms according to their schedules. NO THAT IS FUZZY THINKING.
James has several passages dealing with prayer and specifically conditions to answered prayer.
James 1:6. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
James 4:2. “. . . ye have not, because ye ask not.
3. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
James 4:7. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
James 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
The 1st condition is: Asking (James 4:2), “Ye have not because you ask not.”
* We don’t ask because we don’t think God can.
* The problem is not with God.
James 1:5. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask (invited) of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him
* We don’t ask because we can take care of ourselves. We don’t need God.
Eleven leaders of conservative renewal movements, representing eight groups from within six Protestant denominations, pooled common concerns at a third annual meeting. . . . One concern of the group: prayerlessness. They cited recent studies showing that “the average pastor surveyed prays only three minutes each day.” —Christianity Today, April 6, 1979