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Summary: Fifth in prayer series dealing with the promises of prayer and problems with unanswered prayer

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“Divine Dialogue” Pt 5

Promise and Problems Regarding Prayer

I. PERSPECTIVE ON PRAYER -- What is prayer?

II. PURPOSE OF PRAYER – Why Pray?

A. PRAYER FACILITATES INTIMACY WITH GOD

B. PRAYER FOSTERS HUMBLE DEPENDENCE

C. PRAYER FURTHERS GOD'S WORK

D. PRAYER FORTIFIES THE SOUL AGAINST TEMPTATION

E. PRAYER FACILITATES PEACE IN THE HEART AND MIND

III. PREREQUISITES FOR PRAYER – Who can pray?

A. Factors related to the WORK and PERSON OF CHRIST

B. Factors related to the WALK of Christians

IV. PROMISES REGARDING PRAYER

The Bible reveals an expectation that God hears when we call on Him. The Bible also acknowledges the fact that God has no obligation to answer and indeed sometimes does not answer our prayer. We touched on some of the reasons God may not answer last week in the section on prayer boosters and blocker. Today I want to touch on some passages that affirm the fact that God does hear and wants to answer our prayer. He works in our world in response to the prayers of His followers. The fact is that God has ordained prayer as the means by which He accomplishes His plan in time and space.

He could have stopped and started the rain in Elijah’s time without prayer. He chose to do it through Elijah’s fervent prayer.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. James 5:17-18

Paul did not demand deliverance from impending death from God but trusted that if God granted deliverance it would involve the prayers of the Philippian believers.

Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance…Philippians 1:18,19

God’s people expected God to hear and answer.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. Psalm 17:6-7

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might; Psalm 65:5-6

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. Psalm 86:5-7

God’s people prayed for God to answer.

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. Psalm 69:13

May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion! May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions! Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. O LORD, save the king! May he answer us when we call. Psalm 20:1-9

God promises to answer those who called upon Him.

Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jer 33:3

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” Psalm 50:14-15

God promised Solomon at the dedication of the temple He would answer their prayer of repentance.

Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. (See chapter 6 for Solomon’s prayer.) When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 2 Chronicles 7:12-15

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