Summary: Prayers in order to be heard, must not be hindered by sin in our life
James 5:17-18 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.
Ok what sport do you think of by this dramatization? “Hey how do you think you did out there today? (put on cap and take drink of Coke) Well the NAPA, Coca-Cola, Bosch Spark Plugs, Tupperware, Tylenol Cold and Flu Dodge Charger was a really hot car today, probably the hottest car in the field. If it hadn’t been for that love tap given to me by the 20 car in turn 4 ten laps in we probably would have pulled out a win. Bill Davis Racing gave us a great car. I don’t think anyone else had what it takes to beat the NAPA 55 Dodge today.” Of course NASCAR. I admit I’m a big NASCAR fan and today was the race out in Las Vegas, and it seems every week my father-in-law and I (yes we are both Mark Martin fans) say something about NASCAR being the only sporting event that still opens in prayer. But does God really hear this prayer? Does he answer these prayers? Does God really care about the outcome of the Las Vegas race? And if so, who’s His driver? My sermon is titled “God Won’t Answer Prayer”
What is Prayer
A. Prayer is out communication with God, a conversation
1. Prayer is our half of the conversation
2. God speaks to us through His word
3. We speak to Him through prayer
4. Two must participate for it to be a conversation
- For instance what if you called your mother one afternoon and she never said a word on the phone? Would that be a conversation? No both must talk.
B. Prayer is not just for requests
1. Our bulletin has about 20 names on the prayer list, I preached at Sand Springs they had probably over 40! That’s all good, but that’s not all prayer is about
2. We tend to think of prayer as just time to ask for things
a. We may ask for others
b. We may ask for ourselves
c. Maybe for blessings or needs
d. For forgiveness
3. What if the only time your teenager ever talked to you was when he needed something? No wait that IS the only time he talks to you. But is that a relationship?
ILLUSTRATION Alan told me a story about one time when Miss Tean called him and said she had made a big batch of banana pudding and he should come get some. He asked if there would be enough, and of course she had made a huge batch, and Brother Joe T couldn’t eat it all. In a few days he went by there to get some pudding and Joe T asked what he was doing there. He said he was there for some banana pudding. Of course that made Joe T mad, and he said there wasn’t enough. But of course Miss Tean sent him home with some pudding. Well a while later she called again saying she had made a couple chocolate pies and that he needed to come by and get him a slice or two. And of course he did. This made Joe T fuming mad, yelling and screaming saying the only time you come by is to get banana pudding or chocolate pie. He still got some pie.
4. That’s how we treat God sometimes; we only come to Him when we need something, we only pray when we have a need.
C. Pray Continually?
Acts 6:4 says “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer”. 1 Thess. 5:17 says “pray without ceasing.”
1. We should be on our knees all the time? NO but it is possible to have a prayerful attitude at all times.
2. It should be natural to pray frequent, spontaneous, short prayers.
3. Pray in all situations not just when we need something
a. When we have needs, requests
b. Thankfulness – I Thess. 5:18 “In everything give thanks.”
c. Praise – I Thess. 5:16 “Rejoice always.”
D. Prayer should be a conversation. We should be comfortable enough to speak to God, speak with God just like one of our closest friends.
1. John 15:13-14 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Then what did he say? “Ye are my friends.”
I AM A FRIEND OF GOD
There is a great song by Philips Craig and Dean by that title part of it goes like this “Who am I that you are mindful of me, that you hear me, when I call, is it true that you are thinking of me, how you love me, it’s amazing so amazing…I am a friend of God, He calls me friend”