Summary: The fourth messaGE SHOWS US HOW TO RECIEVE AN ANSWER FROM God
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER
“How to receive an answer from God”
Adapted from a message by Wayne Field
September 10th 2006
Broadway Baptist Church
We’ve spent the last three weeks talking about prayer. Some of what you are going to hear today is a repeat of what you have already heard but it’s important enough to hear again. Why is it that God sometimes answers our prayers right away and yet other times He doesn’t? Why is it that God sometimes refuses to answer our prayers? Remember, God ALWAYS answers prayer. This morning I want all of us to do some spiritual house cleaning and look at four attitudes that can block God’s answer to our prayers.
I. WE MUST BE WILLING TO LET GOD ANSWER IN HIS TIME
My dad didn’t always give me what I wanted when I first asked for it or when I wanted it.
A. Like a wise parent God knows when it’s best to wait. I read recently of a pastor who at the age of 9 was helping his father clear some land. He had gathered a large pile of dried grass and leaves while his father had gone to the other side of the property to burn a brush pile he had collected the day before. Since his dad was burning what he had collected the 9 year old thought it was only logical to burn what he had collected so he went to ask his dad for some matches. His father realized that an un-supervised 9 year old, matches, and a pile of dried grass and leaves on the other side of the property aren’t a good mix. I’m sure at the time the boy didn’t feel the same way.
B. Being willing to wait is a sign of maturity. The opposite is also true. Just like a 9 year old isn’t mature enough to be left unsupervised to burn a pile of dried grass and leaves maybe the reason why God hasn’t answered your prayer is because you aren’t ready to handle the answer.
C. Just like Zechariah and Elizabeth kept on praying, you need to keep on praying until you either:
1. You get an answer
2. Like Zachariah you get assurance your prayer will be answered.
3. God leads you to start praying for something else.
II. WE MUST BE WILLING TO LET GOD ANSWER IN HIS OWN WAY (Read Isa 55:8-9)
A. God wants to give us more than we could ever want or think. Arnold Palmer once played a series of golf exhibitions in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi king was so impressed he wanted to give Arnold a gift. Arnold initially refused but when the king insisted he said, “A golf club would be nice.” The next day the title to a golf club with thousands of acres of trees and lakes and even a clubhouse was delivered to Arnold’s room. (Read Eph 3:20)
B. We need to trust God for the answer.
1. Even though Zachariah and Elizabeth we desperate for a child they trusted God and the result was John the Baptist.
C. If we want God to answer our prayers we need to be willing to do things His way.
III. WE MUST BE WILLING FOR GOD TO ANSWER IN HIS OWN POWER
A. We must not be like Abraham and Sarah and take things into our own hands. Let God be God.
B. God will answer in His own time, for His purpose, and in His own power.
IV. WE MUST BE WILLING FOR GOD TO ANSWER FOR HIS OWN PURPOSE (Read Psalms 37:4)
Zachariah and Elizabeth waited for a long time and suffered disgrace and discouragement but it was their son who God used to point their world to Jesus. In order for God to answer your prayer you need to be willing to let God answer in His own time, His own way, in His own power, and His own purpose.