Summary: "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" (Jeremiah 33:3).
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee
great and mighty things, which thou knowest not"
1. Can you answer a letter you have never received? "You do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2). God cannot answer a prayer that is not prayed.
2. Does God know your needs if you don’t pray? "Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him"(Matt. 6:8). God wants you to ask before He answers.
3. Will God always answer your prayers if you are standing on praying ground? "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do" (John 14:13). God will always answer but you won’t always like what He says.
4. What are the conditions to getting my prayers answered?
Call. You must want the answer enough to do something.
Unto. You have to get outside of your thinking.
Me. You direct prayer to God.
I. God delights to give things.
Will. You can change the future.
Answer. You must be close enough for Him to hear.
B. HOW DOES GOD ANSWER?
1. DIRECT. When Peter was sinking, he prayed, "Lord save me" (Matt. 14:30). What can we learn about prayer?
e. From desperate need.
How long does it take to become a great prayer warrior? "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:2). When you join the family (saved), the Father answers every cry because you are a baby. You grow with time and your needs change and you focus on others.
2. DIFFERENT. God answers your prayers in a way different than you expect. The members of Herod’s court prayed, "Come down (30 miles) and heal his son, for he is at the point of death" (John 4:47). Jesus did not "come down" as asked, but healed at a distance. "Go your way your son lives" (John 4:50). What can we learn about prayer?
God knows a better way.
God answers in a different way.
God’s different way brings more glory.
We should pray about results, not means. "I am so glad God didn’t always answer my exact prayers, but He gave me the best of His will" (Unknown Believer).
3. DELAY. God sometimes does not immediately answers our prayers. Mary and Martha sent a request for Jesus to come heal their brother Lazarus. "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick" (John 11:3). What can we learn from our impatient prayers?
Our timing appears more important than God’s.
We panic easily.
We are blinded by our emotions.
We don’t see the big picture.
Jesus did not immediately "jump" when Mary and Martha asked for Him. When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God . . . so when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was" (John 11:4-6). What can we learn from God’s delay?
God’s delay is not God’s "no".
God has a different agenda from us.
God is more concerned with His glory than our agenda.
God is deeply concerned about us, even when He delays. "Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and Lazarus" (John 11:5). The last prayer in the Bible hasn’t been answered yet. "Even so come Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20).
4. DENIAL. Sometimes God says, "no" because we ask for things that are contrary to His will. Paul prayed 3 times for God to heal him or take away his thorn in the flesh. "Lest I shall be exalted above measure . . . a thorn in the flesh was given to me, the messenger of Satan" (II Cor. 12:7). What do we know about Paul’s thorn?
Tried to defeat him.
God did not answer Paul, "I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’" (II Cor. 12:8-9). What can we learn about God’s denial in prayer?
God gave grace to endure.
God was with Paul.
God had a better plan.
C. WHEN WE PRAY LIKE CHILDREN:
When we call and God says "No," we like children live in denial.
When we call and God says "wait," we like children get fidgety.
When we call and God answers a different way, we are usually disappointed.
When we call and God answers immediately, we sometimes glory in our ability.
Prayer is about God’s will, not mine.
Prayer is about God’s glory, not self-satisfaction.
Prayer is about God’s power, not my prayer ability.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart: