Summary: What is the main reason prayers aren’t answered?
Prayer – Ask, Seek, Knock
What do you think is the main reason prayers aren’t answered?
• Last week we talked about approaching God in prayer as our Savior, our Father and our Friend
• These titles God uses to describe himself give us an idea about the subjects we can approach Him with in prayer
• We approach our Savior in matters of sin and forgiveness, worship and praise
• We approach the Father in matters to petition – asking for help
• And we approach God our Friend in personal matters close to the heart
• Each of these titles is welcoming, inviting, relational
• This is how God wants to be regarded by us. He encourages us to approach His throne of Grace with boldness (Heb 4:16)
• Notice it is a throne of Grace, not a throne of judgment or justice
• Christians are no longer under the Law but under Grace (Rom 6:14-15)
• We also spoke about our place in the relationship. A Christian should always remind himself where he came from and how we arrived at being a son of God
• Pharisee and the Publican, Story of the beggar who had his secret room
You will notice I haven’t tried to make you feel guilty about not having enough prayer in your life
• Normally when the subject of prayer comes us, we all know we are underachievers in this area so right away we all start squirming in our seats feeling a little guilty
• But even though we are underachievers, do we really think God wants to hear from us because we feel guilty? No
• So my intention in addressing this subject is not, nor is it God’s, to motive us to want to pray from a position of guilt
• That would be contrary to God’s will
• Why do you think God want to hear from us? Why do we want to hear from our kids? Because they love us!
• Prayer should be a voluntary natural act of loving communication with the God who loves us and is eager to hear from His children
• Make no mistake about it, first and foremost we are spiritual beings in a direct relationship with our Heavenly Father
• He is our Father and we are His children
• Prayer, like the rest of our Christian walk, is a voluntary response to the love of God
• We have a misconception of God and how we are to response to Him if our prayer life is considered to be a duty, or it is something we must do in order to stay in good with Him
• As I have said before, God is more concerned with what we are than what we do!
• It is never what we do that counts with God; it is what we are
• Children of God, by their very nature will want to act like children of God
• Let me share with you a little secret - God is not going to love us any less if we don’t pray as we should anymore than a parent would stop loving his children if they didn’t call each week
• In Luke 13:34, we get an insight into the type of love God has for His wayward children
Luke 13:34 (NKJV) 34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!
• His children had killed the prophets and were about to kill Him, yet Jesus says He is still the doting mother hen wanting to gather his children together.
• He could have forced them into His care, but He didn’t because he wanted willing participants.
• And as this verse says, they “were not willing”.
• But with us it is different. We have been Born Again, we do have a new heart, we have been born of the Spirit, we have surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ
• It is this new heart that makes us willing participants in the process
• That’s why God is more concerned with what we are than what we do.
• Carnal human nature will not respond to God’s overtures while a Godly nature will.
• Prayer flows from that willing nature, just as worship flows from that nature, just as giving flows from that nature, just as loving flows from that nature
• One thing you don’t read about Jesus doing in the NT is going around whacking people over the head about their lack of prayer, their lack of giving, etc because He wants willing participants
• And that is why I have no right to go around whacking people over the head about these things