Summary: Does God only answer prayers in His Will?
Should God Answer Every Prayer?
Rev. John W. Gerald
I. WHAT IF YOU WANT TO CONTINUE SERVING THE LORD
I Samuel 12:14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:
We cannot follow God and not do these things. Reverential fear toward God will produce all the qualities of character we need. We can serve the LORD with gladness, and obey his voice if we have the right regard for Him. In our day, such attacks have been waged against His word and his commandments that to promote them publicly can get one sued. It is harder to openly keep his commandments under such hostility, but if we would follow the LORD, we must keep them sincerely in our hearts.
II. WHAT DISOBEDIENCE WILL BRING UPON YOU
15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.
It is inevitable that we will incur God’s wrath if we rebel against his voice and his commandments. It is to the destruction of our society and our nation that we have so disregarded the commandments of our LORD.
Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
III. A SIGN TO PROVE THAT GOD HAS SPOKEN
16 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.
Samuel declares that God is about to perform a sign before their eyes!
17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.
Wheat harvest was usually in the dry season. Rain came in the fall and winter, but not much past March. Wheat harvest was in the first of June. So, a big rain at this time would be unusual.
18 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
This was truly a miraculous sign! It was convincing and frightening. It brought more respect to Samuel and to the LORD.
IV. CONFESSION IN THE FACE OF FEAR
19 And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.
If there was much lightning and thunder, no wonder they feared for their lives! Fear brings confession of sin and a desire for safety from the wrath of God.
V. TRULY YOU HAVE SINNED
20 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;
21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.
Samuel confirmed that they had sinned, but he taught them that they need not fear if they would determine not to go after other gods, and remain steadfast in the service of the LORD. Vanity was in useless idol worship.
VI. GOD IS FAITHFUL
22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.
The LORD will not cast off those who will turn to him and forsake their sins. He is merciful.
VII. SAMUEL’S COMMITMENT TO PRAY FOR THE PEOPLE
23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
Samuel felt the burden of a true leader. He cared for his people. He would continue to pray for them even after others took over the leadership of the flock. His purpose was to teach them the right way to live.
VIII. GOD DESERVES OUR RESPECT AND OBEDIENCE
24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
We too soon forget all the good things the LORD has done for us, even as the Children of Israel did. The remembrance of these things should compel us to faithful service. We, as Christians, should remember the agonizing death Christ suffered on the cross for us. We should remember where we would go if he had not paid the price for our sins. This should invoke a very deep commitment on our part to the service of the LORD! Acceptable service to him is done "in truth with all the heart."