Summary: Sermon on prayer given at a Christian school (grades 5-8).
Some Keys to Answered Prayer
How many here have ever taken a drive with any of your parents anywhere? No, I don’t mean YOU driving - your parents. Anyone?
Okay, that makes about two of you...
So you get in the car or mini-van, or Hummer, or whatever, and you’re all set to go. You’ve got the vehicle, the gas, and you’re ready to go, but you just sit there.
Why? What does it take to get the car going? The key! Without the key, it doesn’t matter how great the vehicle is, right?
Well, today I want to give you some keys. Not keys to a Hummer, but keys to something very important, and that everyone in here should be doing on a regular and frequent basis: prayer.
I know, I know, you probably hear about prayer all the time, but it’s something we need to make sure we’re taking care of.
In Matthew 7, we find Jesus talking to the people about prayer. And in these verses, we’re going to find three keys to helping you have answered prayer.
I’m assuming that everyone in here would like to have more of your prayers answered, right? So let’s take a look at what Jesus says in Matthew 7:7-12 -
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
Jesus says to ask, seek, and knock. That kinda tells me that it’s okay to come to God with our needs - what do you think?
James 4:2b says -
You do not have, because you do not ask God.
What should we pray about? Everything. School, schoolwork, your bratty brothers and sisters, your piano recital, your fears, or whatever.
The Bible says we should pray about everything. Why do you think that is? (Wait for responses)
I think that the main reason is that God simply wants to be involved in every part of your life. Now how’s that for cool? God wants to be involved in every part of your life.
And he wants you to ask him about stuff and for him to meet your needs. I kinda like that about God. A lot. How ’bout you?
But you gotta ask.
Here’s another key to answered prayer:
Trust that God knows what’s best for you.
Jesus says that the Father knows how to give good gifts to his children, right?
I’ve got five kiddos. And I love to give them gifts, when I can afford it.
Well, what kind of dad would I be if I gave gifts that would hurt them? Can you imagine one of my kids picking up a box on their birthday and hearing a weird rattling noise, wondering what’s inside, then opening the box hoping to find a really cool toy or something, and out comes a really ticked off rattlesnake.
Now you’d think that the snake would be happy to be out of the box and want to cuddle with my son, right?
WRONG!! It’s gonna bite the first thing it sees - my boy.
And is my boy gonna be happy because I gave him this snake that just bit him and now he might die because of it?
Of course not! And the truth of the matter is, while my son is in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, I’ll be on my way to jail, as I should be.
Jesus makes it very clear that God gives good gifts. And we can trust him.
But you know what else you need to trust him for? That he WON’T give you something that’s not good for you.
There are three types of answers to prayer. We tend to think that there is only one kind - the kind where God grants us what we’re praying for. But that’s only one kind.
Three kinds of answers:
Yes - he gives us what we have requested.
How many here have ever asked God for something and he said yes - and gave you what you asked for?
No - he denies the request because it’s not in our best interests and won’t give God honor.