Summary: God’s answers to your prayers: No Slow Grow Go
The Answer to Your Prayers - Psalm 69:13
Remember Johnny Carson. I know most of you youth have no I idea who I am talking about but he was the king of late night television before Jay Leno. He had a lot of different comic routines he did each night as a part of his monologues or entertainment. One was the Carnac the Magnificient. He would put on old turban and become this great mentalist. He would make quite a production of picking up the envelop holding it to his head. He would then with great fanfare proclaim the answer to the question contained in the envelop often with amusing and hilarious results. Such as The Answer is: Gatorade. And the question: What does an alligator get on welfare. Another was: The Answer: Bible Belt and the question What holds up Oral Roberts’ pants. Alright! I didn’t say they were hysterical. In fact most of the time they seemed to be pretty lame but still Carnac the Magnificient was quite a popular part of Johnny Carson’s repoire. People would send in questions from all over the country wanting Johnny to answer them.
Today things aren’t much different. People still have questions lots of them and they want answers. Just watch TV for ten minutes and you will see the Pyschic Network, Pyschic Friends all promising to give you answers to your questions. But the problem is their answers are just as lame as Carnac the magnificient.
As Christians, though, we have one place to go, the perfect place to go for answers to our questions, to God in prayer.
And yet I wonder how many of you went to God in prayer this week to seeking an answers, turning to him for his help and guidance with a problem or situation. If I were to ask you to honestly raise your hand if you prayed this week for God to lead you, to answer your prayer request how many of you would be able to raise your hand? Would half of you or just a small handful few faithful souls.
As Christians we are taught that God answers prayers. Ask and you will receive. Take everything to him in prayer and he will take care of it. And yet when I counsel and pray with other fellow Christians I am constantly amazed at the number I hear who have given up on prayer:
The child who no longer believes in God because he had prayed all summer for a 10 speed bike and never got one. The teenager who is disappointed and hurt because God didn’t answer their prayer by sending a girlfriend or boyfriend, because God didn’t stop their parents from fighting all the time, because God didn’t give them the answers for the test. The man or woman whose job is on the line, who is unemployed and can’t find a job, whose financial pressure keep crowding in threatening to destroy them. The parent who prays that their child will quit taking drug. The single person who prays for a companion but none come along.
And yet the Bible clearly promises us that God WILL answer our prayers! Matt 21:22 “Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” …. So God here is my question, what is the answer?
What do you need answered this morning? What are your prayers? What prayer you have prayed for so long that it seems God hasn’t answered it?
(NAMES) will you please hand out the paper and pencils. On the paper you are about to receive there are three simple questions I would like for you to take the time right now to answer. If you don’t have answer to these three questions then this sermon is not for you, you may leave.
But I don’t believe that there is not a single person here today who isn’t in need of an answer, in need of some help from a destructive habit or a character flaw, who needs help with their marriage or work situation, a financial problem, a physical problem, a relationship problem, a hurt from your past. Whatever your problem is God has an answer for you today. Won’t you stay, won’t you listen for God’s answer? Take the time now to think about what your prayer is today. (PAUSE)
Now I want you to hold the paper up to your head…no I am just kidding. God does not answer our prayers with comical quips like Carnac the Magnificient. God is an awesome, ominpotent God who loves you, who will answer your prayers with wisdom, knowing and love.
Bill Hybel in his book “Too Busy Not to Pray” outlines God’s answers to prayers with four simple answers: No, Slow, Grow and Go!
NO, no matter how well intentional or appropriate your request may seem requests plain God’s answer to you maybe emphatically, no! Being Christians, a disciples of Christ does not guarantee all of our requests will be fulfilled. Sometimes God’s answer is no. The request is wrong, miguided, or selfish. Even the disciples when in the presence of God didn’t always get what they wanted.