Summary: A sermon designed to encourage Christians to push through seasons of unanswered prayer

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2 Corinthians 12:7-10 – Thorns of Grace

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

“Thorns of Grace” – Let’s pray

We live in an age of “INSTANT” gratification. We want everything – NOW! Instant access, instant messaging, instant meals… and if we're not careful, that “ON-DEMAND” mentality will spill over into our spiritual life.

Like with prayer...Sometimes I think – “Wouldn’t it be nice to see quicker results when I pray???”

Not long ago, I went to my office to spend some time in study, but the power was out. I sat there in darkness, straining to read for 45 minutes. Finally I decided to call the power company, DUH, just in case no one else had.

The power company has an automated service for reporting outages. I called the number; you know the drill: “If you are calling to report an outage, press ‘1’ – our records show that the address to this phone number is - - - if THIS is your location, press ‘1.’”

It was that simple… took just a couple of minutes – and I had no more hung up the phone when “BAM” the lights came back on.

That’s the kind of results I’d like to see when I pray!!

That reminded me of ANOTHER story – a kitten belonging to a pastor climbed a tree but couldn’t get down. The pastor decided to throw a rope over the branch the little fella was on and tied the rope to the bumper of his car. Driving forward, he would pull the branch within reach and retrieve the terrified kitten.

It was a pretty good plan too - until the rope broke, sending the little fella flying through the air, over the fence and out of sight.

That pastor looked all over for his little kitten, but it was nowhere to be found.

The next day the pastor was met by his neighbor. “You are never gonna believe what happened yesterday!” she exclaimed. “My little girl had been begging for a kitten for months, but I told her that the only way she could have one is if the Lord gave it to her. She went outside, knelt down and prayed, “Dear Lord, PLEASE give me a kitty of my very own …Amen.” Just then, a kitten with paws outstretched fell right out of the sky!”

You gotta love results!

But prayer isn’t normally like that, is it??? Sometimes we pray for weeks, months, and even YEARS, and STILL – nothing happens – at least, nothing we can see. It’s frustrating when you pour your heart out week after week, with no results.

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