Summary: the third sermon in a series dealing with things that hinder our prayer life
HINDRANCES TO PRAYER
LESSON #3: UNBELIEF
TEXT: JAMES 1:5-7
What was our lesson last week?
What is stubbornness towards God?
When you close your ears to a message of truth and refuse to change.
Why do pastors have to preach the same message time and again?
Because we are a stubborn people.
What is the first step if you want God to hear your prayers?
Listen to him first
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
There is one thing that is a sure thing and that is,
The promises of God are unfailing
- He has promised to answer our prayers
- He has promised that He will hear us
But here in this scripture we find a condition
- We must ask God unwaveringly
- Without unbelief
- We have to ask Him believing that He will answer
The problem many times is that we ask in unbelief.
We don’t expect God to answer our prayers. Since we are not expecting an answer, we are not looking for one. When we are not looking for it we do not see the answer when it does come.
There must be no wavering, no staggering
If we ask in this fashion God will make good His promise.
This is the same condition Jesus insisted on when praying for the sick.
“Believest thou that I am able to do this”
He asked this question looking for a response.
He was looking for faith in those He prayed for.
- Looking for belief
- Looking for some sign of faith on their part
- Doesn’t have to be a lot
- Only a spark
- The size of a grain of mustard seed
He was looking for some small seed from which the miracle could grow.
Miracles always require a seed of faith.
1 Tim 2:8
8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
“WITHOUT WRATH AND DOUBTING”
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
“WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM”
How do you approach God in prayer?
Think about this for a moment
- How do you make your request known to Him?
- Is it in faith?
- Is it in belief?
- Or is it this begging, pleading type of prayer
I will be honest, there have been times when I have begged and pleaded with God. It was usually over something God was dealing with me to do and I was fighting with God about it.
Example: Jacob wrestling with God
Jesus in the garden
“Let this cup pass from me”
But many times people beg and plead in their prayers because
- They do not believe God will answer
- Some may even think He is unable
They will never say that out loud but their actions speak for them
- Or if they do believe God can and will do it, they don’t believe He will do it for them
So they beg and whine in their prayers trying to manipulate God
Many think that by begging and whining they can manipulate God into doing something they think He doesn’t want to do.
Example: Our kids beg and whine to try to get us to give in
The truth is God does desire to answer your prayers
- He wants to bless you
- He wants to give you wisdom
- He wants to save your family/friends
- He wants your marriage to work
- He wants you to be happy and your joy to be full
He desires to move greatly on our behalf if we will but believe.
Example: I have seen women pray for their husbands to come to salvation.
- Never believing it could really happen
- Never thinking it possible
- Put them on the prayer list every service
- But never believe it will really happen
And I know this because they say things like:
“That will be the day”
“Now that would be a real miracle”
They are praying the prayer, but in their hearts they never believe it will happen.
And, because they don’t think it will happen
- They no longer witness to them