Contributed by Adrian Rogers on Jan 4, 2012 (message contributor)
Summary: Adrian Rogers: "I have sensed that Twentieth Century Christianity is missing primarily in fervency when it comes to prayer. There’s something about it. And, God can tell when we mean business."
Would you turn to James chapter 4? James chapter 4. We’re continuing our message—or our series of messages—in the book of James. James chapter 4, beginning in verse 1. I’ll wait for, just a moment, until you find it. All right, “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:1–2). Just underscore that phrase, “yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”
I want us to think this morning on this subject, “Victorious Prayer.” If there’s anything that I need to do—that you need to do, that we need to do, that everyone needs to do— it is to learn how to pray. The man who can pray can do anything, for prayer can do anything that God can do, and God can do anything. And, our desperate need in these days is to link our lives with the omnipotent God who has called upon us and told us to pray. And, Jesus said, “ask, and ye shall receive” (John 16:24). And, James says, “you have not, because you ask not.”
You don’t have a failure in your life, but what it is a prayer failure? You don’t have a sin in your life, but what prayer could have prevented that sin? You don’t have a
genuine need in your life, but that need cannot be met through fervent believing prayer? Oh, dear friend, how we need to learn how to pray. And, in our study in the book of James this morning we’re going to be thinking on this subject, victorious prayer, victorious prayer. And, we’re going to study under three headings. First of all, we’re going to see the presumption of un-offered prayer. And, then we’re going to see the problem of unacceptable prayer. And, then we’re going to see the principles of undeniable prayer. How to pray so that our prayers cannot—will not, shall not—be denied.
I. The Presumption of Un-Offered Prayer
First of all I want you to see the presumption of un-offered prayer. The first two verses: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain… yet ye have not, because ye ask not” (John 4:1–2). “Ye have not because ye ask not.” The presumption of un-offered prayer. God wants to bless us. God wants to give us what we need, but we’re so presumptuous. We’re so proud. We’re so self-sufficient that we go about in our own strength—fighting, warring, scheming, planning, hating, killing, conniving, striving—trying in our own way to get the things that we think we need.
Do you know what’s wrong in our city right now? Our city is not given over to prayer. There is no problem that cannot be solved by prayer. There are no problems too big to solve, just people to small to solve them. I want to tell you ladies and gentlemen, when we begin to pray, and to seek the face of God, then we’ll know peace both domestically and in our hearts, as we seek the face of Almighty God. God wants to bless us, and God will bless us through prayer.
More ships! Some cry, More guns! More fighters in the air! But wise the King who calls for more prayer!
Pray, ask and ye shall receive the Lord Jesus said. You see, it is not until we pray that God moves into action. It is prayer that links our lives with the omnipotent power of God.
A little boy was trying, one day in his play, to move a huge stone. And, he was trying with all of his might to roll that stone over, to shove the stone. And, his little muscles were bulging, and there was perspiration on his face, and he was biting his tongue and just trying to move that stone. And, his father was watching. And, his father said to him, “Son, are you using all of your strength?” And, the little boy said, “Yes, daddy, I’m using all of my strength.” And, his dad said, “No, you’re not. You haven’t asked me to help you.”
Sometimes we’re burdened down with weighty burdens and problems, and we strive, and we cry, and we fight, and we war, and we wrangle and we’re saying, “I’m doing everything I know to do.” Have you ask your Father to help? Have you linked your life with His? Could it be that God wants to bless you? And, the reason that God is not blessing you could be so utterly simple. You have not, because you ask not.