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Summary: God does answer all of our prayers. But perhaps He doesn’t answer them the way we want Him to answer them?

TEXT: Matthew 26:36-46

TITLE: “What happens when God doesn‘t answer my prayer. . . “

TOPIC: When prayers aren’t answered the way we want them to be!

OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, January 20th, 2008

PROP.: God does answer all of our prayers. But perhaps He doesn’t answer them the way we want Him to answer them?

INTRODUCTION: What is the focus for the month of January? Based on Acts 2:42, we want to become the church devoted to prayer and be known as the PRAYING CHURCH!

ILLUSTRATION: I want to show you a moving video I saw on ESPN in October. So if the video is cued up, we’ll watch it. (Show video of Charlotte and Emmitt Ray - “Ray of Hope..aired on espn October 2007) The link is found at:


Did you catch what she said?

“God answered their prayer, but not mine.“ Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever wondered why it is,

if God is love

If God is all powerful

Then why not answer my prayers?

Then this morning’s sermon is just what you need to hear:

“What happens when God doesn’t answer my prayer?” is the title of today’s


And it comes to us from Matthew 26:36-46

Have you been burned when it comes to your prayer life? You’ve grown skeptical of prayer because God didn’t hear your prayers which were sincere, unselfish, and important?

Well, I want to give you two things to remember if you’ve ever felt like God didn’t answer your prayers:

Let’s turn to our scripture text for today.

Matthew 26:36-46

36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

42He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."

43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

The Garden of Gethsemane:

Think about all of the important events in Biblical history that take place in a garden:

--The human race started in a garden

--Jesus was crucified in a garden

--Jesus was buried in a garden. (John 19:41)

--We are told that Paradise will be a garden

Here we have our Lord suffering his greatest agony in a garden: the Garden of Gethsemane.

Background of the garden:

--What grew in this garden? Olives. Olives grow on trees. Here is a picture of an olive tree growing outside Jerusalem. Olive trees have no rings so it’s hard to determine their age. But they are probably around 2000 years old. This tree probably wasn’t around during the time Jesus prayed in the garden because when Rome took siege of the city of Jerusalem, they cut down all of the olive trees surrounding the city.

--Location? Just outside of Jerusalem’s walls.

--Why choose a garden to pray? This time of prayer is where the sins of the world were heaped upon Jesus. A garden is where sin first came into existence…a garden seems to be the perfect place for sin to come to an end!

But Jesus does not suffer alone. He takes with Him, His closest companions. His friends -- Peter, James and John. He asks them to pray for Him and with Him. (Which by the way, is an excellent lesson!) Jesus’ prayers had one purpose and one purpose alone: for the suffering of the cross of crucifixion to be removed from Him.

Was His prayer answered the way He wanted? No. So if you have ever felt as though God didn’t answer your prayer, you’re in good company. Let’s learn two lessons in regards of prayer….

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