Summary: A sermon loosely based on Psalm 28 on how the world would be if God did not answer prayers! (Thanks to Lonnie Gunter and some SermonCentral Contributors for some illustrations and ideas)
Sermon for 4/29/2007
What If God Did Not Answer Prayers?
A. Read Psalm 28:1-2.
B. After Adam and Even sinned by eating from the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, the Bible says, (Gen 3:23 NIV) So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
C. Before sin entered the world, we know that Adam shared a relationship with God face to face. Literally, mankind walked and talked with God. (Gen 3:8 NIV) Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
D. After sin, that relationship was broken. We no longer walk and talk with God. God is holy and we are not. (Psa 24:3) Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?(Psa 24:4) He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
E. (Rom 3:10 NIV) As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;
F. Therefore, God could say to us the words of (Isa 1:15 NIV) When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen.
G. In a book titled The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark written a year before he died, astronomer Carl Sagan included prayer along with astrology, spoon bending, witches and ESP as examples of irrationality.
H. Does God listen to us? Does God hear and answer our prayers?
I. I am not sure about all of you, but I know that there have been some times in my life where I have cried out to God … asking Him for some kind of answer … and NOTHING! NO response! NO answer! SILENCE!!!
J. Have you ever wondered if God listens to your prayers?
K. When Franklin Roosevelt was President of the United States he often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who came down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, "I murdered my grandmother this morning." The guests responded with phrases like, "Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We are proud of you. God bless you, sir.” It was not till the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Nonplussed, the ambassador leaned over and whispered, "I’m sure she had it coming."
L. Despite how you feel or what you might think, please be assured that God is listening. He may be SILENT, but He is always listening!!!
M. He is listening because God hears everything. But does He answer my prayers and cries for mercy? Does prayer make a difference?
N. Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. There is a prayer observance in Mount Airy at City Hall and one in Dobson at the old courthouse all at noon. Please go! I have gone the past several years and the prayers and messages are inspirational!
Thesis: Lonnie Gunter a few years ago spoke on the idea of “What if God did not answer prayers?” This is what we are going to talk about for the next few minutes.
I. What if God did not answer prayers? We would all be under the control of the devil.
A. When mankind sinned, in some way power in this realm went to the devil. Many questions about this especially when we examine the book of Job because God is still the ruler but in some way the devil has sway over this world. Look at these verses:
1. Isaiah 14:12 says that he once laid low the nations.
2. In John 12, 14 and 16 Jesus calls the devil the prince of this world.
3. 2 Corinthians 4:4 calls him the god of this age.
4. Ephesians 2:2 calls him the ruler of the kingdom of the air.
5. 1 John 5:19 say that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
6. Revelation 12:9 says that the devil, Satan, leads the whole world astray.
B. When I look at this we cannot help but be reminded of what happened a few weeks ago at Virginia Tech. Ezekiel 28 seems to be talking about the devil and it says in vs. 16 that he is filled with violence. Jesus said of him in John 8:44 that he was a murderer from the beginning.