Summary: 3 of 4 on tough questions. This message deals with prayer and why God sometimes does not hear us.
Tough Questions ï¿½ Real Answers
Why Didn’t God Answer My Prayer?
April 29, 2007
A pastor named David Asch often went to the library to study. On a recent trip he saw a car with a bumper sticker was parked in the first space, so it was unmistakable ï¿½ you saw it the moment you pulled into the parking lot. It confronted you as you walked to the parking lot from the library.
The bumper sticker read, in large, loud letters, ï¿½Nothing fails like prayer.ï¿½ Nothing fails like prayer.
Now, it is one thing not to believe in prayer, or to think those of us who do pray are misguided or even foolish. But to go to such lengths to ridicule and discourage prayer is something else altogether.
You have to wonder, what happened to this person? What prayer didnï¿½t get answered the way they wanted it to and caused this crisis of faith? What had happened to cause them to conclude that God didnï¿½t care about them?
Before we can answer this question about prayer we must first understand the nature of prayer. It is so much more than a heavenly 800 number or the secret language of a magic lantern in which a genie lives who will give you three wishes. Itï¿½s much more than simply a method of getting whatever we think we need or want at the moment.
Before you can understand why God didnï¿½t answer your prayer you must first explore the nature of your relationship with Him.
Marriage is a Metaphor for the Christianï¿½s Covenant with God
ï¿½Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.ï¿½
One of the metaphors that is used to describe our bond with God is the idea of a marriage. Here in Revelation John speaks of the church as the bride who is wedded to the Lamb of God in a forever covenant.
Now, a covenant is a contract between too parties. It is characterized by four distinctive elements.
Every Covenant has Four Distinctive Elements
An AGREEMENT is reached
VOWS are exchanged
A SYMBOL is given
A PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT is made
A covenant which includes four distinct characteristics:
There is an agreement between the parties of the covenant. In marriage it is to share a life and to build a home. In our covenant it is to share a life and to build an eternal home.
There are promised that are made with witnesses who will attest to the making of the covenant. In marriage we say vows, promising to be faithful until death. In our covenant with God we accept his promise of salvation through Jesus and commit ourselves to him as our Lord in life.
There is a sign which seals the covenant. In marriage it is a ring. In our covenant with God it is our baptism in water in which we picture our death, our burial, and our resurrection with Him.
There is a public acknowledgement which proclaims to the world that a covenant has been made. In marriage we have a license at the county court house. In our covenant with God we share the Lordï¿½s supper in which we remember what Jesus did for us, renew our covenant with God and proclaim our faith in him.
This establishes the covenant we have with God. But everyone knows that this is the easy part. Itï¿½s easy to get married. Itï¿½s a lot tougher to be married.
These four distinct characteristics create the relationship ï¿½ but living out day after day is the real key to any relationship ï¿½ whether it involves your marriage to your spouse or your covenant with God through Jesus.
Relationships are hard work and sometimes confusing. We fail occasionally ï¿½ or often to understand what the other person wants, needs, desires, and hopes for. The answer? Good communication involving not only the passing on of information but the sharing of feelings, hopes, fears, dreams, and desires.
Prayer is the conversation in our relationship with God. Prayer is the communion and communication in our relationship with God. Think of it as the glue that holds us together with him.
Sometimes we talk to God and it certainly seems as if he is not there ï¿½ that he is not listening and he doesnï¿½t even hear our prayers let alone answer them.
But there are some reasons. They are simple and significant. Letï¿½s look at the different possible reasons that God didnï¿½t answer your prayer.
The first is pretty harsh.
Are You Offending God?
17 ï¿½ï¿½Is it a trivial matter for the house of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence and continually provoke me to anger? Look at them putting the branch to their nose!