Summary: What are God's reasons for not answering?
A. INTRODUCTION: WHY OUR PARENTS DON’T DO ALL WE ASK
1. It’s not good for us.
2. They don’t have resources.
3. They have other plans for us.
4. They have something better.
5. It would hurt us.
B. WHY SOME HAVE GREAT EXPECTATIONS
1. Promise. “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do” (John 14:13, NKJV
2. Invitation. “Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matt. 7:7, KJV).
3. Believe. “Whatsoever you desire when you pray, believe . . . and you shall have them” (Mark 11:24, KJV).
4. Know. “If we know that He hears us, whatever we ask . . . we have the petitions” (1 John 5:15, NKJV).
5. Look carefully, for each has a qualification.
C. WHO DID GOD NOT ANSWER?
1. You are not the only one with unanswered prayer.
2. Jesus. “Let this cup pass from Me” (Matt. 26:39).
3. Moses. “Show me your glory” (Ex. 33:18). “No man shall see Me” (Ex. 33:20).
4. Paul. “I pleaded with the Lord three times” (2 Cor. 12:8).
5. David. “David pleaded with God for the child . . . lay all night on the ground” (2 Sam. 12:16).
D. WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE GOD DOES NOT ANSWER?
1. For some, it hurts their ability to “trust” God.
2. Some abandon prayer.
3. Some doubt their sincerity or integrity.
4. Some grow cold in their relationship with God.
5. Some are reluctant to leap again in faith.
E. NO ANSWER BECAUSE OF WRONG APPROACH TO PRAYER
1. We ask for things God has not promised. Don’t pray for no trouble. “Man is born to trouble and the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7).
2. We don’t ask for whatever reason.
3. We ask God to go against His nature. “Help me cheat . . . speed . . . etc.
4. We don’t understand the nature of prayer. Prayer is relationship, worship, fellowship, communion, not a “wish list.”
5. We give up too soon. Pray for tomatoes and plant seeds.
6. We don’t surrender to God’s purpose. “Thy will be done” (Matt. 6:10, KJV).
7. We depend on self to do what we ask.
8. We have lust or sin. “You don’t get it because . . . you want only what will give you pleasure” (James 4:3).
9. We have evil thoughts. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Ps. 66:18, NKJV).
10. We fuss with our spouse. “Husbands, dwell with them (wife) . . . that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7, KJV).
11. God answered in a way we didn’t expect, and we are blind to it.
F. WHAT ARE GOD’S REASONS FOR NOT ANSWERING?
1. Wait. We expect answers too soon.
2. No unanswered prayers are rejected prayers.
3. The answer is forbidden in Scripture.
4. The answer is contrary to God’s plan for us.
5. God is testing our faithfulness in prayer or service.
6. A person is not God’s child. “God heareth not sinners” (John 9:31).
7. We are out of fellowship with God. “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God” (Matt. 6:32, 33, NKJV).
8. We ask God to go against His nature. “He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13).
1. Learning submission to a silent God. “Not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39).
2. Learning patience in God’s presence. “Let patience have its perfect work” (James 1:4).
3. Learning God’s nature is relationship with Him. “No man can see Me, and live” (Ex. 33:20).
4. Confess our weakness, and immaturity in prayer.
5. Confess sin and get forgiveness. “If we confess . . . He is faithful to forgive” (1 John 1:9).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
All PBC lessons are available online at trbc.org/pbc. Go to www.Hopenow.tv for the current program schedule.
Dr. Towns' email is ELTowns@liberty.edu
Dr. Towns’ web address is www.elmertowns.com