Summary: Too often in the church brothers & sisters prey on one another instead of praying for one another. I know God answers prayer because He’s answered mine. We have no greater resource, source of comfort than getting on our knees in prayer
Why God Answers Prayer Dr. Mike Fogerson September 2, 2012
A 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:13-16 (NASB)
1 We learn several things about prayer in these 3 verses.
a Got a problem? Got Need? - Pray (v.13)
b Got people to help you pray? - Pray Together (v.14)
c Got Faith? (v.15)
d Pray for one another. (v.16)
aa Too often in the church brothers & sisters prey on one another instead of praying for one another.
bb James said to pray for one another.
2 I know God answers prayer because He’s answered mine.
a When sorrow came & cloud after cloud came over my head, I had now ay to look but up... I’ve gone to Him in prayer.
b I have seen times when without supernatural power I could not have stayed one more week in ministry.
aa Without the power of God this church would be boarded up, submerged in trouble, confusion & persecution.
bb God heard me, answered me... for 25 years now, trusting Him one step at a time, one day at a time.
3 We have no greater resource, source of comfort than getting on our knees in prayer
a You will never go any deeper than you go in your prayer closet, never move any further than you move on your knees.
b Prayer doesn’t force God’s hand to move but God’s hands won’t move without prayer!
aa (IL) Boy in class lost his Game Boy DS. Teacher couldn’t keep his attention. “Ma’am, could I pray that God helps me find me DS?”
bb Next day, “Did God answer your prayer?” She asked. “Yes, He did, but not in the way I thought He would. I didn’t find my DS, but I am not concerned about it anymore; I’m going to trust God whether I find it or not.”
c God always does something when people pray.
B There are four things we need to know about prayer before the heart of the sermon.
1 The Bible teaches that it is a sin not to prayer.
a In the O.T. the people cried out to God for a king when God never wanted them to have one.
aa God told the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul as Israel’s king.
bb Saul was disobedient, brought heartache / confusion to the kingdom.
b Samuel (broken hearted) said, 1 Sam. 12.23
23 "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. 1 Sam 12:23 (NASB)
c It’s a sin not to prayer for...
aa Family, church, leaders, lost
bb God always does something when people pray.
2 God does not hear everyone’s prayer (with reason)
a 18 If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear ; Psalms 66:18 (NASB)
aa “Regard” means to host, look after, harbor, condone, accept.
bb If you made a friend of sin, the Lord will not hear your prayer.
b 1 Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear.2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2 (NASB)
aa God doesn’t hear everyone’s prayer (Not because He’s less powerful. He doesn’t hear as well because of iniquity, sin, wickedness.)
bb We can accept the thought that God doesn’t hear a lost person prayer because prayer is in the name of Jesus & how can a lost person prayer in the name of Jesus without knowing Him as Savior.
3 We are to pray for one another.
a Easy to pray for people we like (or who like us) but you cannot pray unless you pray for people you don’t like (or who don’t like you)
b 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matt 5:44 (NASB)
aa Prayer isn’t just lip service (action) but also our emotions.
bb We see Jesus combining His heart with prayer as the steel spikes pierced His hands, “Father forgive them.”