Summary: This message focuses on the 4 passages that specifically point us to God’s motives and reasons for answering our prayers.
Jesus On Prayer:
1. Most passages deal with the conditions of answered prayer:
a. You’ve got to have faith.
b. You’ve got to be obedient.
c. You’ve got to be in God’s will.
- also, 1 John 5:14.
2. A few passages deal with special situations.
- (This is not an exhaustive list of other passages on prayer, just a sampling.)
a. You can have more power in prayer by praying together.
b. You can have less power in prayer by having an unforgiving heart.
c. You need to be persistent in prayer.
- Luke 18:1-8.
3. There are four remaining prayer passages that seem to promise “unconditional” answered prayers. Why are they in there?
- The Answer: All four are about the reasons why God answers prayer.
- I’ve always wondered why some of the times that Jesus talks about prayer that He gives a condition to what He says and other times He doesn’t/in studying for this series, I had an “Aha!” moment: they all have one thing in common - they aren’t in there to tell us how to get answered prayer, but to tell us why God answers prayer.
- why God answers prayer is an important question to consider/cf. getting an offer of something free or an incredible deal from an insurance salesman or a telemarketer - you’re going to be wondering what the catch is.
- it’s a big help for us to know why God is so willing to make these incredible offers of answering our prayers/is there a catch or once we understand the reasons will it give us more confidence to ask boldly.
- one reason has to do with God’s character/two reasons have to do with the results God hopes to see.
The Reasons That God Answers Prayer:
1. Character: It’s in His very nature as a Father.
- read rest of passage from earlier.
- this has to do with His character.
- not all have good associations with the word “Father.”
- God is a loving Father who wants you as His child.
- so we come to Him in prayer expecting Him to answer because He is a loving Father.
- the next two have to do with the results God is seeking/it’s an interesting question to ask, “What results does God hope for as He answers our prayers?”
2. Result: Prayer brings the result of giving glory to God.
- John 14:13.
- why the focus on glory to God?
- 1. He deserves it.
- 2. It draws others to Him.
- adoption story in my life.
3. Result: Prayer brings the result of bringing us joy.
- John 16:24.
- stories of answered prayer make you smile/seeing answers in your life makes you smile.
- there’s nothing wrong with getting excited about something God has done/long faces and little enthusiasm in worship too often/nothing wrong with clapping and shouting and getting fired up.
- adoption story and the joy it brings.
- God wants to see more joy in your life/ do you?
- the things that bring me the greatest joy in my life are answers to prayer (wife, kids, chance to serve).
Put It All Together:
- Begin to utilize the phrase: “Father, for Your glory and for our joy” when you pray.