Sermons

Summary: This message focuses on the 4 passages that specifically point us to God’s motives and reasons for answering our prayers.

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Jesus On Prayer:

1. Most passages deal with the conditions of answered prayer:

a. You’ve got to have faith.

- Matthew 17:20; Matthew 21:21-22; Mark 9:23; Mark 11:22-24; John 14:12.

b. You’ve got to be obedient.

- John 14:15; John 15:7, 16.

- also, James 5:16; 1 John 3:22.

c. You’ve got to be in God’s will.

- Matthew 26:39.

- 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.

- Matthew 18:18-20.

b. You can have less power in prayer by having an unforgiving heart.

- Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25-26.

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.

- Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13.

- 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.


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