Faithlife Sermons

Why Some Prayers Are Not Answered

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Why Some Prayers Are Not Answered

Text: What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
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. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
(New American Standard Bible, 1995 Edition: Paragraph Version. (1995). (). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.)
New American Standard Bible, 1995 Edition: Paragraph Version. (1995). (). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
Introduction: Prayer is one of the greatest privileges, opportunities, blessings, and responsibilities that we enjoy. Prayer makes it possible for us to communicate personally with the Creator of our Universe. Prayer is universally available to all Christian. Since God is no respecter of persons, prayer is not tied to age, race, wealth, fame, educational status, or geographical location. All Christians are on equal ground before the Father in prayer. None are closer to the throne than anyone else. Through Christ we all have access to God’s listening ear.
Yet, it is no secret that many have not prevailed in prayer. All of us will confess that our prayer lives are not what they should be. Each of us can identify with some obstacle that gets in the way of effective prayer. Why? One obvious answer is that Satan does not want us to pray. He will throw every possible obstacle in our way to keep us off our knees. David Eubanks says, “Prayer is Satan’s major enemy, and Satan is prayer’s greatest foe. Nothing shakes the foundations of Hell more than the prayers of God’s people.
Yet, it is no secret that many have not prevailed in prayer. All of us will confess that our prayer lives are not what they should be. Each of us can identify with some obstacle that gets in the way of effective prayer. Why? One obvious answer is that Satan does not want us to pray. He will throw every possible obstacle in our way to keep us off our knees. David Eubanks says, “Prayer is Satan’s major enemy, and Satan is prayer’s greatest foe. Nothing shakes the foundations of Hell more than the prayers of God’s people.
In C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, the demonic Screwtape admonished his nephew Wormwood to persevere in his efforts to lead people to Hell. Counteracting prayer is the primary strategy that he recommends. “Interfere at any price in any fashion when people start to pray, for real prayer is lethal to our cause.”
In C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, the demonic Screwtape admonished his nephew Wormwood to persevere in his efforts to lead people to Hell. Counteracting prayer is the primary strategy that he recommends. “Interfere at any price in any fashion when people start to pray, for real prayer is lethal to our cause.”
Introduction: Let’s be honest...some of our prayers have not been answered! At least, we could say that we have not always received what we have prayed for. From time to time someone will approach me with some disappointment or frustration in their prayer lives. I mean, after all, didn’t Jesus say, “Ask and it shall be given; seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be open.” Didn’t he say that?
Claudius (Hamlet, III, Sc. 2, line 97) said, “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” Do you sometimes feel like no one’s listening...that you’re not “getting through?” While we have God’s promise to hear our prayers there are some things that get in the way.
Claudius (Hamlet, III, Sc. 2, line 97) said, “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” Do you sometimes feel like no one’s listening...that you’re not “getting through?” While we have God’s promise to hear our prayers there are some things that get in the way.
So, let’s be honest...some of our prayers have not been answered! At least, we could say that we have not always received what we have prayed for. From time to time someone will approach me with some disappointment or frustration in their prayer lives. I mean, after all, didn’t Jesus say, “Ask and it shall be given; seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be open.” Didn’t he say that?
Introduction: Let’s be honest...some of our prayers have not been answered! At least, we could say that we have not always received what we have prayed for. From time to time someone will approach me with some disappointment or frustration in their prayer lives. I mean, after all, didn’t Jesus say, “Ask and it shall be given; seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be open.” Didn’t he say that?
Let’s be honest...some of our prayers have not been answered! At least, we could say that we have not always received what we have prayed for. From time to time someone will approach me with some disappointment or frustration in their prayer lives. I mean, after all, didn’t Jesus say, “Ask and it shall be given; seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be open.” Didn’t he say that?
One may say, “I’ve been praying that my husband will stop drinking, and he hasn’t stopped.” Or, “I’ve been praying for a job, but I can’t find one.” Or, “We’ve been praying about our teen’s lack of interest in spiritual things...but nothing seems to change.” Or, “I’ve been praying for guidance, but no guidance has come.” On and on such frustrations are verbalized. Bill Hybels refers to this as the mystery, or the agony of unanswered prayer.
One may say, “I’ve been praying that my husband will stop drinking, and he hasn’t stopped.” Or, “I’ve been praying for a job, but I can’t find one.” Or, “We’ve been praying about our teen’s lack of interest in spiritual things...but nothing seems to change.” Or, “I’ve been praying for guidance, but no guidance has come.” On and on such frustrations are verbalized. Bill Hybels refers to this as the mystery, or the agony of unanswered prayer.
Some time ago, I came across a little outline that helps shed some light on this problem. So, if you’ve been praying and nothing seems to be happening...perhaps you could ponder these points. Not only does the Word of God urge us to pray it also helps us understand this mystery of unanswered prayer.
Some time ago, someone shared a little outline that helps shed some light on this problem. So, if you’ve been praying and nothing seems to be happening...perhaps you could ponder these points. Not only does the Word of God urge us to pray it also helps us understand this mystery of unanswered prayer.
I. If the Request is wrong...God may say NO
I. If the Request is wrong...God may say NO
1. We need to understand that there are such things as wrong or inappropriate prayer requests.
1. We need to understand that there are such things as wrong or inappropriate prayer requests.
A. Three of Jesus’ disciples (Peter, James and John) accompanied his to the top of a high mountain, and there, all of a sudden, God’s full glory descends upon Jesus. The three disciples stand back in awe. They behold the splendor of God just a few feet away. And they are so taken with Jesus’ Transfiguration and the appearance of Moses and Elijah that they say, “Jesus, allow us to build three shelters up here. One to honor Moses...one to honor Elijah...and one to honor You!” And we’ll just stay up here and bask in this glory”
Do you remember the response? God speaks and says, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him!” The answer to their request was, “NO!” Their request was wrong.
Do you remember the response? God speaks and says, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him!” The answer to their request was, “NO!” Their request was wrong.
B. On another occasion James and John came to Jesus and asked if they could make reservations for the best two seats in heaven. They said, “We’d like one on your left and one on your right in your kingdom. Could you arrange that for us?” Remember Jesus’ response? “No.” Wrong request.
B. On another occasion James and John came to Jesus and asked if they could make reservations for the best two seats in heaven. They said, “We’d like one on your left and one on your right in your kingdom. Could you arrange that for us?” Remember Jesus’ response? “No.” Wrong request.
C. On another occasion Jesus and his disciples were denied a travel permit through a certain part of Samaria. That negative reception so angered some of the disciples that they requested Jesus to destroy the entire region with fire from heaven. Something, by the way that Jesus could have done! But, do you remember Jesus reply on that occasion? In effect, he said, “No, I’m not going to torch people; I can to transform people. No, I’m not going to grant that request.”
C. On another occasion Jesus and his disciples were denied a travel permit through a certain part of Samaria. That negative reception so angered some of the disciples that they requested Jesus to destroy the entire region with fire from heaven. Something, by the way that Jesus could have done! But, do you remember Jesus reply on that occasion? In effect, he said, “No, I’m not going to torch people; I can to transform people. No, I’m not going to grant that request.”
2. Do you see the point? The disciples of Jesus were fully capable of making inappropriate requests of Jesus. And, when the requests were wrong, Jesus said no.
2. Do you see the point? The disciples of Jesus were fully capable of making inappropriate requests of Jesus. And, when the requests were wrong, Jesus said no.
3. What about you? Are you capable of making wrong requests of God? I am. I do. I probably will in the future. Are you capable of making prayer requests that are totally self-serving? I am. Are you capable of making prayer requests of God that are patently materialistic, short-sighted, convenience-oriented, or maybe just plain immature? I am. And our God loves us too much to say “yes” to wrong requests. If the request is wrong, God will answer the prayer, but his answer will be no. And, in your heart of hearts you wouldn’t want him to do any less!
3. What about you? Are you capable of making wrong requests of God? I am. I do. I probably will in the future. Are you capable of making prayer requests that are totally self-serving? I am. Are you capable of making prayer requests of God that are patently materialistic, short-sighted, convenience-oriented, or maybe just plain immature? I am. And our God loves us too much to say “yes” to wrong requests. If the request is wrong, God will answer the prayer, but his answer will be no. And, in your heart of hearts you wouldn’t want him to do any less!
Surely we remember the Apostle Paul’s testimony of his struggle with what he identified as his “thorn in the flesh.” We don’t really know what that “thorn” was but we do know that he prayed three times that God would remove it. But God’s answer was, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
4. In fact, in hindsight, which is often very clear, I can thank God for saying “no” to some of my prayers that at the time were appropriate. In hindsight I say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you that you said no to that particular request.”
4. In fact, in hindsight, which is often very clear, I can thank God for saying “no” to some of my prayers that at the time were appropriate. In hindsight I say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you that you said no to that particular request.”
So, if you have been praying diligently about a matter, and you have sense resistance from heaven...here’s a suggestion: Review your request. The request itself may be a problem. Maybe your request is a cop-out on your part, an unwillingness to face a real issue. Maybe the request is destructive in ways that you don’t understand. Maybe your request is self-serving. Maybe the request is too small, and God might have something better in mind, and, he’s saying no because he knows you so well that he knows that is not really what you need.
So, if you have been praying diligently about a matter, and you have sense resistance from heaven...here’s a suggestion: Review your request. The request itself may be a problem. Maybe your request is a cop-out on your part, an unwillingness to face a real issue. Maybe the request is destructive in ways that you don’t understand. Maybe your request is self-serving. Maybe the request is too small, and God might have something better in mind, and, he’s saying no because he’s got a better plan.
Because we have an all-knowing God and it is true that Father knows best and cares for us deeply...if the request is wrong, he will say NO.
Because we have an all-knowing God and it is true that Father knows best and cares for us deeply...if the request is wrong, he will say NO.
II. If the timing is wrong...God may say SLOW
II. If the timing is wrong...God may say SLOW
1. Parents surely understand this. Have you noticed that in your challenges of rearing children that second only to the word no, the little words not yet rank as the most awful words in the English language to little children?
1. Parents surely understand this. Have you noticed that in your challenges of rearing children that second only to the word no, the little words not yet rank as the most awful words in the English language to little children?
You start out on your family vacation in the care. You have only driven about thirty miles from home and you slow to stop at a traffic light and the kids say, “Are we there yet?” And you say, “Not yet.” And they groan and complain. Then about fifty miles later they ask it again, “Dad, are we there yet?” And you think to yourself, “It’s going to be a long trip!”
You start out on your family vacation in the care. You have only driven about thirty miles from home and you slow to stop at a traffic light and the kids say, “Are we there yet?” And you say, “Not yet.” And they groan and complain. Then about fifty miles later they ask it again, “Dad, are we there yet?” And you think to yourself, “It’s going to be a long trip!”
Or, your daughter wants to start wearing make-up at 8 or 9 years old and you say, “Not yet.” Or, your kids want to start dating at 14 or 15 and in your wisdom you have to say, “Not yet.” Or, “Dad can I have my own car?” And, you say, “Not yet.”
Or, your daughter wants to start wearing make-up at 8 or 9 years old and you say, “Not yet.” Or, your kids want to start dating at 14 or 15 and in your wisdom you have to say, “Not yet.” Or, “Dad can I have my own car?” And, you say, “Not yet.”
Children hate those words: NOT YET!
Children hate those words: NOT YET!
2. And you know what? There’s a child in all of us, isn’t there? The child in all of us still wants God to meet our every need...grant our every request...move every mountain. When? Now! And, when our all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving Heavenly Father deems it best to say very caringly to his children, “Not yet,” what’s our mature, adult response? “But God, I want it now, right now! Not later...not three years from now...not three months from now, not three weeks from now...not three days from now. Read my lips as I pray to you, God, I want it now!
2. And you know what? There’s a child in all of us, isn’t there? The child in all of us still wants God to meet our every need...grant our every request...move every mountain. When? Now! And, when our all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving Heavenly Father deems it best to say very caringly to his children, “Not yet,” what’s our mature, adult response? “But God, I want it now, right now! Not later...not three years from now...not three months from now, not three weeks from now...not three days from now. Read my lips as I pray to you, God, I want it now!
3. And, we need to understand that God is no more intimidated by our childishness that our wise parents were. He simply chooses from time to time to shake his head at our immaturity and say, “Kick and scream all you want, but not yet!”
3. And, we need to understand that God is no more intimidated by our childishness that our wise parents were. He simply chooses from time to time to shake his head at our immaturity and say, “Kick and scream all you want, but not yet!”
4. It is so essential for us to understand that God’s delays are not necessarily God’s denials. We need to understand that often God isn’t saying no, he is merely saying, “Not quite yet. Trust me, I know what I’m doing. I have my reasons.” God tells us in , “My ways are higher than your ways. You think you are as wise as the Creator. Not true! Remember you are the creature, I’m the Creator!” He says, “My ways are higher than your ways; my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. In my time.” That’s one of the reasons God has encouraged His people to pray and not to lose heart, because sometimes our requests may be okay...but for reasons only God knows he chooses to say, “Not now.”
4. It is so essential for us to understand that God’s delays are not necessarily God’s denials. We need to understand that often God isn’t saying no, he is merely saying, “Not quite yet. Trust me, I know what I’m doing. I have my reasons.” God tells us in , “My ways are higher than your ways. You think you are as wise as the Creator. Not true! Remember you are the creature, I’m the Creator!” He says, “My ways are higher than your ways; my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. In my time.” That’s one of the reasons God has encouraged His people to pray and not to lose heart, because sometimes our requests may be okay...but for reasons only God knows he chooses to say, “Not now.”
5. There have been many times that I thought my prayer were going unanswered only to find out later that God was saying, “Not yet,” so that he could grant the request at the appropriate time which is the best time after all! We need to remember that we do not know better than God. God has his reason and his timing...we need to trust His not yets! It may be that in His divine delays He is building our character and strengthening our faith. Sometimes the prayers that are the sweetest to have answered are the ones that you have trusted God for for a long, long time.
5. There have been many times that I thought my prayer were going unanswered only to find out later that God was saying, “Not yet,” so that he could grant the request at the appropriate time which is the best time after all! We need to remember that we do not know better than God. God has his reason and his timing...we need to trust His not yets! It may be that in His divine delays He is building our character and strengthening our faith. Sometimes the prayers that are the sweetest to have answered are the ones that you have trusted God for for a long, long time.
If the request is wrong, God will say no. You’d better change that request or let it go. If the timing is wrong, our loving God will say, “Just slow down. Not yet. In my time.”
If the request is wrong, God will say no. You’d better change that request or let it go. If the timing is wrong, our loving God will say, “Just slow down. Not yet. In my time.”
III. If the problem is with You, God may say, “You need to GROW”
III. If the problem is with You, God may say, “You need to GROW”
1. What does this mean? Isn’t it a lot easier to point the finger at God for now answering our prayer than it is to look in the mirror and to admit, “Maybe, I’m the problem”?
1. What does this mean? Isn’t it a lot easier to point the finger at God for now answering our prayer than it is to look in the mirror and to admit, “Maybe, I’m the problem”?
2. says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” In other words, “If I’m living in disobedience to God, the Lord will not hear my prayers.” That’s pretty rough...but it’s true! That’s one of my concerns when a couple comes to me to be married and in the course of the conversation it becomes clear that they are already living together and yet they want a church wedding with a preacher and all...which in reality is saying that they want God to bless their wedding and their marriage while at the same time they are disobeying God by violating his design for marriage. My counsel is that they need to change their behavior in the present if they want God’s blessing on their future!
2. says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” In other words, “If I’m living in disobedience to God, the Lord will not hear my prayers.” That’s pretty rough...but it’s true! That’s one of my concerns when a couple comes to me to be married and in the course of the conversation it becomes clear that they are already living together and yet they want a church wedding with a preacher and all...which in reality is saying that they want God to bless their wedding and their marriage while at the same time they are disobeying God by violating his design for marriage. My counsel is that they need to change their behavior in the present if they want God’s blessing on their future!
3. Jesus also tells us in that relational problems can get in the way of our worship and our prayers. If there is relational discord, if there are private wars going on between people, if there are broken friendships...Jesus says that can cut us off from close fellowship with God. His counsel in that passage is to “drop everything and attempt to reconcile those relationship...then go back to the altar and worship and pray.”
3. Jesus also tells us in that relational problems can get in the way of our worship and our prayers. If there is relational discord, if there are private wars going on between people, if there are broken friendships...Jesus says that can cut us off from close fellowship with God. His counsel in that passage is to “drop everything and attempt to reconcile those relationship...then go back to the altar and worship and pray.”
4. Then there is a sobering passage in , “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way. Grant them honor so that your prayers won’t be hindered.” There is no doubt that the other side of the coin is also true: “Wives, live with your husbands in an understanding way. Honor them so that your prayers won’t be hindered.”
4. Then there is a sobering passage in , “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way. Grant them honor so that your prayers won’t be hindered.” There is no doubt that the other side of the coin is also true: “Wives, live with your husbands in an understanding way. Honor them so that your prayers won’t be hindered.”
5. There was a time in the OT when after God had given very clear instruction to offer only the best lambs for sacrifice unto the Lord that the Israelites got into the habit of taking their best lambs to market and get top shekel for them. They would identify the worst lambs in their flocks—the lame, the blind ones, the ones who were no good, the sickly ones—and it would be these that they would offer as sacrifices. God had something to say about that. He spoke through his prophet Malachi: “After disobeying me and dishonoring me, you have the audacity to entreat my favor?! You’ve got to be kidding! You mock me with your disobedience, and with out batting an eyelash you make requests and fully expect me to grant them! Be not deceived! God is not mocked!” In other words, God says, “Why should I honor your requests when you don’t honor mine?”
5. There was a time in the OT when after God had given very clear instruction to offer only the best lambs for sacrifice unto the Lord that the Israelites got into the habit of taking their best lambs to market and get top shekel for them. They would identify the worst lambs in their flocks—the lame, the blind ones, the ones who were no good, the sickly ones—and it would be these that they would offer as sacrifices. God had something to say about that. He spoke through his prophet Malachi: “After disobeying me and dishonoring me, you have the audacity to entreat my favor?! You’ve got to be kidding! You mock me with your disobedience, and with out batting an eyelash you make requests and fully expect me to grant them! Be not deceived! God is not mocked!” In other words, God says, “Why should I honor your requests when you don’t honor mine?”
There are times when WE are the reasons that our prayers are not answered! It’s not that the requests are wrong. It’s not even that the timing is wrong. But when we are wrong...God says, “Come on...repent...grow...put that sin away. That’s what’s standing in the way. Change your attitude on this or that. Quit that behavior. Get off that merry-go-round. Reconcile that relationship. Soften up in your spirit. Repent of that sin...receive the forgiveness that God offers. Grow...maybe even “Grow up!” And, God indicates that when you grow, “I’ll open up the floodgates of blessing...but you’ve got to grow!”
There are times when WE are the reasons that our prayers are not answered! It’s not that the requests are wrong. It’s not even that the timing is wrong. But when we are wrong...God says, “Come on...repent...grow...put that sin away. That’s what’s standing in the way. Change your attitude on this or that. Quit that behavior. Get off that merry-go-round. Reconcile that relationship. Soften up in your spirit. Repent of that sin...receive the forgiveness that God offers. Grow...maybe even “Grow up!” And, God indicates that when you grow, “I’ll open up the floodgates of blessing...but you’ve got to grow!”
In the book of James, the brother of Jesus says that “the fervent prayer of a righteous person has great, great power.” But if you want to pull the plug out of the power of prayer, then just dishonor God in some area of your life on a continual basis. The psalmist says that if you do that, if you regard iniquity in your heart...your prayers will not be heard!”
In the book of James, the brother of Jesus says that “the fervent prayer of a righteous person has great, great power.” But if you want to pull the plug out of the power of prayer, then just dishonor God in some area of your life on a continual basis. The psalmist says that if you do that, if you regard iniquity in your heart...your prayers will not be heard!”
Now here’s the best part. When the request is right, when the timing is right and when you are right...
Now here’s the best part. When the request is right, when the timing is right and when you are right...
IV. God says “Let’s GO!”
IV. God says “Let’s GO!”
If the request is wrong, God will says no. Thank Him for saying no.
If the request is wrong, God will says no. Thank Him for saying no.
If the timing is wrong, God will say slow. Trust His timing...it is never wrong.
If you are wrong, he will say grow. Search your heart to see if there is any evil way and repent of it.
But when all of those get lined up...we can be amazed at how God will respond to our requests! He’ll say, “Let’s go!” “Let’s see what I can do!” He says that because we matter to Him...and it’s in His heart to grant the requests of His children.
But when all of those get lined up...we can be amazed at how God will respond to our requests! He’ll say, “Let’s go!” “Let’s see what I can do!” He says that because we matter to Him...and it’s in His heart to grant the requests of His children.
Conclusion: On of my all-time favorite heroes in ministry is a man named Don DeWelt, long time professor at Ozark Bible College. I loved to hear him preach. I loved to hear him teach. I loved to hear him pray. I was privileged to work with him in a couple of revivals in Illinois. If you were to meet this man who towered more than 6 feet and asked him how he was doing, his standard reply was, “Happy and on my way to heaven!” grinning from ear to ear as he said those beautiful words. There was one message I heard him preach to preachers at the North American Christian Convention many years ago when he stressed the importance of “preaching as a dying man to dying men!” I will never forget his sobering words as he spoke to us, “Preachers, you never know when you will preach for the last time…so, preach as a dying man to dying men!”
Conclusion: I want to close this service by encouraging all of you in your individual prayer lives by a final reference to the greatest pattern of prayer of all time. I’d like for you to stand with me and prayerfully review the precious prayer that Jesus taught his disciples.
The greatest prayer begins with the words “Our Father.” Let us never forget who it is that we are praying to. God is our Father if we are His children through Jesus Christ. Don’t ever forget how he feels about you, his children. He couldn’t have greater love for your than he already has. Don’t forget who He is. He’s your Father, your Heavenly Father. And, don’t forget who you are. You are his very own child—his son, his daughter. And know that God feels fatherly toward you today.
The greatest prayer begins with the words “Our Father.” Let us never forget who it is that we are praying to. God is our Father if we are His children through Jesus Christ. Don’t ever forget how he feels about you, his children. He couldn’t have greater love for your than he already has. Don’t forget who He is. He’s your Father, your Heavenly Father. And, don’t forget who you are. You are his very own child—his son, his daughter. And know that God feels fatherly toward you today.
The next phrase says, “Who art in heaven,” and that reminds us that God is sovereign and He is majestic and He is omnipotent and nothing is too difficult for Him. He is the mountain mover. He is able. He is bigger than any problem you have. Fix your eyes on God’s ability, not on your mountain.
The next phrase says, “Who art in heaven,” and that reminds us that God is sovereign and He is majestic and He is omnipotent and nothing is too difficult for Him. He is the mountain mover. He is able. He is bigger than any problem you have. Fix your eyes on God’s ability, not on your mountain.
Then comes, “Hallowed be Thy name.” Make sure that your prayers include worship. Don’t let your prayers degenerate into a grocery list for personal purposes. Always include praise in your praying.
Then comes, “Hallowed be Thy name.” Make sure that your prayers include worship. Don’t let your prayers degenerate into a grocery list for personal purposes. Always include praise in your praying.
“Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Have a submissive spirit. Say, “Lord, may your will be done first in my life. May your will be done in my marriage, my family, my career, my ministry, with my money, with my body and my relationships and my church. May your will be done in my life, in others, the church, the nation and the world.”
“Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Have a submissive spirit. Say, “Lord, may your will be done first in my life. May your will be done in my marriage, my family, my career, my ministry, with my money, with my body and my relationships and my church. May your will be done in my life, in others, the church, the nation and the world.”
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus is teaching us to “let our requests by made known to God.” Your little concerns. Your large concerns...lay them out. Say, “Lord I want to talk to you about some things. Some of them are big. Some of them are small. I need your help.” Register your heart’s request with God and don’t shrink back.
So, since this may be the last sermon I ever preach my heart urges me to appeal to you through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul declared that the Gospel consists of the fact that “Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (,).
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Jesus is teaching us to “let our requests by made known to God.” Your little concerns. Your large concerns...lay them out. Say, “Lord I want to talk to you about some things. Some of them are big. Some of them are small. I need your help.” Register your heart’s request with God and don’t shrink back.
“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” Confess your sins in prayer. Grow. Make sure you’re not the obstacle. Receive forgiveness through prayer. Live with a forgiving spirit toward others.
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Confess your sins in prayer. Grow. Make sure you’re not the obstacle. Receive forgiveness through prayer. Live with a forgiving spirit toward others.
“Lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil.” Pray for protection from the evil one...for yourself and for your loved ones, for this church, for me. Pray for protection from evil and victory over temptation.
“Lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil.” Pray for protection from the evil one...for yourself and for your loved ones, for this church, for me. Pray for protection from evil and victory over temptation.
“For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.” You began your prayer with worship: “hallowed by Thy name.” Now end it with more worship. “God, the kingdom is yours. The world is yours. The power is yours. All the glory in the world is yours forever and eve. You are a wonderful God. And, it is amazing that I matter to you and that you’ve opened up access for me to talk to you through prayer.”
Our first response upon hearing that wonderful news is to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” There are all sorts of things people believe in but there is NOTHING more important that to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.” You began your prayer with worship: “hallowed by Thy name.” Now end it with more worship. “God, the kingdom is yours. The world is yours. The power is yours. All the glory in the world is yours forever and eve. You are a wonderful God. And, it is amazing that I matter to you and that you’ve opened up access for me to talk to you through prayer.”
Then that marvelous prayer concludes with, “Amen,” let it be so. May it be forever so!
Then that marvelous prayer concludes with, “Amen,” let it be so. May it be forever so!
That’s who Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost saying that this same Jesus you have crucified, God has made Him both Lord and Christ! (). Upon hearing that the Bible says that they were “cut to the heart and said to Peter...’Brethren, what shall we do?” To which Peter answered imperatively, “Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” ()
God wants you to be His child...come. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and be His child!
On that day 3,000 responded to Peter’s commands and Luke reports, “those who had received his word were baptized; and there added that day about 3,000 souls.” ().
God wants you to be His child...come. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and be His child!
Other examples of conversion in the Book of Acts also include the matter of “confessing with their mouth that Jesus is Lord.”
The matter of when a person is saved is the Lord’s business. I have not nor will I ever presume to do His job for Him. My job is to preach what He has called me to preach. When a person believes in Jesus Christ and makes a commitment to Him in faith and repentance…at that point I believe he or she is in God’s grace but we must never diminish what God says about the importance of baptism. It is important because He says it is. Jesus walked 70 miles from Nazareth to the Jordan River to be baptized by John and he said He did it to “fulfill all righteousness.” In other words He did it not to be forgiven of any sin, because He had none but He did it because it was “the right thing to do.”
Paul taught a great deal about the importance of faith, repentance, God’s grace and he also taught the significance of baptism into Christ. “We are buried with Christ as He was buried and we rise to walk in newness of life.” (). He taught, “For as many of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (). To the Colossians he wrote, “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God who raised Him from the dead.” ().
So you see the Gospel is important. Faith in Christ is essential. Repentance from sin is a must. Confess of Jesus as Lord is fundamental and baptism into Christ is just as important as God says it is. We diminish any of these items to our peril! It’s not a matter of what I think or what you think or what anybody thinks. What matters is What God says!
Let’s face it…when the last curtain falls…when God steps into human history and says Time’s Up…they only thing that really matters is whether or not I have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and that I am one of His.
Related Media
Related Sermons