Faithlife Sermons

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ASKING & RECEIVING
INTRODUCTION:
1.
All of us had experiences where it seemed that God didn’t answer our prayers.
2. We have all prayed for things maybe for days, weeks, months, or even years and haven’t seen anything change.
3.
But Jesus says in verse 7, “ask, and it WILL be given to you.”
And then in verse 8 He says, “everyone who asks receives.”
4. So, if that’s not our experience - What’s the problem?
5. We know the problem isn’t God.
We know that God is true & His Word is true.
God has promised to hear & answer prayer
6.
So, what keeps us from receiving answers to our prayers.
7. Tonight, I want to share with you 6 keys on how to receive from God.
1) ASK 
1.
Jesus makes it clear that God is ready to answer our prayers.
He didn’t say it MIGHT BE GIVEN or you MIGHT FIND or it MIGHT BE OPENED.
JESUS SAID THOSE THINGS WILL BE DONE.
He said with absolute certainty that IF YOU ASK, YOU WILL RECEIVE.
2. SO, the first step to receiving is to start asking.
Jesus said, those who ask receive.
NOTE: You can’t receive anything if you don’t ask.
That’s not profound…That’s not difficult to understand.
But to put it plainly - If you don’t pray, you can’t receive.
NOTE: An un-offered prayer is always an unanswered prayer.
Ask not and you get not…If you don’t ask, God doesn’t answer.
And the truth is most Christians don’t pray…and if they do, it’s only when crisis hits…and that kind of praying usually won’t be that effective.
3. The 1st key to receiving from God is asking.
2) HAVE FAITH
1. Believing that God hears and answers is an essential key to receiving answers to our prayers.
NOTE: Faith is the key to receiving from God.
James says if you don’t ask in faith, you shouldn’t expect to receive anything from the Lord.
2. But how do I ask in faith?
By faith, you have to believe that you already have it.
But where does faith come from?
Faith comes from God’s Word.
So, find out what God says in His Word…and then stand on what God says & rely on the fact that God will always do what He said He would do.
(Illus.
Abraham gives us an example of us this when God told him he would have a son in his old age.)
NOTE: Asking in faith is an essential key to receiving answers to our prayers.
If you pray and believe - you receive…but if you pray and doubt - you’ll do without.
But acting in faith is also essential to answered prayer.
3. James says “faith w/o works is dead."
NOTE: There may be times that you will have a part to play in the answer to your prayer.
There may be something that God wants you to do before He does anything.
3) SEEK GOD’S WILL
Prayer is not a blank check where we can ask God to do anything we want Him to do.
If prayer is going to be answered it must be according to His will.
1.
When we ask amiss or ask wrongly…God says no.
But when we ask in line with His will…He always says yes.
1. God’s will is not some mystical, unknowable thing.
God reveals His will to us in the pages of the Bible.
The Bible reveals God’s words, which explain how He wants us to live.
It is God’s will for us to understand the truths of the purpose of life and what He is doing when He gives us access to that knowledge.
It is God’s will for us to claim the promises He has given us in His Word.
2. So, what are some of His promises that is His will for us to claim?
The Lord’s prayer ― gives a number of examples (Matthew 6:9-13):
Give us this day our daily bread (provide our needs).
Forgive us our debts (sins).
Do not lead us into temptation (help us be alert to avoid situations that lead to sin).
Deliver us from the evil one (help us overcome Satan’s influences in our lives).
3. Other promises include:
Wisdom
Provision
All things working out for good
Peace of God
And there are many more promises in the Bible…and it is God’s will for us to claim these.
NOTE: If we come to Him asking anything that is according to His will, He hears us…and He answers immediately but we MAY NOT SEE THE ANSWER IMMEDIATELY.
When you believe you have it by faith…you WILL have it in the natural - It could be a day, a week, or a month.
4. In chapter 9, Daniel prayed a prayer, and while he was still praying, his answer to prayer came in the form of Gabriel giving him “skill and understanding” in the thing he desired.
That’s a quick answer to prayer, but in verse 23, Gabriel says that God had sent him at the beginning of his prayer.
God moved instantly, but it took a little time for the answer to appear in the physical realm.
5.
In Daniel 10, he prayed & fasted 21 days...and his answer took three full weeks to manifest.
Most people would say, “I wonder why God answered that first prayer in just a short time, and the second prayer took three weeks.
But in Daniel 10:12, we find that God answered the second prayer instantly too.
NOTE: God wasn’t the variable.
In this case, it was a demonic force, “the prince of the kingdom of Persia,” that had hindered the answer to Daniel’s prayer.
NOTE: Whether it’s Satan or people’s wills or unbelief or any number of other possible hindrances, it’s important that you know that it’s not God who is always so unpredictable.
God hears you the moment you pray…and if you pray in faith & in line with His will…God answers yes immediately.
It could be that your answer is being blocked by Satanic hindrance…or people refusing to be obedient…or it could even be that you’re not being completely obedient.
4) OBEDIENCE 
1.
A simple definition of righteous is “doing what is right” (Webster’s New World Dictionary).
2. Godly righteousness then is doing what is right in God’s sight, or, as John wrote, doing “those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
3. God wants us to obey Him…and keep His commandments and as a result, He rewards our obedience.
In fact, our obedience is evidence of our love for Him.
NOTE: We can’t live in disobedience & expect God to answer our prayers.
If we’re not pleasing Him with how we live, our praying will not be effective.
5) BE PERSISTENT
1.
The words “ask,” “seek,” & “knock” are in the continuous tense meaning that we are to ask & keep asking…seek & keep seeking…knock & keep knocking.
In other words, we are to persevere/persist in prayer.
2. This doesn’t mean that we beg & plead with God until we wear Him out & He gives in…It means that we don’t give up praying.
3. To pray persistently, you have to stand on what the Word says…ask God for it and believe that it’s yours…and thank Him for it.
And do it consistently until the answer manifests in your life.
NOTE: What we pray for persistently demonstrates what’s important to us…and it shows what we’re really believing God for.
(ILLUS.
If your child asks you just once for a bicycle—then seemingly forgets about it and never brings the subject up again, how badly do you think they wanted a bicycle?
Not too badly.)
But in prayer, you persist until God answers.
NOTE: Sometimes praying once can be enough…but most of the time it takes perseverance.
6) FORGIVE OTHERS
1.
If our relationship with others isn’t right, then our relationship with God isn’t right…and our prayers will be hindered.
2. Holding on to grudges, bitterness, & past hurts will hinder you from praying effectively.
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