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How to Get a Prayer Through

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Introduction

Two weeks ago we dealt with the question, “Why Does God not Answer Prayer?”  We discovered that many times we do not receive an answer is because we are too busy to pray.

James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. KJV

We have not because we ask not.  We see things that we want and lust for them and are envies of other and we are so busy running here and them trying to get what we want; that we don’t take time to pray.  So we have not because we ask not.

We also discovered that God does not answer our prayer because we ask amiss. 

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. KJV

That is we ask to impress the world and to make our self look big.  We ask many times because we see someone else with something and we want it also.  We have a spirit of Envy or out of Pride.  God is not going to honor a prayer that is amiss.

We also discovered that selfishness voids our prayer request.  God is not obligated to answer selfish prayers.  We discovered that our prayers are not answered because of un-confessed or un-forsaken sin in our heart.  We must deal with the sin in our lives to have the ear of God.

Our prayers are not answered many times because God has second place in our lives.  We discussed four dangerous steps that take believers into a wrong relationship with the world.  We can become too friendly with the world.  We are told:

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity (or hostility; hated; ill will) with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. KJV

We cannot please God and the world.  We can be soiled by the world and the influence of the world.  We can become in love with the world and the draw of the world.  That is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.  We are told:

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. KJV

Our friendship with the world will cause is to be soiled by the world with lead to our love for the world and before you know it you have been conformed to the world instead of being transformed to be like Christ.

The last thing we discussed was we discovered is that our prayers are not answered because of our mistreatment of our brothers and sisters.  We are told:

Matthew 5:23-24

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. KJV

What I love about scriptures is that they don’t leave you hinging.  James tells us why God does not answer our prayers, than he turns around and tells us:

Subject

“How to Get A Prayer Through”

In this same chapter Jesus begin to give us three secrets to answered prayers.  They are so simple that we may sometimes over look them.

First     Submit Yourself to God

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. KJV

James is calling for an unconditional surrender to God and His will for your life.  That’s what the songwriter means when he says:

All to Jesus, I surrender; all to Him I freely give,

I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all, all thee my Blesses Savior

I surrender all.

If there is any area of our life that we keep back from God, there will always be a battle.  James begins with chapter talking about that battle.

James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? KJV

You are battling with others because of the battle within.  That area of your life you have not surrendered to Jesus.

That is also the area that the devil attacks.  Satan needs a foothold in our lives if he is going to fight against God.  That why Paul tells us:

Ephesians 4:26-27

26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. KJV

The devil is looking for an opening in your armory and if you allow him a foothold, he will move in.  The devil is like a door-to-door salesman.  If he can get a foot in the door, he can make a sale.  James knows this so he tell us:

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. KJV

What you should notice is that you are not told to fight the devil, just resist him.  God has promised us that if we resist the devil, he will flee.

How do we resist the devil?  By submitting ourselves to God.

God will give us every thing we need to resist the devil.  When we submit ourselves to the will of God for our lives the devil doesn’t stand a change.

So the first step to having our prayers answer is to submit ourselves to God.

Secondly            Draw Near to God

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. KJV

What we must notice is the promise given in this scripture.  “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.”

The songwriter said:

I am thine, O Lord, I have heard thy voice, and it told thy love to me; But I long to rise in the arms of faith, and be closer drawn to Thee.  Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to the cross where thou hast died. Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to thy precious bleeding side.

God has promised us that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.

What does it mean to draw near to God?

James begins to tell us what we must do.

First     Cleanse your hands

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. KJV

We must deal with the sin in our lives.  We cannot go before a Holy God with a filthy hand.  God has made provision for our cleansing.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we confess our He will cleanse us.  But our confession must come from the heart.  Note what James says:

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. KJV

Secondly            Purify Your Heart

Purify your heart.  You must confess with your mouth and with your heart.  There should be true repentance in your heart.  James describes a repentance spirit in verse nine.

James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. KJV

James describes two conditions, one that is true repentance.  Some who is really sorry for what they have done.  They are so hurt by the sin in their life that they are hurt, weeping and sorrowful for their sin.

The other is a description of someone who confessed but in his or her heart they are laughing because they get away with something.  Those of you who have brothers and sisters have seen this behavior when a sibling gets away with something and looks at you and laugh.

James says:

James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. KJV

We need to take sin seriously because God does.  We have a tendency to treat sin lightly.

We must repent with both our mouth and our heart in order to draw near to God.

To get a prayer through, we must submit to God, draw near to God:

Lastly               Humble Ourselves Before God.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. KJV

It is possible to submit ourselves outwardly and yet not be humbled inwardly and what we have been told over and over again is God hates the sin of pride.

Proverbs 6:16-17

16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, KJV

That is part of what James was talking about in verse number nine. “…Let your laughter be turned into mourning”

James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. KJV

We are told:

Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. KJV

One mark of true humility is facing the seriousness of our sin and dealing with our disobedience.

Conclusion

How do we get a prayer through, James tells us three things we must do.

First                 We must Submit Ourselves to God

Secondly            We must Draw Near to God

Thirdly              We must Humble Ourselves Before God

God gives us three promises in our scriptures:

First     Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Second             Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Thirdly              Humble yourselves and He will lift you up.

Do you want to get a prayer through?  Submit yourself to God, Draw near to Him and humble yourself to Him.

But it all begins with a relationship with Jesus.

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