Why Won't God Answer My Prayers?
We start of this session with an analogy that is intended to help us understand that God knows what is best for us, and a "No" may be in our best interest.
1) INTRODUCTION: What is prayer?
Prayer is an intimate conversation with my Creator and Master, who is so loving and caring. He wants to be involved in thesmallest details of my life.
A balance of reverence and awe of God and including Him in the "small stuff."
As in any conversation, listening is a major component. God will speak to my heart and reveal new things to me, if I am listening and expecting Him to speak to me.
One way of honoring God and giving Him His rightful recognition in my heart is by actively seeking and accepting His priorities.
This means forming the habit of not giving Him the leftovers of my time, energy and possessions, but rather offering Him the best of my resources.
Isaiah 50:4b …. He awakens Me each morning; He awakens My ear to listen like those being instructed.
Colossians 3:2-3 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.
2) PREPARING FOR CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD
Conversation with God will be enhanced by a heart preparation.
Psalm 37:7 Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him.
I Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; 6 think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.
3) PRAYER SHOULD BE CONTINUAL, ANYTIME, but should also include, as possible, regular daily special times, when I seek His direction.
- Psalm 119:164 I praise You seven times a day for Your righteous judgments.
- I Thessalonians 5:17 Pray constantly.
To think about: “Continual prayer is not prayer that prevails without any interruption, but prayer that continues whenever possible. Paul was speaking of maintaining continuous fellowship with God as much as possible in the midst of daily living in which concentration is frequently broken.”
(Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.)
4) PRAYER INCLUDES MANY ELEMENTS:
a) Adoration, thanksgiving (gratitude), and praise
- Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.
- I Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
- NOTE: Did Paul say here in this verse to give thanks FOR everything? No. He said “IN” everything. What do you think the difference is?
b) Confession, reconciliation and forgiveness of others
Proverbs 28:13 The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.
Matthew 5:23-24 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your
Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.
c) Requests for my personal needs
James 1:5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.
d) Requests for others’ needs (intercession)
2 Corinthians 1:11 (Paul wrote of his afflictions in Asia) ... while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gift that came to us through the prayers of many.
Ephesians 6:18-20 (Paul wrote) Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.
e) Intercession for government leaders
- I Timothy 2:1-2 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
- Jeremiah 29:7 Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.”
- II Chronicles 7:14 …My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
CHALLENGE: IS PRAYER NECESSARY TO LIVE IN THE ABUNDANT LIFE?
- If yes, what specifically will you do this week to spend more / better time with Him in Prayer and the Bible?
- Let’s pause right now and pray for yourself and each other in this challenge.
- Take a few minutes right now to write down 1-2 specific things you will do – considering that GOD will help you!
YouVersion devotional suggestion:
The Power of Prayer - 5 day reading plan
Five Days of Prayer for My Nation – 5 day reading plan