THE POWER OF PRAYER
1. If God hears our prayers, why doesn't He always immediately answer us & give us what we want? - cf. Children to a parent - Lk. 11:11-12.
2. Is this your attitude toward prayer? (2 Cor. 13:5) If so, you are still immature in your understanding of prayer. This attitude is selfish & self- centered in its expectations of prayer, & it shows you do not yet have a mature faith in God concerning prayer.
3. The place & power of prayer in the Christian's life.
I. THE PLACE OF PRAYER.
A. Prayer Is A Privilege Of Christians - Eph. 1:3; Heb. 4:14-16; cf. 1 Jno. 1:7-9; 2:1.
B. Prayer Is An Expression Of Our Relationship With God - Gal. 4:6; Matt. 7:10-11.Heb. 4:14-16.
1. Father - child relation.
2. Dependency upon God as our Supplier, Protector, Deliverer, etc.
C. We Have Confidence In The Blessing & Privilege Of Prayer - 1 Jno. 5:14-15.
II. THE POWER OF PRAYER - Jas. 5:16-18.
A. Prayer Is Powerful Where There Is Faith - Jas. 1:5-8; Mk. 11:20-24.
B. Prayer Is Powerful Where There Is A Righteous Person Praying - Jas. 5:16; 1 Jno. 3:22. - cf. Elijah - 1 Kgs. 18:41-45 (Jas. 5:17-18).
C. Prayer Is Powerful When It Is According To The Will Of God - 1 Jno. 5:14.
1. In harmony with & submitting to God's word (cf. Jesus in Gethsemane - Matt. 26:39, 42, 44).
a. This does not mean God has predestined all that will occur & we are just acknowledging the point!
b. It means we are humbly submissive to His purposes / overriding will.
2. Jas. 4:3 - Free of covetous requests.
III. THE POSSIBILITIES OF PRAYER - Phil. 4:6-7.
A. In This Life We Will Never Know All The "Whys & Wherefores" Of God's Workings, Including His Answers To Prayer - Eccl. 3:11; Deut. 29:29.
1. We can be certain God does answer our prayers (Lk. 11:9-10).
2. We can be certain God will always answer us in love (Matt. 7:11).
3. But, if we try to "pin down" the exact time & place God answers each & every prayer we will spend our energy in the wrong place doing the wrong thing!
a. Our focus & strength will not be where it should be - on living a life of trusting faith, obeying gospel & serving others (Rom. 12:1-2).
b. We will become consumed with things we can never resolve we will begin questioning & blaming God begin to psychoanalyze God!
c. We will misinterpret as an answer that which is not, & vice versa.
d. Faith will be weakened & can be destroyed!
B. The Possibility Of God Answering "Yes" - cf. Acts 4:28-33.
1. When the answer is yes - keep living by faith!
2. Be thankful - 1 Ths. 5:18.
C. The Possibility Of God Answering "No." (cf. Jesus - Heb. 5:7; Matt. 26:38-44 -- Lk. 23:46)
1. Receive God's answers with thanks & faith - 2 Cor. 12:7-10.
2. Faith to:
a. See that God knows best - Rom. 8:28.
b. Get stronger - Jas. 1:3-5.
c. Be humble before God - 1 Pet. 5:5-7.
d. Not be anxious - 1 Pet. 5:7; Phil. 4:6-7.
3. Keep praying! - cf. 2 Cor. 12:8; 1 Ths. 5:17.
D. The Possibility Of God Answering "Wait A While Longer" - Eph. 6:18.
1. Be steadfastly (persevere) attentive (watchful).
2. Lk. 18:1-8 - The persistent widow was answered - we will be, too!
1. God hears & answers the prayers of His children.
2. We, as His children, must trust Him & know that His answers are always for our best good.
3. So, we focus on faithfully serving Him - praying always - and submitting to the will of God in all things.