Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.
Knowing that God is sovereign and that He will carry out His will, why pray? Why lay any petitions at the feet of Almighty God when He knows the beginning from the end? With billions of people in this world, why would our cries for help be heard over those of any one else? Why would I merit any attention? Why pray? Why get our hopes up?
1. Because God instructs us to pray.Matthew 6:6: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
Matthew 6:9-13: The Lord’s Prayer
James 5:13-15: Prayer for the sick
2. Because God hears our prayer.1 John 5:14-15: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
Psalm 34:17, Psalm 55:17, Isaiah 65:24
3. Because God answers our prayer.John 15:7: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Mark 11:24, Psalm 86:7, Matthew 7:7, Jeremiah 33:3, John 14:14, Psalm 91:15, 2 Chronicles 7:14.
4. Because God cares about us as His children.Our prayers are like a kindergartener attempting to show the President of the United States a picture drawn with crayons. The child has no chance of gaining the President’s attention. The difference in gaining the President’s attention relates to the proximity to the President. The President’s children can show him a picture any time.
You are a child of the King. You can boldly approach the Throne of Grace.
Hebrews 10:19-20: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.”
Types of Prayers God Answers:
1. God answers a prayer for salvation.Romans 10:13: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
2. God answers a prayer for wisdom.James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
3. God answers a prayer for enablement.2 Corinthians 3:4-6: “And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”
4. God answers a prayer of agreement.Matthew 18:19: “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”
Prayers God Does Not Answer:
1. God does not answer prayers based on selfish motivation.James 4:1-6: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 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. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
2. God does not answer prayers of those seeking attention.Matthew 6:5, 16-18: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
3. God does not answer our prayers if we refuse to forgive others.Matthew 6:14-15: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
4. God does not answer our prayers if we refuse to repent of sin.Psalm 66:18: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
James 5:16: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
5. God does not answer our prayers when our faith waivers.James 1:5-8: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”