OceanSide church of Christ




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How Does God Answer Our Prayers?
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.              Intro

a.    Prayer is one of the greatest blessing we have as a child of God

                                          i.    We get to approach our Creator and speak freely to Him

b.    Sometimes we might think that God only answers our prayer when He says “yes”

                                          i.    God always answer our prayers, but not always in the affirmative

c.    There are four ways God might answer your prayer

II.            He might say “yes”

a.    Abraham prayed for Abimlelech (Gen 20:17-18)

                                          i.    Abraham lied to king Abimelech about Sarah being his sister

1.    God told Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham

                                        ii.    Abraham prayed for God to bless Abimelech

                                       iii.    God answered with the affirmative

                                       iv.    Abimelech and his wife could now have children

b.    Hannah prayed for a child (1 Sam 1:11-20)

                                          i.    She told God she would give her child to Him in service

                                        ii.    Her husband thought she was drunk as her lips moved and no words came out

1.    She prayed to God from the heart

                                       iii.    God answered her prayer exactly as requested

1.    Hannah gave birth to Samuel

c.    Moses prayed for Israel to be spared (Num 11:1-2)

                                          i.    Israel complained as they often did

1.    This time God began consuming them with fire

                                        ii.    Moses prayed for God to spare them

1.    God was longsuffering and did as requested

d.    If our prayer comes from a righteous heart our prayer will avail much (James 5:16)

III.           He might say “no”

a.    David’s son was not spared (2 Sam 12:13-23)

                                          i.    One of David’s punishments for his sin was the death of his firstborn child

1.    David prayed and fasted that the child would be spared

2.    God’s response was “no”

                                        ii.    We must trust God and remember He knows what is best

b.    Paul prayed for his thorn in the flesh to be removed (2 Cor 12:7-10)

                                          i.    God answered in the negative

1.    God’s grace was to be enough

2.    Paul learned that in weakness he is made strong

c.    Jesus prayed to let the “cup pass” from Him (Matt 26:39)

                                          i.    God even told His sinless Son “no”

                                        ii.    God’s will is always our desire and His will was to be done

1.    Christ had to die for our sins so that we might be saved

2.    His desire was to do the will of God more than His own

d.    Remember Romans 8:28

                                          i.    Everything will work for good in God’s plan

IV.          He might say “wait”

a.    Jeremiah had to wait ten days (Jer 42:7)

                                          i.    The remnant of Judah wanted God’s guidance

1.    They asked Jeremiah to pray for them

                                        ii.    God’s answer, in essence, was for them to wait a few days

1.    Then God said “yes”

b.    The martyrs asked God to avenge them (Rev 6:9-11)

                                          i.    They had died under Roman persecution

1.    Many others were being slain and would be slain

                                        ii.    They wanted God to bring justice

1.    His response was for them to wait a “little season”

c.    The elect were told to wait for judgment (Luke 18:7)

                                          i.    Jesus gives a parable about a judge who didn’t care for God or man

1.    When bugged by a widow this judge eventually helped her

                                        ii.    Jesus makes a point that if this unrighteous judge will help how could God not?

1.    As His elect He will bring judgment but we must wait

V.           He might make a substitution

a.    Moses was allowed to see the promised land (Deut 3:23-29)

                                          i.    God did not allow Moses to enter it because of sin

                                        ii.    Moses prayed to be able to enter it anyways

1.    God didn’t allow it but made a substitution

2.    He let Moses climb mount Pisgah and see it from there

b.    Mary and Martha prayed for Lazarus to be healed (John 11:1-44)

                                          i.    Their prayer was to have Lazarus be healed from sickness

                                        ii.    Jesus had a different plan

1.    Lazarus died and was not healed at all

2.    Jesus resurrected him from the dead

                                       iii.    It may not have been their prayer but a substitute plan occurred

VI.          Conclusion

a.    We must trust God and pray in faith

b.    We must pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17)

c.    We must pray for one another and not sin (1 Sam 12:23)