Bible Topics In The Christian Library
 
HOW OUR GOD ANSWERS PRAYER

INTRODUCTION: Weíve talked about prayer for the last two weeks. The Christian can have confidence that God hears his prayer. We know that God commands us to pray. And He also assures us that He answers our prayers. How does God answer those prayers. But the real question is, "How does God work in this world?" There are two extremes. Some say that God predestines every little action. If this were true there would be no need to pray. But the other extreme states that God has wound up the world once like a clock and now is far removed from this earth. This other extreme is also false.

Our God has changed His mind about a certain deed promised (Genesis 18:32). God promised to cause all things to work together for our good. (Romans 8:28). God can manipulate natural law. God indeed answers prayer. But how does he answer the prayers of His saints.
 
 

BODY

I. OUR GOD ANSWERS PRAYER THROUGH HIS INSPIRED WORD.

A. Have you ever prayed for patience or comfort.
1. Romans 15:4 - "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."
B. Do you pray that someone might come to a knowledge of the truth?
1. Acts 8:25- "So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans."

2. Romans 10:17

3. 2 Timothy 3:16- "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,"

C. Have you ever prayed for knowledge?
1. Psalms 119:130- "The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple."

2. 2 Timothy 2:15- "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

3. God will not give you knowledge supernaturally.
 
 

II. OUR GOD ANSWERED PRAYER THROUGH NATURAL LAW.
A. We pray for our daily bread.
1. Matthew 6:11 - "Give us this day our daily bread."

2. But we work and depend on the goodness of Godís blessings.

3. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread."

B. We pray for physical healing.
1. We know that God does not miraculously heal anyone today.
a. 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away."
2. But we are confident that God can manipulate natural law through doctors, nurses, etc. to heal the sick.

3. Romans 8:28
 
 

III. OUR GOD ANSWERS PRAYER THROUGH PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS.
A. Paul needed protection form the Jews.
1. God gave it through the Roman law.
a. Acts 21-23
2. Matthew 6:13- "And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."
B. We pray for opportunities.
1. 1 Corinthians 16:7- "For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits. But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries."

2. Colossians 4:3- "meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains,"

3. What we do with those opportunities is up to our free will.
 
 

IV. OUR GOD ANSWERS PRAYER IN HIS OWN MIND.
A. Forgiveness of sins.
1. God will answer our prayer for forgiveness as alien sinners when we comply with His truth.

2. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21

B. How do we know our sins are forgiven?
1. Acts 22:16

2. Romans 1:16

C. How does Christians know that they are forgiven?
1. 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."
V. WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DONíT PERCEIVE AN IMMEDIATE ANSWER FROM GOD?
A. Make sure you meed scriptural requirements.
1. 1 John 5:14- "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."
B. Even though God has not answered our prayers immediately, rest assured that God will answer your prayer.
1. James 1:5-8 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
C. Set forth to put your prayers into action.
1. "Pray at the end of a hoehandle."

2. "Pray like everything depends on it and work like everything depends on it."

D. Donít lose confidence in God if the answer turns out to be NO.
1. 2 Corinthians 12:7- "And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

2. God know best, just as we know what is best for our children.

3. Godís Strange Answer

"He was a Christian, and he prayed. He asked for strength to do greater things, but he was given infirmity that he might do better things.

"He asked for riches that he might be happy; he was given poverty that he might be wise.

"He asked for power that he might have the praise of men; he was given weakness that he might feel the need of God.

"He had received nothing that he asked for; all that he hoped for. His prayer seems unanswered, but he is most blessed."

 
CONCLUSION: Prayer is not an exact science. We canít take it apart and understand all the workings of it in a couple of easy lessons. But we can be assured that God hears us, wants to answer our prayers, and truly cares for us. 
 

Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.


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