To provide insight and proper response to unanswered prayer.
Is there such a thing as unanswered prayer .Some say yes, others no. The president of the seminary I attended said all prayer get answered but sometimes the Holy spirit alters your request to make it better so the answer may not be readily apparent. In this case you need to look for something “good” coming to you after your prayer that may be biblically “better” than your request. That “good” is the answer.
Well what do you think ? Discuss in group --
The Basic Premise of Prayer
God is always at work for the good of those that love him according to his purpose. And that purpose has some main elements . Here are a few ..
– Bring Glory to God and Conform you to the image of Christ …
– Bring you to the greatest commandment Matt 12:28
– Build you up in Faith (Eph 4:11-17)
– Help you build eternal rewards (Parable of the talents)
– Sanctification (making you functionally holy)
This is summarized in Rom 8:28 … And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV)
This verse when combined with Gods command to pray about all things and his expressed desire to answer payer for his children means that if your prayer is going unanswered, it is always because the main thing (greater eternal good) is in the way. For if it were not, your prayers would be instantly answered.
Biblically Valid Options
So if your prayers are not being answered yet your biblically valid options are
You are not one of his children
Wait faithfully that your faith may accomplish what it is desired for or ….
To try and understand to the element of Gods will (His purpose) that is in the way of your request.
Christ as our model was quick and accurately sighted to Gods will and Eph 4:15) tells us that all ministry gifts exists so people may be “less tossed by the waves” and become mature in Christ being more more faithful and less discouraged and frustrated
Some Reasons for Apparent Unanswered Prayer
God is trying to get your attention and/or you are being disciplined. You may be keeping some area of sin in your life or you may be harboring un-forgiveness towards someone. These are things that interrupts our fellowship and protection. God often deals with disobedience with “exposure”.
Gods may not be able to answer that prayer right yet especially if you have included a request for him to do it according to his will . God manages the whole world and things in one place do affect things elsewhere. . Gods purposes with others can be in the way of your request .. even for healing ..)
God or His kingdom may be continuing to benefit from your faith in the absence of an answer . Jobs faith in the face of his repeated and increasing release of protection from God was all about what his faith proved to a heavenly company. God was accused by Satan of lying and through the story was vindicated in front of Angels Scripture makes clear that Angels are not forgiven their trespasses like we are so for them to align with Satan over who has the real power is a permanent expulsion for them. Can you imagine the value of Job continued faith and dedication to God despite the total destruction of all aspects of his life. …
What you asked for may not be as good for you or someone else as you thought. .. see Rom 8:28 ? .. Do you have the other persons best eternal interested in view? Can you see into their heart the way God can? If your request was granted would they continue your growth in faith, purity and love as well if it were not. What are the possible crossed purposes. If it were answered would you be positioned to minister to others . See 2 Cor 1 .. made to suffer that you might me more able to minister to others .. Paul was. Or Made to suffer to become more reliant of God ..one of those main things)
What you asked for may have already been provided. You might just not see it .. see Prov 3:31-23 and Gen 1:28
You really don’t believe God will answer this request ? See James 1
What you requested may not be part of God plan for mankind right now... (Story of Baruch) .. a form of crossed purpose .. also John 17:15 .. remember pain in childbirth and working for a living are part of the curse from Gen 3.
We are being protected from something worse that worldly things - Satan. What you asked form may expose you to him even though you don’t realize it. (story of Anthonys $50K windfall)
Your faith is being tested .. 1 peter 1:3-10 .. consider the norm today expressed here. What was the norm prior to the flood ? how many passed the test then. Be aware of the norm.
The Prayer Process
Step 1 - Acknowledge Gods role in your life and your position on his will being done Matt 6:10-11 / Acts 17:24 / Rom 8:28
Step 2 - Clean House Confess your un-confessed sins / ask for forgiveness and decide to turn around. Also make up your mind to forgive others and be sure you go do it. Matt 6:12-14
Step 3 – Determine Gods Will. Ask for God to reveal his will on your requests. Use the “Checkout Gods Will Process” below and take some time to let him answer before making the request.
Step 4 - Now Present your requests to God For others first and them for yourself .. Phil 4:6 and Luke 11:5-13
Step 5 - Believe .... Matt 21:22 & 26:39 Believe that God will give you what you ask as long as it is in Gods will for you Thank the Lord for what he will provide.
Step 6 - Wait – and if your faith waivers review step 3
Now I happen to think that most “unanswered prayer” is not so much the absence of an answer but the result of omitting Step 3 from our prayer process. It is from a lack of dilegence in checking out Gods will that we are left with many requests going unanswered and our faith dwindling as a result. So lets look at that process a little more closely.
The “Checkout Gods Will” Process
Ask for God to reveal what is going on to you . Then look for the following things
Does Scripture make Gods will clear in the area ?
Consider the main track that your spiritual life is currently on. What are your primary deficiencies as compared to the “main things” from scripture ?
Look for Scripture appearing more frequently in your life (quickening)
Look for other Christians bringing insight into your life . What are they saying ?
Look for providential things (consistent with the role of the Holy Spirit and God word)
if appropriate to the situation select some possible intermediate options in different directions and then step out and see which doors God opens vs closes (similar to a fleece) .
Ask God to reveal his will with a “fleece” request such as Gideon, Jonathon, David and many others did in scripture. Here fleeces need not me miraculous or spectactular as was Gideon’s but can be simple as was Jonathon’s.
Be completely assured that if the request is not forth coming, the main thing is and the main thing is at this exact time better for you than the request
When you pray never forget the high point of Romans .which says ..
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28 (NIV)
And be completely assured that if the request is not forth coming, the main thing is being worked and the main thing at this time in your life is better for you than the request