Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Faith That Works Series-Faith in the Face of Unanswered Prayer


Jeremiah 33:3  Call on Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know.

What should I believe; and what should I do, are questions many people ask when it seems like their prayers aren’t being answered. Through the years I have heard people say, “I prayed and prayed and prayed and God didn’t answer my prayer …” It can be disappointing to feel that way. But, even though the topic of our study tonight uses the familiar phrase, “Unanswered Prayer”, I don’t believe any sincere prayer goes unanswered.

God answers prayer … He may not give the answer we want at times, but God answers prayer. His arms are not short nor are His ears dull of hearing. The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers.

Tonight, we are talking about “Faith that Works” and we will use the scriptures to discover and reinforce what we should believe and what we should do when we are praying, and we aren’t hearing God. Job chapter 33 tells us that God speaks once and even twice, yet we don’t perceive it. Sometimes, not every time, but sometimes it’s not a problem with God not answering but rather a problem with our hearing.

At other times men like Daniel prayed and it seemed as if the heavens were shut up against their prayers. Yet that is not the truth. In Daniel’s case, an angel came and told him that heaven had heard his request from the very first day he set his face to seek the Lord and that an answer had been dispatched by the hand of an angelic messenger but that satanic forces had fought to stop the answer from getting to him. The angel informed Daniel that God sent reinforcements and it took 21 days of warfare in the heavenlies to break through the enemy forces and bring the answer to Daniel.

Another time, when God told Moses that Moses was going to die without going into the Promised Land, Moses repented and petitioned God to change His mind. God finally answered Moses and said, “Nope!

Zacharias and Elizabeth prayed to God earnestly for years, perhaps 30 years, that God would open Elizabeth’s womb and allow her to conceive a child. It must have looked like God wasn’t listening or wasn’t answering. So much time went by that Zacharias and Elizabeth got old and stopped praying about it. One day, late in their lives, God sent a messenger to Zacharias who told him that God had heard his prayers and that Elizabeth was going to conceive and bare a son and that he was to be named John. Zacharias didn’t believe it and imagined that day was past. Yet God, because of the prayers of this faithful man and woman, moved in His time to bring about an answer to their prayers.

God is not obligated to answer us when we want in the way we want or with the answer we want. God does not have to speak to us for Him to be God. However, God delights in answering us according to His will and in His time. He only hopes we understand that He is God, and He loves us dearly, and He knows what is best for everything and everyone concerned.

Even Jesus taught us what to believe and what to do when we have prayed and haven’t received clear direction from God yet. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus went back to prayer a third time before He got firm direction and peace about what He was supposed to do in that moment.

Again, tonight we are going to take a closer look at one moment in the life of King David. We will draw some conclusions which agree with all the supporting scriptures concerning:
1.  What should I believe …
2.  What should I do … In the face of prayers that haven’t been answered yet.

2 Samuel 12
16  David therefore pleaded with God for his child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.
17  So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them.
18  Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!”
19  When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.”
20  So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate.
21  Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”
22  And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’
23  “But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
24  Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the LORD loved him,
25  and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.

1.  Keep Praying
2.  Trust God
3.  Wait on Him
4.  Accept the Answer
5.  Go to Church
6.  Worship God
7.  Enjoy Life

Don’t give up on God, don’t give up on others and don’t give up on life.