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This sermon – Asking of God – was originally preached 2013.06.16 by Leon Yoder.
Passages used: Psalm 23, Ephesians 3:20, James 4, Mathew 14, Philippians 4:6,7, Mathew 10, Hebrews 4:16, Mathew 6, Luke 11, Revelation 3, Romans 8, John 14, 15, 16, James 1.
Because We Ask Not
There was a crowd of people who were hungry when Jesus fed the 5000. The disciples didn’t come to Jesus and ask Him to feed them, instead they asked around to see what amounts of food where available. Jesus took that bit of food and was able to bless it and work a miracle.
What would have happened if the disciples had simply asked Jesus first?
What needs do I have? What needs do we have?
Do some of our needs exist because we haven’t asked the Father?
Prayer – Prayer Requests
Be careful for nothing. Let your requests be made known to God.
We can take anything to God in prayer. Anything that worries us or concerns us is something that God is worried and concerned about.
“Nothing is too great for his power. Nothing too small for his fatherly care!”
We are also told to take our things to God with thanksgiving. We need to be thankful even as we are laying out our burdens. Thankful that God hears and cares and works. Gratefulness is a result of believing and trusting prayer.
To be able to hand an issue or situation to God brings a comfort and peace that we cannot find on our own anywhere else.
We have physical needs and spiritual needs that need to be taken to God in prayer.
Prayer – Priorities in Prayer
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. All the other things are in another group… they shall be added unto you.”
If the kingdom of God is our first and greatest concern it should definitely get a substantial amount of our prayer time. If we only pray about the things that we need, we may need to check our balance of kingdom prayers versus our personal prayers.
We are encouraged in Luke, that we shall receive things from the Father. That the Father gives and answers our prayers. We also get a picture of a desire… we are told to ask, seek and knock.
We need to also search our hearts to see what our priorities in prayer are. The Spirit will help us discern the correct priority that things should have in our prayer lives.
The Spirit also helps us discern between asking for stones and serpents and better things.
Prayer – What are our Motives?
There is a common thread in the prayers of the righteous… In His name. For His Glory.
Solomon at the dedication of the temple prayed, “That all the people on the earth may know that the Lord, He is God.”
Elijah on Mount Carmel prayed, “Hear me oh Lord, that they may know that thou art the Lord God.”
We need to pray for God’s will. How He chooses. For His credit and praise and not our own.
Prayer is not a license for carnal fulfillment.
Prayer – Disappointments in Prayer
Is something wrong when nothing seems to happen in response to our prayers? Is God doing anything?
There may be something wrong with how we are asking or how we are living.
- It could be a motive issue. James 4:3 tells us that there can be a right request and a wrong motive.
- It could be a lack of submission, maybe we aren’t walking with and loving and obeying God. John 14, 15, 16.
- It could be that we have sin in our lives that is keeping us from a profitable prayer life.
- It could be a lack of faith. We are told in James 1 to ask in Faith. Not wavering.
- It may be that God’s timing is different than our timing. God knows the future as well as the past. God’s timing is always perfect. Jesus went to see Lazarus in God’s timing.
- It may be that God’s will is different than our will. God could be answering us that his will is to go another way than we think He should.
- Paul asked God three times to remove his “thorn in the flesh…” God told Paul that there was a reason that the thorn was there.
We’ve been thinking about prayer and we noticed in those verses at the beginning about needs and why maybe some of those needs exist.
If I am not making the spiritual progress that God would like to see in me, am I praying enough about that?
- Is my home what it ought to be?
- My marriage?
- Are we praying?
- Is our church what it ought to be?
- Are we concerned about weaknesses that we see in our church?
- Are we praying?
- What about our lost neighbors? Are we praying for them?
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not lack.
God is able to do much more than we are able to ask or thing. God is able. James tells us that we have not, because we ask not.
Could it be true that we are abundantly blessed because we ask?
May God hear us pray!