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Why Our Prayers Are Not Answered | Spiritual Battle

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 18, 2022 3:00 am

Why Our Prayers Are Not Answered | Spiritual Battle

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 18, 2022 3:00 am

Pilots know that air traffic controllers are their lifeline. They report the wind speed and direction, they give pilots the correct heading. It keeps them safe and aimed in the right direction. The silliest thing a pilot could do is turn off the radio and say, “I got this.” Some believers seem to do that with the privilege of prayer; “Don’t need to talk to God—I got this.” Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us the importance of prayer, and how to pray most successfully.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. Do we pray as intensely as we have been praying when we have the calamity? Generally, no. Prayer connects us with God's care in good times and bad. Pastor Greg Laurie says we should call on him constantly. Are you suffering today? Then pray.

Are things going well? Are you blessed right now? Then praise. Do you need healing from the Lord? Then again, pray, pray, pray, pray. What's a take away message? Keep praying.

Don't stop praying. Pilots know air traffic controllers are their lifeline. They report the wind speed and direction. They give pilots the correct heading.

It keeps them safe and aimed in the right direction. The silliest thing a pilot could do is turn off the radio and say, I got this. Well, some believers seem to do that with the privilege of prayer. Don't need to talk to God.

I got this. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us the importance of prayer and how to pray most successfully. You know, in a way all prayer is actually answered.

God answers prayer in three ways. Right? Yes.

No. And the dreaded wait. Don't make me wait. So sometimes the Lord will say no. We will say, the Lord didn't answer my prayer. Actually He did. He said no.

That is an answer. Sometimes He says wait because God has His timing. And sometimes He says yes. And sometimes He says yes even more quickly than we expected.

And that is what we are going to look at in the message. But before I tell you how to pray in a way where you will get answers in the affirmative, we are going to give you five reasons why our prayers are not answered in the affirmative. Number one, your prayers are not answered in the affirmative because you don't have a relationship with God. Listen, the promise of answered prayer is not given to every human on earth today. Sure anyone can call upon the name of the Lord. But having a prayer life, having this fellowship and communion with God is a privilege for the child of God. So when you have a relationship with God and you call upon Him He will hear you and He will answer you.

But it starts there. But the number two reason why our prayers are not answered is unconfessed sin. Unconfessed sin. Psalm 66 18 says, if you regard iniquity in your heart the Lord will not hear you.

And that word regard means to cling to or hold onto. Listen, if you are practicing sin as a Christian it will bring your prayer life to a screeching halt. I didn't say if you sin as a Christian because we all sin. But there is a difference between a Christian who sins and a Christian who is willfully and habitually sinning without remorse, without any plans to stop. If you are practicing, emphasis on that word, sin as a Christian it will bring your prayer life to a screeching halt.

Number three. Selfishness can hinder our prayers. Selfishness can hinder our prayers. James 4 3 says, when you pray you do not receive and it is because you ask with the wrong motives that you may spend it on your pleasures. So sometimes selfishness can hinder our prayers.

Number four. Having idols in our life can hinder our prayers. Idols in our life. Ezekiel 14 3 says, these leaders have set up idols in their heart and they have embraced things that make them fall into sin.

Why should I listen to their requests? So God is saying, if you have an idol in your life I will not hear you. What is an idol? An idol is anyone or anything that takes the place of the true God in your life. An idol can be a car. An idol can be a house. An idol can be your own body. An idol can be a relationship that is more important to you than God. An idol can be your career. An idol can be some other thing. There might be something like that in your life and you need to just pitch it over to the side and say, I am done with this.

But listen to this. Unforgiveness can hinder your prayers. Unforgiveness can hinder your prayers. Mark 11 25 Jesus says, when you stand praying if you are holding anything against anyone forgive him that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Also in Matthew 5 23 Jesus says, if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember your brother or sister has something against you leave your gift in front of the altar and be reconciled to your brother and sister and then come and offer your gift. So let me ask you this.

Is there somebody right now you are bitter toward? If you have that attitude toward someone that can hinder your prayer life. But there is one other thing that keeps our prayers from being answered. And this one may surprise you. A supernatural battle is raging behind the scenes. So why is it that my prayer is not answered? A supernatural battle is raging behind the scenes.

I know that sounds strange. But that is exactly what is happening here in Daniel chapter 10. Now we are looking at the final vision that God gives to Daniel in this book.

We are almost done with this book. And this vision is a glimpse into the end times. And so as Daniel is sort of surveying the situation his spirit is deeply grieved because as it turns out chronologically this is during the reign of Darius. Remember Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon. He was replaced by his grandson Belshazzar who was overthrown by Cyrus and the Medo-Persian Empire right. And then ruling over the Medo-Persian Empire was Darius. And this is the Darius that sent Daniel to the lions den.

So we are in the reign of Darius chronologically here in the book of Daniel. Darius had given the announcement that the Jews could return to their homeland. They had been captives in Babylon for 70 years. But sadly most of them did not return. 50,000 went back home. And among those who did return many were not working. They weren't doing anything.

They weren't rebuilding the walls of the city. And we dealt with that in the book of Nehemiah. So Daniel is grieved by this and he prays. Daniel chapter 10 verse 2. When this vision came to me I Daniel had been in mourning for three whole weeks.

All the time I had eaten no rich food, no meat and wine, crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed. So he is fasting and he is grieving and he doesn't understand why these things are happening. He is hurting. And maybe you have felt that way. You are grieving over something. You are mourning over something. Your life is not going the way you hoped it would go.

Others have disappointed you. You even feel as though God has let you down. So as he is crying out to the Lord. Look at Daniel chapter 10 verse 10.

Suddenly a hand touched me which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. He said to me, oh Daniel man greatly beloved understand the words that I speak to you and stand upright for I have now been sent to you. While he was speaking this word to me I stood trembling and then he said do not fear Daniel for from the first day you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God your words were heard and I have come because of your words. So basically the angel is telling Daniel your prayer was heard in heaven and I was dispatched but a problem developed. Verse 13.

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me for 21 days and behold Michael one of the chief princes came to help me for I've been left alone there with the king of Persia and now I have come to make you understand what will happen to people in the last days for the vision refers to many days to come. So we'll get into that vision in our next message but here's a behind the scenes look of what goes on in the supernatural world sometimes when we pray. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing about listeners whose families are impacted because of the ministry of harvest is so encouraging. Pastor Greg thank you for your messages my husband and I were headed for divorce because of anger and addiction problems but we stopped and went back to church because of that we're in love again and have been together 25 years.

We listen to your podcast every morning with our children while they get ready for school. God has prevailed and it's been amazing to see our family happy today and mended. Thank you for spreading God's word. What a great story of how Pastor Greg's teachings from God's word have made an impact on this family and if you'd like to listen to Pastor Greg's podcasts you can do that through google apple or spotify or just go to harvest.org that's harvest.org. Well today Pastor Greg is showing us those things that can hinder our prayers including a battle in the supernatural realm.

Let's continue. Here are some things we need to know about prayer when we are properly aligned with God. Number one God hears and answers the prayers of those He loves. God hears and answers the prayers of those He loves. Look at verse 10. The angel says you are greatly loved by God and you might say well that's fine that's Daniel. I'm sure he was loved by God but I'm not loved by God. Oh excuse me.

Actually you are. Did you know you're greatly loved by God and because you're greatly loved by God and you have relationship with God you can have expectation to have your prayers entered by God. You say well I don't know if God really loves him. Well then you have to ignore what the Bible says because many many times the Scripture reminds us of God's love toward us. One of my favorite passages is when Jesus in John 17 is praying to the Father and He says this, may they experience, speaking of us, such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent Me and that you love them as much as you love Me. Now let me ask you a question. Do you think that God the Father loves God the Son?

Yes or no? Yes He does. And Jesus is saying help them to realize you love them as much as you love Me. God loves you as much as He loves God the Son.

You are loved by God just as Daniel is loved by God. And because you're loved by God your prayers are heard in heaven. So the Lord sent an angel with an immediate answer. Sometimes our prayers are answered later than we hoped. Sometimes they're answered so quickly it's mind-blowing. You ever had that happen?

You ever had that happen? You pray for them. Boom. It's answered.

So here's what happened. Daniel is praying. The Lord says send an angel with an answer. So off an angel is sent from heaven. You know you can get same day delivery on Amazon now right.

This is same day delivery. An answer from heaven on the same day not brought by a drone but brought by an angel of God. But the problem was as the angel was on his way to deliver the answer to the prayer of Daniel the prophet he was overcome by a higher ranking angel identified as the prince of Persia.

So I don't think this was a person. I think it was an angel. Because a person could not stop an angel. Even the lowest of angels are more powerful than any person. This phrase prince of Persia is a phrase used elsewhere of the devil.

He is called the prince of the power of the air. You see. So this was a high ranking demon power. Now the question arises did this demon rule over Persia? It would appear so. So our demons, which are fallen angels by the way, rule over certain areas.

I think that may be true. In the book of Revelation we read that God says Pergamos was the place where Satan's seat was. So it appears that the devil may have a place he likes to hang out.

A certain geographical area. And demons have certain regions they may be assigned to. You think well wait I thought the devil ruled from hell.

No friend. He doesn't rule from hell. He is headed to hell.

There is a big difference. Sometimes we think God rules in heaven and the devil rules from hell. No God rules from heaven and the devil is headed to hell.

Right now the devil just moves about in the supernatural realm with his demon powers that do his bidding. You say well where did demons even come from? Why would God create demons?

He didn't. God created holy angels. But He gave them a free will.

An ability to choose. And Scripture tells us that Satan, once known as Lucifer, led a rebellion against God and one-third of the angels joined his ranks. And those are what we now call fallen angels or demons. So these demons seem to have rankings.

There is probably generals and corporals and sergeants and privates I suppose. Different rankings of demons that do this work just as there are different rankings of angels. So meanwhile this angel is dispatched. By the way what is the story in this angel?

Why was he overcome? Was he like a rookie angel? Was he trying to earn his wings? No. That is in Hollywood.

They don't earn wings. Maybe he needed to work out at the gym more. Kind of a puny angel.

I don't know. But I just know that a more powerful angel called the Prince of Persia stopped him so the Lord brought out the big gun. He said, ok Michael you better go take care of this. Michael is an archangel. Michael is the mega angel. He is the only angel in the Bible called archangel. Now maybe Gabriel is an archangel too.

We don't know. He is given to us by name. He is very powerful as well. But only Michael is called the archangel. It is interesting when in the book of Revelation we read about a war in heaven in Revelation 12 and we read that Michael and his angels fought against the devil and his angels but the devil was not strong enough and lost his place in heaven. Michael is stronger than Lucifer. In fact the only one stronger than Michael is the Lord Himself. So when Michael gets dispatched nothing is going to happen after that.

He is going to clear the playing field just like that. And by the way Michael plays a role in the end times because we read that when the rapture happens it will be the voice of the archangel and the trump of God and the dead in Christ will rise first and we which are alive and remaining will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. There is only one archangel.

That is Michael. So he is going to be the one that gives that shout. So a spiritual battle has been raging. So from this we learn we should keep on praying even when an answer does not come quickly. You know you are praying for something right now and you have been waiting. It has been 21 days or longer.

Hey it may be 21 years. I don't know. But all I know is God has His timing. We don't know how that works. We don't know what is going on behind the veil if you will in the supernatural world when we pray.

But here is what Jesus tells us to do in Matthew 7 and the Sermon on the Mount. He says, "'Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened.'"

And you know there is an ascending intensity in those words. Ask. Seek. Knock.

Each one is a little more aggressive than the word before it. So first I ask. Then I seek.

Then I knock. It speaks of our persistence. It speaks of not giving up. It is a continuous ongoing process.

Listen. We should never stop praying. Sometimes God allows calamity in our lives. So our first inclination is to pray, Lord take it away.

I don't want this calamity. Even Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane said, Father if it is possible let this cup pass from me. And sometimes the Lord will take the cup away. Sometimes the Lord will lift the calamity. Other times He won't. But sometimes when He does lift it here is my question. Do we pray as intensely as we have been praying when we had the calamity?

Generally no. I pray when I need to pray. I pray when I am in trouble.

Then the Lord answers my prayer and I effectively say, thanks God. See you next crisis. So maybe the Lord will allow another calamity to get you on your knees again. Listen.

Here is the bottom line. We should just pray whether things are going good or bad. James 5 13 says, Is any among you suffering? Let him pray.

Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick?

Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him. So are you suffering today? Then pray.

Are things going well? Are you blessed right now? Then praise. Do you need healing from the Lord? Then again pray. Pray. Pray. Pray.

What is a take away message? Keep praying. Don't stop praying.

And that is what Daniel was doing. He kept praying and calling out to the Lord. Let me tell you one last thing. The devil does not want you to pray. The devil does not want you to pray. He will do whatever he needs to keep you from praying.

Why? Because that my friend is the source of your power. You know really we are in a spiritual battle. And every day in this battle we are either winning or losing. We are either gaining ground or we are losing ground. So the Bible tells us to put on the whole armor of God and the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness and the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit.

Right? But before a word is mentioned about putting on the various pieces of armor 1 Ephesians 6 says, Stand in the Lord and in the power of His might. So the idea is first you stand in your relationship and your fellowship with God.

And you don't go outside of that. And the devil doesn't want you to do that. That is why he tries to get a wedge in there with unconfessed sin or unforgiveness or whatever it is. Because if he can separate you from the Lord and you are not communing with the Lord you are more vulnerable you see. And so first we stand in the Lord and in the power of His might as this battle rages on. But God will give us the strength that we need. So I know maybe some of these things I have shared today kind of are a little scary.

It is like wow. What did Greg talk about today? Demons. The devil. All these bad things. Spiritual warfare. You know I am sorry but it is in the Bible.

We need to understand these things. But here is the good news. Yes it is true there is a devil. Yes it is true he is powerful.

Yes it is true he has demons doing his work. But it is also true that God is way more powerful than the devil. That is number one. Because greater is he that is in us and he that is in the world Scripture says.

Number two. Though the devil managed to take one-third of the angels with him two-thirds are still on our side. So we have thousands and thousands. Thousands and millions of angels. And then finally we know that at the cross that Jesus died on a decisive blow was dealt against the devil and his demons.

The Bible tells us that there at the cross he is spoiled or deprived of power. Principalities and powers and spiritual might in a high place. So when we believe in Jesus we come under His protection. Oh yeah the demons can hassle us.

They can tempt us. Oh but friend they cannot overcome you. You are safe and you are secure in the strong arms of the Lord Jesus Christ. So don't be afraid.

Don't be afraid. Maybe some of you have joined us today and you are not sure if your life is right with God. There is nothing you can do to keep the devil away apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ. He will still come even if you are a Christian. But you are protected. But when you are not a Christian you are vulnerable.

Religion doesn't keep Satan away. You need to know the Lord. And right now you can come into a relationship with God and ask Him to forgive you of all of your sin. And start this communication with the Lord who loves you so much.

And I want to give you an opportunity to do that in a moment. But let's all bow our heads right now and pray. Now Heavenly Father we are so thankful that You offer us forgiveness through Jesus Christ. And I pray for anyone here right now who does not yet know You.

They don't have a relationship with You. They don't know what it is to have their sin forgiven. Lord would You help them to come to Jesus now. Help them to realize You died on the cross for them and rose again from the dead. Help them to turn from that sin we ask.

Amen. An important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie. And if you'd like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord today, Pastor Greg wants to help you do that.

And he'll do so before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. And then we're so excited about making a new DVD available to you. It's a look at the colorful history of contemporary Christian music, featuring interviews with those who played a key part. The DVD is called The Jesus Music.

It features Amy Grant. But a lot of hymns are close your eyes singing to God. I wanted to sing songs with my eyes wide open, singing to each other.

Michael W. Smith. When I first heard that Maranatha record, I just couldn't get enough of it. It was called The Everlasting Living Jesus Music Concert, or Maranatha One. It broke new ground back in 1971. This thing called Jesus music, which exploded in Southern California, somehow found its way in my hometown.

And it changed my life. So this is a new movie produced by the Irwin brothers, who, by the way, are also producing the brand new film that will come out next year based on my life and the last great spiritual awakening in America that will be called Jesus Revolution. So The Jesus Music is a special documentary film that tells the story of how this music came to be.

I mean, it's an industry now. In fact, we call it contemporary Christian music, but it did not start out as an industry. It started out as a movement. It started out as an expression of faith. One of the unique features of the early Christian songs, which were happening back in the 70s, is they were proclaiming the gospel to the culture. So it wasn't really designed to be our own music as much as it was designed to be our message brought to the culture around us.

Well, a lot has changed since then, and now we have categories of it and different versions of it, and I think that's all great. But if you want to see the big picture and how this all started, and if you want to see great artists talk about how they produced and create this incredible music we enjoy so much, then you will want to order your own copy of The Jesus Music. It's available on DVD, Blu-ray, and you can also download it.

There'll be a special code provided with the DVD we send you, and you can watch it on your phone, on your tablet, on your computer, or maybe even on your big screen TV. So this is something that I think you'll all love to have. It's entertaining, it's fun, it's insightful, and it also gives us a history of what God did and a sense of what God still wants to do in our future. So order your copy of The Jesus Music for your gift of any size to our ministry. Whatever you send, we will put it to good use to continue to preach the gospel and teach the Word of God.

Yeah, that's right. It's a great investment, an eternal investment. You know, we saw more than 1,700 people make professions of faith at Boise Harvest a few weeks ago.

More than 1,500 more by people watching online. Your investment helps us reach out with the gospel through those outreaches and through our daily outreach here on A New Beginning. And when you give, we'll thank you with this new film called The Jesus Music.

It'll come to you on DVD, Blu-ray, and in downloadable form. So contact us today. Our 24-hour phone number is 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. And then, Pastor Greg, just before we go, would you mind praying with the person listening who wants to make a change today in their relationship with the Lord? I'd be happy to, Dave. You know, as you've been listening to this today, maybe you've heard another voice. By that I mean, yeah, you've heard me say a few things, but you heard God's voice speak to you. Deep in the recesses of your heart, and it suddenly dawned on you, this is what I need. Or to state it more accurately, this is who I need. I need Jesus, and I want Jesus.

But maybe you don't know how to make that connection. Let me help you. Pray this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sin, and I need your forgiveness right now. Would you come into my heart and my life as Savior, as God, as friend?

I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me, and accepting me, and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. I know that was a relatively short prayer. Maybe you felt something as you prayed it.

Maybe you felt nothing. That doesn't really matter, because God's word says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. It doesn't say, so you may think you have it, or you may hope you have it if God's in a good mood.

No, that you can know it. And I want you to know, if you pray that prayer and meant it, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into your life. So congratulations. You're now a Christian. Now continue to follow the Lord. Yeah, and to help you, we'd like to send you some materials we call our New Believers Growth Packet.

It'll answer many of the questions you might have, and get you started off right in your new relationship with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for it. We'll send it free of charge. Call us at 1-800-821-3300.

That's a 24-7 phone number, so call right now 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click on Know God. Well next time, Pastor Greg continues our study of the example set for us by the man of God named Daniel. We'll see how he lived a godly life in an ungodly culture, and we can too. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app, and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-23 07:33:15 / 2023-03-23 07:44:25 / 11

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