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Why My Prayers Aren't Heard Part 1

Man Talk / Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
February 13, 2022 4:00 pm

Why My Prayers Aren't Heard Part 1

Man Talk / Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr.

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February 13, 2022 4:00 pm

Welcome to Man Talk, with your Hosts Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr.  For the next two weeks, Roy and Will have an in-depth conversation about prayer, and reasons why they may not get answered. The clips are from "Unanswered Prayers," by David Jeremiah.

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This is the Truth Network. Welcome to Man Talk, brought to you by TAWCMM, talking and walking Christian men's ministry. Where they're devoted to breaking down the walls of race and denomination and challenging men to take their God-assigned role.

Here's our hosts, Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr., a black guy and a white guy. Welcome to Man Talk Radio, and it's good to be back. We're going to get Roy here on the phone here in a minute, but we're just thankful for the listening audience because what you guys have done for us is to keep Man Talk Radio going, and we thank you for all of your feedback that you've given us, because this is God's doing. God is the one who has established this, and we're just thankful to God for it. You know, a couple weeks ago we were talking about the unity prayer. We were talking about the prayer in the garden when Jesus was praying to his Father, and that prayer was basically broken down into three parts.

Jesus prayed for himself, Jesus prayed for his disciples, and then he prayed for all believers. And so today we're going to go in a little different direction, and what we're going to do is we're going to talk about when prayer is not answered. I think we got Roy on the phone now. Hello, Roy. Hey, Will.

Good evening. How you doing, sir? I'm doing well. I hope you are. Yes, sir. We're doing fine.

The Lord is good to us, and hope he's good to you as well. Amen. Yes, I hope this connection sounds okay. Yes, it does. Great, great.

Yeah. So we are introducing the show by talking about unanswered prayer, and the beauty behind this, the way this show got started, it was something that God had laid it on my heart after we did the unity prayer, the prayer in St. John 17. And I was just going through the TV, and all of a sudden, there's David Jeremiah on the TV.

And he's talking about the same thing that we're going to be talking about. So I said, wow, what better way to present this particular topic than to let David Jeremiah help us to deliver this message of unanswered prayer. That's a great idea, Will, and I appreciate the clips that you put together for us and had an opportunity to listen to that message. It really gets you to start thinking about why God really doesn't answer prayer, and there's so many elements that potentially could be causing that roadblock in our dialogue and communication with our Father. You're right, Roy, because what has happened, I think, in the churches today is we've been told, if you pray, you're going to get an answer. But we're going to find out during our talk, you know, this week and next week, that there are answers that we may not want to hear, but it's an answer nonetheless. Exactly. And in our culture, especially the U.S. culture, that may not sit well with so many people that are listening to all this prosperity gospel, right?

Indeed. And, you know, whatever you're going to get fed, you're going to chew it up and eat it and digest it, and then after a while, it's going to have either a positive or negative effect on you, and that's what you're going to share with other people. So it's, you know, it's how you've been, you know, been taught spiritually. So we, David Jeremiah, of course, everybody knows David Jeremiah, and, you know, he just did an excellent job after I listened to that message, and I said, wow, you know, could take some elements from his message and then incorporate some of the things that we want to talk about today. But the first clip we want to talk about is this clip when people pray, and then, Roy, they say, well, my prayer's not working. You know, I've been praying over the same thing for, you know, five, six, seven months, and nothing's happened.

What do you say to that, Roy? Well, as we learned through his teaching, first thing, God's time is not our time, right? His time is not our time, and his ways are not our ways. Second, there's a couple things you have to do, self-examination, as we learned through his message and through some of mine in your conversation.

There may be multitude of things that's causing that delayed response, or maybe it's a no, and that is your answer. Maybe it's the lack of compassion in your own life towards others. Many different things, as we'll learn through these next two sessions together, and it's quite eye-opening when you think about how many times we pray, and are we really coming with a true sense of prayer, right, and a true recognition of God's grace and love and provision for our life before we get into all the things we're asking for? And then have we examined ourselves, right? Have we looked in our heart to see if there's anything in there that's not holy, and that we've not lived our life out properly, and we're not in the right place in that moment in time? So this is what he says, you know, in reference to when people say, hey, Dr. Jeremiah, this prayer thing's not working. I've heard people who say they are Christians say something like this, prayer doesn't work for me, Dr. Jeremiah, it just doesn't work for me. I pray about things, and they never seem to change, so why should I bother praying? So I want to go on record at the beginning of this talk to confess to you that I don't understand all there is to know about prayer.

Frankly, I'm a fellow learner along with the rest of you. Prayer has a mystery about it that we all understand. I know that God sometimes delays his answer. I know that God sometimes answers with a no, and no is an answer. Yes, I know all these things, but I also know that there are times when God says he does not answer our prayers. See, and I think that's where we missed the mark, Roy, because see, as he stated, no is an answer, but we want to hear an affirmative. See, so that's why we keep praying. We keep praying because we're looking for the affirmative, and God has already given you an answer, and of course we talked about this a couple weeks ago when the Apostle Paul prayed in Corinthians over there. You know, he had that thorn in the flesh, and he prayed three times to God that he remove it, and then finally God said, my grace is sufficient.

So that is a no. No, Paul. You know, no, Paul, I'm not going to remove this storm, but you got my grace, and my grace is going to keep you from straying off the path of righteousness sake.

That is so good. My grace is sufficient for you, and if we will remember that, what a joyful life we can live, right? We don't have to be so frustrated by the fact that it wasn't answered the way we expected it to be answered. And sometimes we need that discernment of a brother beside of us to say, look, God's just saying it's time for you to sit tight.

It's not what he wants for you right now, and it may not ever be what he wants for you. Exactly, because, you know, in James he talks about in James chapter 4 verses 1 through 4, you know, he says that they were fighting among the Christians, and he said there's wars, and you're lusting after the things of the world, and then he says you lust after these things and you don't get them, and then he goes on to say you kill and you desire to have, but you cannot obtain, and you cannot obtain because our mind is on worldly things. And, you know, Roy, sometimes we try to test God by saying, okay, I'm gonna try this prayer thing and see if it worked. Okay, I'm gonna ask God for a multi-million dollar house, and if I don't get it, then I know this prayer thing don't work. See, and this is the thing I think people need to realize, that sometimes you need to wait for the answer that God gives you, and when he gives you that answer, you accept and receive that answer from him and move forward. Exactly, and I think in many areas of our life, Will, people have a hard time moving forward, right? Someone wrongs us, we can't move forward, something doesn't go right, we can't move forward, a loss occurs, we can't move forward, and that goes back to what God told Paul, my grace is sufficient for you, amen? And so that should be what we should remind ourselves, but also to continue forward in knowing that he has us undergirded and supported from below and underneath us, and sometimes it's hard for us to find that. It's hard for us to remember that, and because of our immediate gratification raising, as you talked about, the way we've been trained, there's not much that this country and people in this country ever want for for very long. Would you agree with that?

Exactly. So, you know, so he says you want these things, you cannot obtain them because your mind is not in the right place, and he says when your mind is in the right place, you don't even ask for the things that you want. So in the end, when you do ask, you're asking for that word, a mist, and the old King James version means self-gratification. So they're looking for things that they desire from God, and they may be praying earnestly, but the problem is is they just sit there sometimes and say, I'm not going to pray, I'm just going to wait on God. Well, you know, you hear believers often say that, right, Will, that, well, he knows what I need and what I want, so why should I pray?

How many times have you heard that? Oh, I heard it a whole lot of times, but see, God is not going to act until you ask. No, because he's just waiting on you to honor him and to acknowledge him by your prayers. Yes, he knows what you need, he knows what your heart's desire is, but if you don't ask, you're not acknowledging his power and his glory by reaching to him and turning it over to him. And see, and I think that's why, you know, we have what we have today in the world, we have so much conflict, we have so much discourse, is because we're looking for God to intervene, but our heart and mind is not right. You know, it's not positioned right in God, and I'm talking about believers now.

Oh, yeah. You know, our heart and mind is not in the right position, so God is not going to honor our requests. And of course, as we move through the study, we'll see exactly why God won't answer the prayer. Yeah, and you know, you brought up James, Will, and so verse 3 in the NIV, it says, When you ask, you do not receive, as we were just talking about, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures, right? So your pleasures typically mean things of the world, right?

Not necessity or not provision. And God knows there's things we want to enjoy, and I think He honors us at times if we're obedient to Him and we do those things that He's asked us to do, that He will provide some of those pleasures that make life a little more enjoyable. And then in verse 4, Will, it says, You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes what? An enemy of God. Amen.

We're coming up on a break right now, Roy, but we're going to come back and we're going to finish talking about this because this is relevant. When you don't get your prayers answered, this is why. TAWCMM would love to have you join their community of men for breakfast every first and third Friday of every month. They have Bible discussions and fellowship after the best breakfast in town. The meeting location is at their gracious host church, First Christian Church in Kernersville, 1130 North Main Street in Kernersville. They have a hard start at seven o'clock and a hard stop at eight o'clock.

First-time visitors eat for free. Join your hosts, Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr., a black guy and a white guy. Praise the Lord, everybody. We're back right now with Man Talk. Will, if we have rescheduled the men's summit and the co-ed summit for January 27th and 28th of 2023. Meanwhile, if you'll take a look at Family Research Council's website, they've got a Stand Courageous event coming up for men on May 4th and 5th, Friday night and Saturday at Green Street Baptist Church. You will be having an opportunity here.

Jerry Boykin, Charles Flowers, Bishop Jackson and Tony Perkins and several other great speakers that weekend. So please make plans to attend that. And the second thing is our breakfast now starts at 630 to give us a little bit more time for fellowship.

We'd love for you to come out and join us again at 1130 North Main in Kernersville on the first and third Fridays of each month. Thank you, Will. Amen. So the next thing we want to talk about on why your prayers may not be answered is because we're still harboring sin. We're still, we still have so much sin tucked away that we're holding on to and we're, we have not let that sin go. And listen to what Dr. Jeremiah have to say about that. Sometimes as followers of Christ, our prayers don't get answered because we're harboring unconfessed sin in our lives. Go back with me to the first verse, Psalm 66 18.

Read it again. If I regard iniquity in my heart, notice it doesn't say, if I sin, the Lord will not hear me. It says, if I regard iniquity in my heart, in other words, if I know there is a sin in my life and I'm not doing anything about it, a person who regards iniquity as one who holds a particular sin in his heart and he loves it and he makes an alibi for it and he excuses it and he covers it up. It is not primarily therefore the fact of sin that keeps us from getting our prayers unanswered. It is the love for it and the excusing of it that pushes God away from us. And this is what we do, Roy.

This is exactly what we do. I could not have said it any better than David Jeremiah said it, is that this, this holding on and not wanting to let go of sin. And then when, because typically we, we have a tendency to when we get in trouble, it's when we call on the Lord. Yeah.

What you and I referred to in many conversations of the past has been crisis management, right? Exactly. And, and he says exactly, if I regard iniquity in my heart. So if, if I know, just as he stated, if I know it's there and I don't confess it, then that's unconfessed sin. And God is not going to answer our prayers. There's a litany of, of other passages that he gave Proverbs 15, 29. He says, the Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. Of course, going back to what we talked about in James four, you know, that if we're looking for things and we have a selfish motive in attempting to obtain them, and then we go in prayer and ask God for them, God is not going to answer that prayer. Because again, we have ourselves, we're putting ourselves before the creator. And there's, there's other verses in there too.

You have any Roy? Yeah. Well, I was just going to look up the one that I think he came right behind that one with Proverbs 28, nine. Give me just one second. That was going to look at it.

It was also along those same lines. And I was thinking about an illustration where we're talking about, you know, we've got sin in our life. If you can imagine that, you know, our, our communication pathway, whatever that is, if you want to think from modern day terms, the internet, it's almost as if, um, when we've got sin in our life, we're buffering the, and everybody knows what, they have internet, understands what buffering is, is just sitting there spinning. It's idle.

There's nothing happening, right? So when we have sin in our lives, we're essentially buffering our dialogue with our Father, because he hears it, but he's not, he's not acting on it. He's not, he's not recognizing it as a holy prayer because of that, um, that sin in our life. So one of the other scriptures that Dr. Jeremiah gave was Proverbs 28, 9, says, if anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable. So even their prayers are detestable.

So, so God is not going to look at it and he's not going to honor it. And so we're wondering why, you know, our prayers are not getting answered. And so we revert back to what we said earlier is that we, we come with this wholeheartedness and say, well, this prayer thing don't work.

Well, see, we haven't examined ourselves thoroughly enough to see inside, to see what we're still holding onto that we need to release. And I'm also reminded, he gave another one here on Isaiah 1 15. He says, and when you spread your hands, he said, I'll hide my eyes from you. When you make many prayers, he said, I will not hear.

Your hands are filled with blood. So we, we as God's people, we need to ensure that we confess that sin and see God want us to do it because I talked to a brother. It was sometime last year, maybe the year before last. And he said, well, I don't know why I should have to confess my sin because in my sins, forgiven past, present and future. And so, so I led him to, to first John one nine. And I said, God would not have put first John one nine in there that if you confess your sins, he is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteous. He would not have put you put that in there if you shouldn't confess your sins to him. So yes, you have to confess your sin. Well, that that references back to what we were mentioning earlier, right? He already knows that he knows we sin.

Yes, we are covered by the blood. But to your to this point that you just made is that he's expecting us to bring it forward, confess it to acknowledge it. And what that does is it honors God, right?

It says, Father, you, you are my Lord and Savior, I'm honoring you by letting you know that I recognize where I have failed. And it also allows you an opportunity to release it to the Father during during that confession, right? And you know, there's a verse that a couple verses he referenced right behind that other Isaiah wheels, Isaiah 59, one through two, surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear, but your iniquities, but your iniquities have separated you from your God, your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not what he will not hear. And it goes right in line with what you're just sharing.

Exactly. See, and so again, we're holding on to something that we don't want to let go. And that is hindering, it's it's actually putting a stumbling block between me and my God. He also references 1 Peter 3, 12, and 13, for the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and his ears are open to their prayers. But the face of the Lord is against those that do evil. And then he says, who will harm you if you be followers of that which is good? So if again, he's coming back to the same premise is that God's ear is open to the righteous because the righteous have followed what needs to be followed in scripture by confessing and putting these things aside from them, so that the communication between God and you is not hindered because of sin. You got any other verses, Roy? I think that was what the stuff that we had from the notes that I had taken. I think we got one in 1 John 1, 9, I'll look up here for us, that I believe came in at the very end of that and to go. But I think the point being, folks, is that we're trying to share with you here that it's important for that self-reflection, right?

You got to have an internal reflection, Will, that you need to examine your heart. And the things that you may not think are a problem, if it's against God's Word, then guess what? It's a problem. Amen.

Right? So things that we put in our society and we condemn the Word of God and where our churches are at today in so many places and situations. We try to make the church part of the world instead of the world part of the church.

And that's where I think is another problem, Will, is where people think that, well, this really shouldn't be that big a deal. But to God, it is the big deal. There's no, all sin is sin. Yes, certain consequences are different, but sin is sin. But in 1 John 1, 9, it says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, now this is key here.

If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His Word is not in us. So this goes back to internal reflection, looking at your heart and saying, okay, if your prayers aren't being answered, is your life where it needs to be? Is your heart where it needs to be?

Is your mind where it needs to be? And we know what Romans 12 tells us about renewing your mind daily. And so there's so many things, Will, that can impede God's ability to hear our prayer.

This is just a great, great session. Again, yeah, and I thank God for that because listen to what, when I hear people say, Roy, and I've heard this many, many times, people say, we're all God's children. Well, if we're all God's children, listen to what Jeremiah, Dr. Jeremiah has to say about that.

Now let me be right up front with this. The Bible says that God does not hear and answer the prayers of those who do not belong to His family. Praying is a family exercise. It belongs to those who are in the family of God.

The only prayer that God hears from someone who's not a Christian is God be merciful to me, a sinner. Roy, we're coming down to the end, but I tell you, we definitely going to have to elaborate on that. Yeah, we're going to come back to that family piece on next week's show. Will, I am so glad you brought this forward, Will, for us to talk to. It's been such a blessing to listen to and talk over. Amen. It has because I think, Roy, we've just been taught this prosperity gospel and we hadn't got ourselves lined up with the truth because we're creatures of, if it sounds good, let's go do it, but everything that sounds good is not good for you.

Just like everything we eat naturally is not good for us. As we wrap up today's show, be assured that TAWCMM, Talking and Walking Christian Men's Ministry, is building a community of men that are Christ followers with a desire to be servant leaders in their homes, communities, churches, and work environments. Check out our website for upcoming events and regularly scheduled meetings. Drop us a note for topics that you would like to have us visit in the future. Thank you for joining us on Man Talk today. Visit us at Men walking the talk. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-05 08:01:44 / 2023-06-05 08:11:51 / 10

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