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How to Deal with Unanswered Prayer, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
August 19, 2022 9:00 am

How to Deal with Unanswered Prayer, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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August 19, 2022 9:00 am

Pastor J.D. is showing us that’s exactly how we should approach God in prayer -- desperately, boldly, and persistently.

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Today on Summit life with Judy Greer see when you will not stand with unrelenting persistent boldness before the throne of God. You are my only hope for you. Help and I believe you will help that brings glory to God for your prey and your praying for you don't have an answer yet told you not like after authoring teacher JD. I'm your host Molly bit of edge okay so have you ever not on the neighbors door for a cup of sugar or an egg big deal, right in the middle of the night.

I mean to knock on your neighbors door in the middle of the night, you have to be pretty desperate right let the picture that Pastor JD paints us today showing us that's exactly how we should approach God in prayer desperately boldly and persistently like to get your set of the five things to pray. Folks visit or call us at 866-3552 20. But for now let's join Pastor JD in the gospel of the ironic ways that we can trust the man as we can master biblical principles and think that goes by themselves guarantee spiritual life. Jesus did not save us by teaching us principles he saved us by giving us resurrection power. It is a tragedy to master the principles and then forget the relationship that gives them life. Yes, you should learn the principles, but most of all, most of all, you should cast yourselves on the mercy of God in prayer.

That's where our hope is who will himself lift us up and establish us. That realization by itself is enabled Veronica and me to have a more regular prayer time together, relatively speaking, I'm fairly self disciplined person. For years Veronica and I struggled to have a time. We consistently pray together even with all the self-discipline I could muster. Now that we got four kids approaching the teenage years. We pray together all the time. Seriously, it's not discipline it's desperation the core of effective prayer is desperation, not discipline. That's where the core is that's where you should be looking to let me to say this really privately before I move on to number two.

Some of you should probably therefore focus less on setting a wall, morning prayer time and more on just teach yourself to pray about everything because of how much you know you need God's help me be clear and establish morning and/or evening time is good and important. Also, if you do it for a long time but I think it's even better to learn to pray over everything throughout the day. One of my prayer heroes used to say that he never in his life was in this is likely for longer than 20 minutes, yet he also said he said I never went longer than 20 minutes without pray. I think that's actually a healthier attitude than the person who prays for an hour out of self-discipline and then charges throughout the day without thinking much about their needs constantly of the power of God. You may be alone. Prayer time to start work for you. You start praying in your mind starts wandering right don't look at me like I like your spiritual distal habit. You start out, pray for missionaries and you end up five minutes later thinking about stranger things right for you. Kneel down to pray by your bed and wake up two hours later, that having anybody guilty right here. Maybe you need to write your prayers out. Maybe that's how you can stay focused. What I do I do on my phone. I have a daily day by day, less whenever I read encounter something that overwhelms me. Or whenever I talk to somebody is really is a need.

I just open the thing about John turning down on on on one of the days or so I'm reminded to pray for them on that day when I'm really concerned about somebody up with her name down on the so your names are on that list.

By the way right now, put it down.

Some try to keep myself focused and and disappoint some of you like the saying.

Maybe you could sing your prayer to God is obviously canceling worth a lick job probably say those in your prayers. It makes you want to stick to writing some of you have at this with some of you should should listen reject this but I'm totally correct, you should pray out loud when you pray, even when you're by yourself in your account after weird every prayer. Jesus prayed in the New Testament.

Every single one that I can find the prays out loud to get over yourself and talk out loud because it will help you understand this is a conversation with God and would you be focus point is, the form is less important prayer at its core is a desperate conversation with your heavenly father where you lay before him all that you need all that you are afraid of all your overwhelmed by all you're worried about all you can handle all that you jar in desperation for and you just confess to him how much you need number two from the stories Jesus teaches us we should pray desperately boldly between people in Jesus's parable, the extravagant huge request and then Jesus says that this is how they came to a stingy friend or an unrighteous judge how much more boldly. Should you, your heavenly father. As I noted these two stories that Jesus told are comedic for their hyperbole know Jesus is not comparing God to a slumbering friend, or an unjust judge. Jesus is contrasting them with one. This woman approached the judges a stranger. We, by contrast, as beloved children of God. She had no right to claim in court. We have the blood of Jesus by which we come boldly before the throne of grace, the judge that we approach is not one bit unclear about justice or us know the judge we approach is a father who cared so much about us that he got out of the judges chair and satisfy the demands of justice for us so we could share with the riches of his kingdom. The friend that we approach is not asleep know he never slumbers her sleep and he said he is so attentive that not a hairball for my header sparrow falls from the sky without his intimate knowledge afraid you not only gives us bread from his cover but gives us the bread of his own torn flesh. When you understand that you will pray boldly, you have the most naturally approaches me boldly at any time.

They have a need do is you know it is my children of my 3M to legalize their demise.

Rather, the requested data needs water. Just imagine if anybody else did that but if you show them a house at 3 AM same about is I need to moderate one of us is going to jail right or the hospital or something right honey even if my wife did that in about what I module 3 inches of water, a bit like get yourself right me going over my eyes and is one of my kids then and there that I did give you some water. I do what any good that we do like your mom is right that her so her to help you in course I am hopeful.

What is my kids approached me with on daunted confidence in my goodness, and my willingness to help them. That's how God tells us to approach him. We are like children who are welcome right into their daddy's bedroom at whatever hour the night whatever need that we have look at how he presses this point home in Luke 1113. Need to keep going.

This is all one extended teaching on prayer on after the story he says if you who are evil, love to give good gifts to your children out there for a minute, why does he use the word evil in this context is gratuitously insulting us about the way you think.

Why did he pick out that what here's what in this context. Most of us would probably be at our best and most generous with our children even if you're stingy in every other area of your life. Your kids are probably generous and Jesus is here you are at your very best with your kids.

Even if you're a stingy jerk everywhere else you're good to your kids get even at your best moment at your most generous compared to God's tenderness and generosity to his kids, you're still evil. So if you would give your kids what they need and your evil don't you think your heavenly father who is nothing but good all the way through. Don't you think and he'll give you what you need when you come to him. Here's my question.

What was your prayers for others. What would your prayers for you look like, what would you pray for your family look like if you really believe God had that kind of love that he says that he has for you and for the world.

I give you the answer you pray boldly right which leads me to number three also number three for a persistently persistently anything my kids know how to wear me out and I parents by asking me repeatedly for my children know is not an answer. No is an invitation to an extended negotiation and was almost always crumble simply because I can't stand the siege mentality right, it's just okay. Just be quiet and give it to you. And as we saw Jesus makes clear in these parables of the reason God answers his request is because of the persistence of the one asking about. Here's a little insight.

All of Jesus's parables that he teaches us about where all of them in the New Testament are stories were adults act like children so Chapter 11 verse eight. It is because of his impudence to be dense is a good word to describe our kids generating verse five because of her continual coming. Dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead mama mama mama but right the answer was given the rest of the Scripture bears this out as well ask 11 tells us the church prayed all night for the release of Peter. In other words, I didn't mention it one time in prayer meeting and pick up a John Piper book and meditate on the sovereignty of God. They prayed until Peter was released.

Paul understood this and at least one place in Scripture.

Paul literally had to be told to stop asking for something Visigothic is way got sick this way. Got it this way, and finally got sins and angels agree neutral nonfootball cut it out okay guy got. I can answer this request.

The way that you think you got a purpose for that one my favorite scenes in the Old Testament.

Exodus 70 children of Israel are in battle and Moses somehow figures out that when his hands are up in prayer. But when you say prayers go down, they lose, but the way it makes me wonder how did he figure that out and what he knew when he figure that out with you, like you hoped was a test in the Bible like this, like you do so, click what I don't know the point. It's a very graphic picture is not when our hands are up in prayer, God giving the victory when they're not God's not giving the victory. The point is this.

If he's not answering. Keep praying. Listen, I know I know I know some of you right now will point out all the exceptions you get one, write and write and read and write God and give it. I never got it. I really did Jesus get that John Chapter 11 Mary Martha pray for the brother Lazarus not to die, and Jesus lets him dive shows up and tells Mary Martha that God let this happen because God had a greater plan to gasp Jesus is aware of the exceptions, but here in Luke 11 Jesus is saying to his disciples listen, you asked me how to pray and tell you how to pray.

Don't let go until you absolutely have to have 30 will return for the conclusion of our message in just a moment. I wanted to remind you to contact us right away for our latest resource deep down I think many of us really don't feel like prayer makes a difference and even more men don't realize the land that God has for us to shower us when this night we are offering a bundle of resources to help make praying regularly little easier. It's three bucks each, five things to pray to cover how to pray for your city and community high-pressure care and how to effectively pray for your peering grow in this most important discipline right now by supporting the ministry at MetLife with the gift today. Give us a call at 866-335-5220 or visit us online

Thanks for being with us today. Now let's get back to the final limit of our teaching that you say why does God work that way want to give it to me the first time I asked. I don't know but that is clearly what he is teaching. I do have a guess. Here's my guess and think it's right.

God is glorified through our persistent boldness. I mean these people in Jesus's parable have one absolute conviction right what is the one conviction that drives these two people you can help me and you will help me and I'm not going anywhere else because nobody else can help me, stay right here because you're my only hope. And when you and I demonstrate that about God through persistent unrelenting prayer that glorifies God and he gives our request that I will not hear the story often to you guys about Alexander the great. Supposedly interest around of it is not out to integrate the end of his life.

One of his generals comes to serve you faithfully for 40 years now I have one request of never asked you for anything. I'll get upset okay what is that what you pay for my daughter's wedding now. Jim said you been a great general, I will happily pay for wedding talk to my treasure treasure comes back. Alexander couple days later you need to punish this general reasons why Lisa because he's trying to take advantage of you is requesting funds for the largest wedding grease will ever have seen. I think he invited everybody wants ice sculptures and Justin Bieber's result give a concert may cages make an appearance at Fitch's exorbitant fees taken advantage of your generosity.

You should punish them. The story goes Alexander thought for a minute and he said no. I want you to give him everything he's asking the treasure said why he said because my general is paying me to complements complement of the one is keeping some wealthy enough that I can afford this complement number two. He thinks I'm actually generous enough that I'll do it and I love the reputation of being wealthy and generous so I will give him his request because my general honors me.

You see when you and I stand with unrelenting persistent boldness before the throne of God and say you are my only hope. And you can help and I believe you will help that brings glory to God. So if you are not hearing anything else from me this weekend here in this picture praying and you're praying you don't have an answer yet. Don't give up. How many I meant after this long. Okay I will admit a pastor for no less than two decades and already I can tell you stories of faithful men and women who have prayed and prayed and prayed for things that seem impossible and at the last minute. At the end or years later something happens is just amazing when you see it happen every once in a while, maybe more than every once in a while God responds got response to one of those. I'm just not going to give up on the keep asking to see, not connecting to get a knock it until you answer, he response to one of those are so many stories right here for my own church but one that I'm from a book that I read years ago, George Mueller, who wrote one of the most influential books on prayer in Christian history tells a story about when he was a man, probably about my age, maybe a little bit younger committing to pray for five young men friends of one of his science.

He committed to pray for them every day until they became believers. So they got saved, everyday.

I pray for 18 months before the first one came to faith in Christ in his journal after verse and the Christ. He says I praise God for the answer, therefore left so I kept going five years. The second one came to Christ after five years more years. After six more years.

The foregoing came to Christ is.

I praise God. At 305 but if you left 36 years later 36 years later, he's an old man.

He writes this of his journal right the last two are still not converted, but I hope in God and I pray on and I look for the answer. They are not converted yet, but by God's grace, I believe they will be bid in 1897, 52 years after he started praying for the final two were brought to faith in Christ. By the way, a few years after George Mueller died. Luke 18 one. Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

You got a brother or a father or a daughter or a friend or a son or roommate that has not yet become a believer if you hear anything from me hear this from the bottom of my heart told give.

Don't give up.

Pray persistently will finally Jesus teaches us that we should pray before trustingly we pray trustingly after the parable in Luke 11 Jesus acknowledges that there are indeed sometimes we don't receive the answers that we think we ought to have in Jesus. As I under the happen sometimes and I want you to know that it's not because God doesn't love you and is not because God is not listening is because God, your father has a greater plan. I love Jesus explains this watch this gives all parts in teaching on prayer Luke 1113.

What father among you, if his son asks for a fish one set of benefits given the servant or if your son asked for nag we give him a scorpion you parents right you everyday. This kit comes you want to say that I'm hungry can of chicken nugget lecture, close your eyes and hold out your hand and you put in her hand a scorpion anybody do that now you're a parent you love your kid, you only give your kids good to say it is the same with God not let's reverse that is what Jesus is teaching what if your child.

Parents come see you and ask for scorpion what that identity is scorpion to eat.

What am I going to do. I'm sure you have for scorpion here, scorpion know I'm going to say there's chicken nugget right you want scorpion you want scorpion you want to chicken nugget and that's what I'm going to give you. You see, sometimes, listen sometimes what looks to us like Brett is actually a scorpion sometimes looks just like a scorpion is actually bread.

Think of the cross. If there were ever anything that look like a scorpion. It was the cross. The cross was the greatest active our salvation ever happening on earth, so it makes sense that there are some times that I my God, that's a scorpion on a one and got to that exactly what you need hear something I've held onto throughout times of unanswered prayers of statement I've given you before. Sometimes God answers our prayers by giving us what we would've asked for if we knew what he knew. Sometimes God says, I know you're asking without us, not that's not bread that's a scorpion and I want to give you this. I don't know how to answer all your questions about why God did or did not answer a particular prayer to be civil. My dad died, my parents got divorced I got abused.

I know I know will come back to that in a couple of weeks. What I do know is that you have a heavenly father that you can always trust to set Psalm 8411 that no good thing will he ever withhold from those who walk up rightly before him, no good thing will he withhold all that he gives to you is good and he proved that when he died on the cross for you and he showed you in the cross or whatever is happening in your life, it's not because he's forgotten you are not because he doesn't love you. He is working in all things in your life. Every cross every seeming scorpion.

He is working for your good. Sometimes God delays in answer because there's something in us that God wants to change. For example, how many stories do we know of a parent's who prayed and prayed and prayed for a wayward child after months or years. The parent comes back and says we realize that we were the ones whose hearts needed to change like an old one was like no wonder my son left.

No wonder my daughter left but it was in praying and grappling with God. It was in declaring God why don't you hear me. Why won't you change his heart. It was in that on answered prayer seemingly unanswered prayer that God revealed to me how I needed to change that may be what God is doing. I don't know.

I'm not saying it's always what he's doing but see at the end of the day the word that we say in our prayer that is supposed to begin every prayer. The word Jesus said to start every prayer, word will delve into in more depth is the word father. My kids asked me a lot of things some things I give them some things I don't given them by not in spite of the fact that I love them but because I love them. I don't give them that, but I am always working for their good, even more so with your heavenly father, I want you to commit to pray desperately boldly persistently and trustingly to some a church. My conviction is this God wants to do great things in this church we praise God.

We've already seen some great things right so hundreds of people come to faith in Christ plaintiff. 43 churches here in the United States of the last decade we sent out right out of thousand people in church planting teams but I still thought were leaving a lot of the table and we live here in the Triangle. One of the fastest growing and most strategic places in the United States every year people from around the world. Pour into this place internationals movers and shakers from around the country come to college yearly start their professions here. We have a lot of people to impact the gospel blotted you have friends and family who have yet to be impacted by the gospel and I want you to know that God did not simply call us to manage a respectable church to get a nice little institution that we feel comfortable in the game. This church the commission to charge the gates of hell to cast our net so wide that we would taken so many people were coming to Jesus that the Mets of this church would break told me this close all this by asking you directly. What about you what are you are prayers about. Are you one of these people who praise those trite little housekeeping prayers will God help me with the job and help with the test and got give a traveling mercies and just be with his Lord Jesus name, amen.

Are you praying big things for God's kingdom. Things that are in line with Jesus's sacrifice for the world. What are you so passionate about, for God's kingdom that your flight, like go to stay here and I'm when I keep praying, until heaven listens to them telling you cannot pray in this way, if all you're doing is framing trite little prayers out of discipline and not bold prayers out of desperation, but I can tell you that you're missing out on an opportunity to see something God did God do something great in this world through you and your family in your circle and through this church much about your heads. If you would. Which of these switch of these four characteristics you struggle with the most desperately, where you are is the honesty like I will pray because I'm quietly confident that you enough energy and time I can figure out what I need to figure out magazine repented at this morning boldly as it just unsure about whether you got a heavenly father who is listening to me this is an easy answer for me. God is declared his love for you in the cross and you just embrace it, receive it, and he didn't spare his own son when you were his enemy, how much more will he not give you everything you need now that you're his child persistently to given up to stop praying for somebody and usually to say God I'm not letting this go. Melinda in this new series that the gospel Jesus not only teaches us how to pray with boldness, desperation, interest, but it also shows us a God who is eager to listen and ready to answer.

So Janie, how can we know what to pray.

For instance, in one of our new resources. This month we learn how to pray for our cities.

Why is that important and what is it going to teach. I start with the assumption of Molly that a lot of us down the pray and basically it comes out you know God bless all the missionaries and everyone everywhere. Amen we don't exactly know what to praying.

So for me in my own life. Having that kind of a clear map of categories I'm praying for and then scriptural instruction about what to pray for this things has been very very helpful. This particular one on cities in your city that you live in even if it's a small town is full of people with needs.

This will be pray for the lost in your city help you pray against the injustices there.

It will also help you celebrate the good things God is doing in your city and prayers are the best ways of discipling yourself in the Scriptures because as you pray, you learn to think rightly about about the world that you is how to pray for your city booked part of two others are forgiving about your kids with your parents will help you. This bundle of prereqs comes with our thanks for you Denny to support this ministry right now. Suggested getting $35 or more. Every penny you Denny his ministry today and ask for your second to pray that Allah 335-5226 20 even easier to get on our website I Molly with events doing castigating next hearing continues teaching how to pray. The next week right here on my clear ministry

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