Jehovah Jireh Chapter 5 part 5 Essay Why are our prayers not answered?


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5

 

Summary of conditions to be met for prayer to be answered

 

As we study God’s word, we see how He has provided in a myriad of circumstances,
sometimes with miracles as with Elisha and the widow, sometimes with circumstances as with Esther, and answers to our problems seem distant and farfetched.  We wonder how we can access His provision for
ourselves in a personal way. First let me say that I believe prayers are answered in a mighty way, just not always the way we would wish at the time we pray.

I want to summarize the conditions for answered prayer.  Do I believe that all of these conditions
must be met for prayer to be answered? No, I do not.

5 And Jehovah descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of Jehovah.
6 And Jehovah passed by before him, and proclaimed, Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth,
Exodus 34:5-6

God is merciful, full of love, mercy and compassion on his creation.  And that is the reason He answers prayer. He is God and does things just because He wants to.  For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy
on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
Romans
9:15

Do I believe that we can motivate God to act on our behalf?  Ask Daniel whose persistent prayers caused a
powerful angel of God to fight the demons of darkness for 21 days in order to visit Daniel personally with answers to his questions. Daniel 10

Persistent prayers do get God’s attention, but thank God He most often acts from a completely “God motivation!”  We can read the Bible, pray, go to church, tithe as the Bible commands, serve and love others, worship, but it does not appear that any of those things by themselves can motivate God to act on our
behalf.  God is motivated by His love for us.  Not our actions, not our love for Him, but His love for us.  We do not get answered prayer because we have been good. Our good behavior is not what brings us blessings because our
righteousness is only a filthy rag in His sight.

For we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousness are as a polluted garment: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. Isaiah 6:5

That is what redemption is all about.  Thank God my prayers are seen in the light of Christ and what He did on the cross and not on my own merit, because I could not expect any recognition based on that.  Our God is the only true God.  He could not be conceived by human imagination.  Man would dare to create a God that would respond on the basis of merit. But the true God responds because He does not see us as black or white,
good or not so good.  He makes no distinctions and His blessing flow to the righteous and the unrighteous.

 ‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.For if
you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same?
Matthew 5:43-46 

That being said, there are indications in Scripture that we can hinder our prayer efforts by certain behaviors.

The first prayer God answers is the sinner’s prayer of repentance.  Each of us must walk that path of deep remorse for our sins and the desire to be forgiven. We must have a deep rooted desire to turn from our sins and follow the  way Jesus sets before us.  We must acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God.  God spoke at Jesus’ baptism: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”  Matthew  3:17

He was born of a virgin. “. . . ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found  favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. . . . of his kingdom there will be no end.’ And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’ And the angel answered her,  ” The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of  God” Luke 1:30-35.

He lived a sinless life in human form.  Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  15 For we have not a high priest  that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews  4:14-16
21 Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we
might become the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21

We must understand that it was our own vile nature of sin that nailed a  compassionate willing Jesus to the cross in our own place.   “And  by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus
Christ once for all”
Hebrews  10:10.

We must be convinced that Jesus lay in the embrace of death for three days in a dark borrowed tomb and that He routed death forever when He rose on the third day.
because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved:
Romans 10:9.

No longer does man have to be separated from the gracious presence of God  Scripture.  We can face God dressed in the glorious robe of Christ, not because of anything we have done, but because of what Jesus did for us.

21 Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we
might become the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21

Before you pray, Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:33   What are all “these things”?   19 And  m God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Since Jesus is the author of all things physically and Spiritually, I take Him at His word.  How do I see His Kingdom?  (Luke 17: 20-21)  Jesus told the Pharisees the Kingdom of God was within them.  A  better translation might be “among you”.
Jesus is a representative of the Kingdom of God.  In Psalms 145:10-13 it says, “All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee, They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power. To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations”
.  The
LORDS prayer says Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Jesus is the Kingdom that is coming.

We are praying for His return.  We are to seek Him with reading and obedience to His teaching, prayer study, church attendance, giving, tithe, caring for others, and loving others.

Before you petition God, sincerely,  contritely, and fervently, ask for forgiveness of your sins.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. l John 1-9

If  we are forgiven when we become saved, why do we need to continue to ask for forgiveness.  I found this quote from  Pairtach. Puritanboard postgraduate, Puritan Board Forum that says it far better than I can.

‘“. Justification doesn’t mean :-

(a ) That God is not in some sense displeased when we sin (e.g. II Sam. 11:27)
(b) That we can stop confessing our sins and seeking renewed forgiveness,
cleansing, repentance and new obedience. (e.g. John 13:10) throughout our
lives.
(c) That so-called “little sins” can’t turn into “big sins” that can be
disastrous for our profession of faith and also our lives, and therefore they
need to be nipped in the bud. (e.g. I Corinthians 5:6).
(d) That – although God will never take His Holy Spirit from dwelling in a
justified sinner – He can and may remove His felt presence, usually because of
sin.(e.g. Psalm 51:11)
(e) That we may be chastised by God for various sins (e.g. Heb. 12:7) by
various troubles, or we may experience trouble from God’s hand, not because of
any particular sin(s) but to improve the quality of our faith, love and hope
and hone us to further perfection and maturity, like already pure gold being
purified further (e.g. Job 1:1; 40: 3-5; 42:5-6).
(f) That we may not sometimes or often lack assurance that we justified,
adopted and are being sanctified.”

Before you ask for God to prosper you, be sure you are observing and doing all of His commandments to the best of your ability.  Deuteronomy 28:1-68 lists the many blessing available to those who observe and are obedient to His wishes.

When you ask for God to guide and teach  you, be sure you are open to God.  When you ask Him to instruct you in His ways, ask in absolute awe and reverence, totally convinced that His laws are the only way to live.

10 All  the paths of Jehovah are loving kindness and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.  Psalm 25:10

If you truly want God to plan your life and delight in your path, then follow the path He has planned for you.

 Do not trust yourself, your own wisdom or understanding to plot a course to follow.  Psalm 37:23

Study the Scripture to know what God’s word says about How to live and be convinced that His way is the only true way.

If you want to have peace without fear of evil, then listen to God’s voice as He lovingly whispers in your ear as you
study as you go about your daily life, as you pray.  

18 And therefore will Jehovah wait, that he may be gracious unto you; and therefore will be be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for Jehovah is a God of justice; blessed are all they that wait for him.
19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; thou shalt weep no more; he will surely be gracious unto
thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear, he will answer thee.
20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be
hidden anymore, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers;
21 and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk
ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:18-21

If you want to have immediate access to Him, then abide in the vine and be not cut from it. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in
Me
. John 15:4  Be connected!

If you want your prayers answered do not pray with wrong, selfish or evil motives. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures. James 4:3

If you want your prayers answered make sure that you are honoring your husband or wife, because God says your prayers are hindered if you are not doing that. I included the wife in this because I believe it to be inferred in the
previous scripture

Ye husbands, in like manner, dwell with your wives according to  knowledge, giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel, as being  also  joint-heirs of the grace of life; to the end that your prayers be not
hindered. 
I Peter 3:7
If you want answered prayer, ask in His name, not just orally, but making sure your request is one He would make if He were the one praying.  That is what asking in His name means. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My  name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you
ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
 John 14:12-14

When you pray, be sure that what you are asking is within His will…speak what God’s word says when you
pray. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. This is His commandment, that  we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as
He commanded us.  The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
  I John 3:21-24

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His
will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
1 John 5:13-15

Remember what He has done for you when you pray.
 
8 Jehovah is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness. 9 He will not always chide; Neither will he keep his anger forever. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins, or rewarded us after our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is his loving kindness toward
them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, So  Jehovah pitieth them that fear him.
His loving kindness is reserved for
those who reverence Him.  He has mercy on  those who fear Him and hold Him in awe and glorify Him for what He has done.
 Psalm 103:8-13

When you go to Him in prayer, Go to Him trusting what He has told you in His word.  Remember that He is your refuge and your fortress.  Psalm 91:1-16

I wish I could tell you that if you will enlarge you ideas of what God can do, or that a prayer of confession and belief will prick God into acting on your behalf, providing you with health, happiness, and financial abundance.
We know of too many people, who are good and faithful Christians, who suffer physically and emotionally.  People who lose their jobs through no fault of their own; people who suffer tragedy and loss or who suffer with seemingly insurmountable health issues who do not see their situations get better.  Bad things do happen to Christians.

Why does it have to be this way?

 We have to begin with this fact.  It is not about me!  It is about God!  It is not about you!  It is about God.

 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him;    Colossians 1:16

The Message says it this way.  For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible,…everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him.  It is God who directs your life.  The life of every creature is in His power.  “He’s got the whole world  in his hands” is not just a Kumbayah song, but a great spiritual truth.  You were made by God and for Him.  Until you establish that fact in your mind, nothing makes any sense.  Bertrand Russell was an atheist who said, “Unless you assume a God, the question of ife’s purpose is meaningless?
All things happen for His glory. As the cattle that go down into the valley, the Spirit of Jehovah caused them to rest; so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.Isaiah 63:14

He created you and life is about whether you are going to let God use you for His purposes or not.  His purpose for you was declared before your creation and you had “0” input, but what you do about your purpose is your decision.

 And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is  the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

There is a much larger purpose that is part of an eternal plan designed by God.  That ought to make us feel great.  It is more than getting up in the morning, brushing our teeth, eating breakfast, going to work, eating lunch, going home, eating supper, washing out our socks, brushing our teeth and going to bed.

God’s will is always for the good of the Saints.  

And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them
that are called according to his purpose.
 Romans 8:28

When we pray, we do not know the whole picture.  What we ask for may not be for the good of the Saints.  We have to be sure we understand what God  wants or at least accept His unknown purpose in the matter is preparing you for eternity.
We can acknowledge him in prosperity.  But thou shalt remember Jehovah thy God, for it is he
that giveth thee power to get wealth; that he may establish his covenant which
he sware unto thy fathers, as at this day.
  Deuteronomy 8:18
We can acknowledge him in adversity, and he said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah hath taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.  Job 1:21
We can acknowledge Him In public calamity.  Shall the trumpet be  blown in a city, and the people not be afraid? shall evil befall a city, and  Jehovah hath not done it? Amos 3:6
 Acknowledge him in  daily support. And he blessed Joseph, and said, The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God who hath fed me all my life long unto this day, Genesis 48:15

Acknowledge Him in all things. In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:6
We can depend on Him to teach us ways to persevere through guidance and direction. God leads us to new sources of life or new resources for help.  We can depend on Him to teach us to see hope in situations and circumstances when  there seems to be no way out.  He provides just enough to toughen us, to enable us to go on in our everyday life, to take one step after another in the most difficult of circumstances

Remember, God says yes to prayers.  He also says no, and He sometimes says not yet because He needs time to refine you and your prayer to conform to His will.

I want to end with these two verses of great comfort regarding prayer and God’s promises.

7 casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you. I Peter 5:7

God does not love you because you are good, but because He is good.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.  Isaiah 46:4

He will sustain us, rescue us, love us all of our lives because He is God and that is His goal, His aim, and
it is what He has purposed Himself to do…because He first loved us!

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2 Comments

  1. November 5, 2011 at 5:43 am

    […] Jehovah Jireh Chapter 5 part 5 Essay Why are our prayers not answered? (donnabarton.wordpress.com) […]

  2. June 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    […] Jehovah Jireh Chapter 5 part 5 Essay Why are our prayers not answered? (donnabarton.wordpress.com) […]


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