God's truth for today's world
Obstacles to Prayer Answers

Prayer Adventure

We’re in a message series about prayer called “Prayer Adventure.” Prayer becomes an adventure when you hear God speaking to you. And when you receive answers to your prayers. Prayer is not an adventure when you are simply asking God for things and nothing seems to happen. Jesus said in …

John 16:24 (ESV)  Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Jesus promised in this verse that when we ask in His name, we will receive answers and we will be filled with joy. That sounds like an adventure to me.

Today, we’re talking about “Obstacles to Prayer Answers.” Obstacles or hindrances to prayer are things that cause our prayers to not be answered. So, if we can reduce the obstacles in our prayer lives, we can expect to see more prayers answered, which will bring us joy. Sounds like a good plan, doesn’t it?

Prayer’s First Requirement

The first requirement for a prayer to be answered is that the content of the prayer needs to be in accordance with God’s will. That really is what it means to pray in Jesus’ name. To pray in His name is to pray for the things that He wants, not just for what we want. Of course, if we want what He wants, then we have the best of all worlds.

1 John 5:14-15 (ESV)  And this is the confidence that we have toward 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 that we have asked of him.

John makes it clear that God hears prayers that are prayed according to His will. And if God hears our prayers, we will receive the answers. The implication of this Scripture is that if we don’t pray in keeping with God’s will, He doesn’t even hear us. And if He doesn’t hear, there will be no answer. However, things aren’t quite so simple. There is more to getting prayers answered then simply praying the right content. You can pray the right content, but still not receive an answer from God.

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Benefits of Prayer Variety

For many people, prayer is simply an exercise in asking God for things that they need in life. Oftentimes we have very long prayer lists that yield few results in answers from God. We don’t understand the benefits of prayer variety.

God never intended prayer to be a monologue of requests. On the other hand, God designed prayer to be two-way communication, to be conversation. We can learn what prayer is to be like from examples in the Bible. In addition, we can learn from what makes good communication between people.

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This morning my message is entitled “Strong Marriages.” If you want to raise children who are followers of Jesus, you need a strong godly marriage as the foundation of the home. So, let’s begin this morning by looking at what Jesus had to say about marriage.

Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV)  He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,  and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

In the beginning God created two and only two kinds of people, male and female. The same remains true today, there are only two genders, male and female. Everyone is either one or the other. Marriage is when a man and a women make a life-long commitment to one another and become one flesh through the consummation of the marriage. God is involved in joining the man and the woman together in marriage and the marriage bond should not be broken.

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Today we begin a new message series which I’ve entitled “Biblical Parenting.” God has three primary purposes of this important series. The first purpose is to help parents with children at home raise their children by biblical principles. However, there are two other purposes that aren’t as obvious from the title. The second purpose is to impact families with children that you know. You can advance this purpose by inviting families with children to attend church. You can talk about the principles you learn to those families or direct them to watch the online videos. Some of you have children and grandchildren who would benefit from this series. Pray for opportunities to invite them.

The third purpose of this series is to learn how to parent spiritual children with the principles we learn about parenting physical children. So, this series has great biblical truths that will benefit every person. Let’s talk some more about what it means to parent spiritual children.

Matthew 28:19-20a (ESV)  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

These verses, called the Great Commission, are a command from Jesus to every believer to make more disciples of Jesus. Disciples are made by people being saved, baptized and taught to obey God’s Word.

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Today, we conclude our message series “Growing a Godly Family.” Our message will be entitled “Grow in Family Love.” In this series, we’ve talked about growing in perseverance, godliness and kindness.

Today, we’re going to talk about the importance of love, which really encompasses all the other characteristics we’ve talked about. Love is what really bonds a family together. Without love it’s impossible to grow a godly family.

Let’s step back a minute and ask the question “What is a family?” Fifty years ago, we would not have to discuss the definition of a family, for everyone would know. Today, we need to discover our definition of a family, from the Bible, God’s Word. What God’s Word says about the family is the truth. Opinions that contradict God’s Word are lies and lead to ungodliness. So, let’s begin by looking at Jesus’ teaching on the topic of family.

Matthew 19:4 (ESV)  He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,

To begin with, every human being is either male or female, there are no other categories. Not only is your gender determined by your bodily form, your gender is determined by your DNA. A female has two X chromosomes and a male has one X and one Y chromosome. So-called transgender people are simply mentally ill. They need help so that their thinking can be aligned with the gender that God created them to be.

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