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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Waiting and Hoping Message Introduction

Today we begin a new message series called “Christmas Brings Hope.” Of course, we’re not talking about the Christmas holiday per say, but about what it represents, the birth of Christ.

We live in a world that has a lot of hopelessness in it. Sin has brought many problems into the world. Many people fill hopeless and anxious in the light of the increase in terrorism. Economic problems, employment issues, relationship difficulties all cause stress and hopelessness. Why do people turn to various addictions such as alcohol, drugs, gambling and sexual perversions outside of marriage? Why do people harm themselves and others? Why do people commit suicide? Because they feel hopeless. The problems they face seem too big to overcome. So they seek to escape their problems with sin that destroys their lives and the lives of those around them.

Where can we find hope in our world today? The Bible tells us that outside of Jesus Christ, there is no lasting hope.

Ephesians 2:12 (NIV) remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

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We’re in a message series called “Basic Training.” This series will help train you to be an effective soldier in the army of the Lord. It’s not enough to simply listen to the message on Sunday mornings. You must take the outline home, pray over it and implement it in order for this training to have any utility.

James 1:22 (NIV)  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

The blessing of God’s Word comes only as we put it into practice. What is the goal of this basic training? It is to change our city.

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In our message series “Basic Training”, we’re teaching on the basic disciplines that every soldier in the Lord’s army needs to master. Whether we recognize it or not, as believers we are in an increasingly dangerous battle. Persecution and martyrdom of Christians is growing, particularly at the hands of Muslims. Yet, we need to keep the focus on who our real enemy is in our spiritual battle.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Our struggle is against the evil spiritual forces of Satan, who has taken people captive to do his will. Our task is to rescue people who are slaves to the kingdom of darkness and bring them into the kingdom of light.

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