Sunday, December 13, 2009

God Wants to Answer Your Prayers

If you are discouraged or wondering if God has forgotten you there is a message waiting for you in August 06 Archive!

God Wants to Answer Your Prayers - Pastor Mark Stephens

The world needs a positive influence from Christians. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

It's important to know that a positive influence glorifies God! IF we're going to stay positive, we need to commit ourselves to prayer. We must not underestimate the importance of prayer in maintaining a level of peace when we are surrounded by negativity.

Philippians 4:6, 7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

In this verse, Paul tells us to present our problems to God instead of worrying about them-then God's peace will come into our heart and mind.

We have to resist the temptation to worry. Why? Because God told us not to be anxious about anything. We were not designed to carry anxiety and burdens. Yet, if we're not careful, we can allow our minds to become disappointed, discouraged, and depressed. We can allow worry to enter in instead of what God has said.

Worry is designed to distract you from the Word of God. The devil tries to get us to spend our time worrying about things-and often, about things that haven't happened yet and probably never will happen. If he is successful, we will become more and more negative, and our faith and prayer life will become ineffective.

God wants to answer your prayers! He wants you to bring your concerns to Him-to cast your anxiety on Him.

1st Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety [worry, care] on him because he cares for you."

John Wesley, the eighteenth century founder of Methodism, once said, "It seems God is limited by our prayer life-that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him."

In Mark 11:24, Jesus Himself said, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

Look at what else Jesus said about prayer in John 14:13, 14 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it."

Also John 15:7, 8 says, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." The fruit that Jesus spoke about is "answered prayer." God gets the glory when we receive answers to prayer!

Answered prayer is one of God's greatest blessings to enable us to remain in peace-too maintain a positive attitude.

Remember the verse from Philippians 4? "Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" When we pray, we give Him not only our petitions, but also our burdens. In exchange, He gives us His peace that passes our human understanding and the promise that He will take care of us and answer our prayers. He relieves us of the anxiety, worry, and care associated with our problem so that we can stay positive and thank Him for the answer, while we are expecting it to come to pass!

Praying in faith will bring you into victory on the other side of every test and trial. On the other side of every sickness, disease, financial problem, or whatever you're facing-victory awaits you!

The following verses will support that truth:
Hebrews 4:16: "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

Hebrews 10:23, 35 says, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised). . . Cast not away
therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward."

The Bible patriarchs of old, who won tremendous victories in prayer, practiced these verses before they were ever written! They brought their requests to God boldly, obtaining mercy and grace from Him in their time of need. They judged Him faithful and held on to their confidence and godly hope until they saw their answer come.

In the nineteenth century, George Mueller founded a great chain of orphanages on nothing but prayer. He lived by faith, refusing to inform anyone of his needs. Instead, he mentioned them only to God on his knees in prayer. At one point in his ministry, he housed more than 10,000 orphans with no steady financial resource. He trusted God daily to meet their needs. Rev. Mueller estimated God "had answered over 50,000 of his prayers, many thousands of which were answered on the day he made them and often before he arose from his knees." His fruitful prayer life can be traced back to his commitment to the Word of God.

Rev. Mueller wrote this poem concerning prayer:

I believe God answers prayer, answers always, everywhere;
I may cast my anxious care,
burdens I could never bear,
On the God who heareth prayer.
Never need my soul despair
since He bids me boldly dare
to the secret place repair,
there to prove He answers prayer.

George Mueller performed exploits for God in his ministry to orphans. At times, there wasn't a bite of food in the entire orphanage for hundred of children. But Mueller and his staff would pray. Again and again, he records "money or supplies had arrived with only minutes to spare before the children sat down at the table."

Why do you think he could make such an impact on mankind? Because he was saturated with the Word of God and had a strong faith and confidence in his prayer-answering God!

2nd Chronicles 7:14 God declared to Israel, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

This is no less true for you and I today. Considering the unprecedented decisions made every day, we should pray for our nations and for those in authority on every level, national, state, and local.

In fact, Paul wrote, "I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (1 Timothy 2:1, 2).

Far too often, Christians fail to pray for those in authority-those that make decisions that affect all our lives-yet Paul says to do it first when we pray! Many don't fully comprehend the huge benefit that comes from such obedience: a quiet and peaceable life!

Reflective Thought:
We must not neglect this important matter of prayer. We need to believe that God wants to answer our prayers, and then do something about it - we must pray!