2/25/2018 Will God Hear? 1

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1 "Will God Hear?" Most people pray every day. Even people who don t believe in God will sometimes pray. Hello, I m Phil Sanders, and this is a Bible study In Search of the Lord s Way. And we wonder, Will God hear my prayer? Will my prayers make a difference? Welcome to In SEARCH of the Lord s Way! We re here to search the Scriptures for God s will. When we re uncertain and searching for the truth, the right place to look is in God s holy word. The Bible contains the history of humanity, the good and the bad. It reveals the heart and the power of God and reveals the ways of man. It contains God s wisdom and teaches us how to live righteous and prosperous lives. It reveals God s ultimate plan for us, giving us hope for a life beyond. It also reveals God s loving plan to redeem and reconcile us from our sinful ways so that we can be at peace with Him and have His favor. Thanks for taking time with us today. We want to be a part of your life each week. Prayer is an amazing gift of God; and we should rejoice over it and be thankful. Can you imagine what a blessing it is that the God of heaven who created us wants to hear our thoughts and petitions? Prayer opens the door for us to draw close to God and to enjoy a deep, personal relationship with Him. We can lovingly pour out our hearts to God in praise, in thanksgiving, in requests, or in confession of our sins. God knows our hearts and He knows all about us, but He wants to hear from us. He longs for us to draw close. God answers prayer; but God will not answer some prayers, because they re not according to His will. He s a loving Father, but we may not be thinking correctly. We could be asking for things that will hurt and not help. In prayer we re calling out to someone wiser than ourselves. God can see what we cannot and He knows what we do not. This is why we need to ask, What kind of prayers will God answer? It might surprise you! We ll we offer this study on prayer free. And if you d like a printed copy or a CD of our study and live in the United States, mail your request to In Search of the Lord s Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK or send an to Or, you can call our toll-free telephone number. That number is We also have our materials free on our website at The Edmond church will now worship in song, we ll read from James 1:5 to 8, and then we ll explore our need to pray to God. Our reading today come the letter of James chapter 1 verses 5 to 8. And in this passage James gives some very needed advice about life and when we need God and can go to Him and how we should do it. Let s look at these verses. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Well that s good advice from the word of God. Let s pray together. Father we pray that You will bless our study today help us to be people who believe in You and love You and want to do Your will in everything. This is our prayer in the name of Jesus our Lord and our Savior, Amen. We all need to pray. We need God s help and you know what, we want it. We want to know God will hear us and grant our requests. Like, like any gift, prayer only works according to the will of God. As we read in James 1:5 to 8 which says that: If any of you lacks wisdom, (that s everyday wisdom in life) let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, (he needs to believe) with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is 2/25/2018 Will God Hear? 1

2 driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Certainly, God hears the prayers of those who love and follow Him. The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6:31 to 33, do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. When you pray, you re praying to your Heavenly Father, who knows what you need. He promises to supply your needs, if you put Him first in your life. Now the Father cares for us greatly as His children. You remember Jesus said in Luke 11:5 to 8, Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him ; and from inside he answers and says, Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything. I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. Well, God is better than that. He gives to us out of love, not because we are a bother. Paul said in Philippians 4 and verse 19, my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now God the Father wants to bless us His children, just as any father wants to bless his children. He urges us to pray. We don t have to be God or apologize to God for taking up His time. You remember Jesus said in Matthew 7 verses 7 to 11, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? (Why nobody would do that) Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a (snake or a) serpent? (Why no one would do that) Well, if you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! We, we should pray in the name of Jesus. In John 14 verses 13 to 14 the Lord Jesus said, 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. One of the reasons that we can approach God is because we have a relationship with Jesus His Son. God hears us when we speak in His name. The name of Jesus means something to the Father, and we are granted our requests because of our relationship as are followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus wants us to boldly come to God in prayer. Now sometimes when we ve sinned, we think God doesn t want to be around us. Sometimes people withdraw from God and then they quit praying altogether. That s exactly what God doesn t want. He wants us to cease the sin, to repent, yes; but He also wants us to come boldly to Him for help when we need it. In Hebrews 4 verses 14 to 16, the Bible says: Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, (first of all,) and find grace to help (second,) in time of need. Now rather than withdraw from God, let s draw near to find real help for the temptations that we face. Now it matters whether we believe, whether we obey the Lord, and whether we seek first His kingdom, if we want the Father to hear our prayers. 1 Peter 3 and verse 12 says, For the eyes of the 2/25/2018 Will God Hear? 2

3 Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 3 and verse 20 that God is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. But God must be able to work in our lives. Many push God out of their lives and they wonder why He doesn t hear their prayers. Others practice evil and wonder why God doesn t bless them. So, whose prayer will God not hear? James said in James 4 verses 1 to 3, well, What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. If what I m praying is selfish and wasteful, I shouldn t expect God to grant my request. How does my prayer sound to the Father? Some prayers are so self-centered and hurtful that God simply won t listen. Remember: God treats you in the way that you treat others. Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6 and verse 12 forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. We want forgiveness from God, yes, but God also expects us to forgive others. Jesus explained in Matthew 6 verses 14 to 15, For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Now if we re children of God, we ought to show the tenderness and compassion that God has shown us. Peter said in 1 Peter 3 and verse 7, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Now a man who mistreats his wife or his children cannot expect to draw close to God and be heard. God will treat him the same way that he treats his family. Don t let abuse and cruelty become a stumbling block to you. Faith is also vital to prayer. Hebrews 11 and verse 6 says, without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Now if we seek God s help, we should believe that He will keep His promises. James of course, said, But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;(Why? Because) he is a double-minded man, (and he s) unstable in all his ways. Like faith, repentance also comes into this discussion. Some expect God to be at their beck and call, and they ignore their sinful lives. They think God will overlook all their sins. Now some try to negotiate with God. I ll change Lord, if you ll grant me this wish. Well, you can t fool God. You can t bargain with repentance. Sometimes people will repent for a time, but their change is temporary and not real. If you want God to hear you, confess your sins and repent of them. Isaiah 59 verses 1 and 2 says, Behold, the Lord s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities (that is those bad things) have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. You can t hang on to sin and expect to have the ear of God. Psalm 66 and verse 18 says, If I had cherished iniquity (that iniquity is wickedness and lawlessness) If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Now here the Psalmist is clarifying for us the point. You can t cherish sin in your heart and find room for God too. 2/25/2018 Will God Hear? 3

4 God longs to hear your prayer, but continued sin builds this wall. Isaiah said in Isaiah 1 and verses 15 to 20, When you spread out your hands (that is when you pray), I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; (why?) your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow s cause. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (Oh) If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Solomon said in Proverbs 15:29 that, The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous. God allows us to change our lives, so we can draw close to Him. Now none of us will live a perfectly sinless life. I wished I could. God distinguishes between the person who sets his heart to do right but sometimes fails and the person who lives his life to serve his own desires but sometimes does a good thing. Well, there s a difference between the person struggling to do right and the person who has no intention to follow God. Now He hears the struggler, but God will not hear the person who has turned his heart away from Him. 1 Thessalonians 5 and verse 17 says, Pray without ceasing. Now if you value the power of prayer, don t consider ceasing to pray. This passage is not speaking about praying 24/7. Well, no one can do that. It s saying don t stop talking to God. Keep on praying to Him. Keep loving Him, thanking Him, praising Him, and asking Him for what you need. Keep your relationship strong. Love the Lord and obey His teaching. Keep going to church, where strong Christians are. Keep your faith alive by serving others. Don t start even a single day without prayer, and you ll find life getting better and better. I don t know how close you are to God, but I know prayer is a precious privilege. To speak my heart to God and know that He will hear is a great blessing. I don t want to do anything that might build a barrier between my God and me. I want a life that says to God, I love you and I serve you. I want to stay as close to Him as possible, so that I can live with Him forever in the next life. My friend, are you close to God? Let s pray together. Oh Father we re thankful that You open Your ears to hear our prayers as we strive to love You and serve You. Father help us to be good servants. To be obedient to Your will and to believe that You will answer our prayers. And Father may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name, Amen. God speaks to us through His word, the Bible; and we speak to God through prayer. I believe in the power of prayer, because I believe in the power of God. I believe God responds to my prayers in a way that He would not have acted, if I had not prayed. Prayer matters. To know that the Creator of the universe hears my prayers and wants to hear my prayers is not some small matter. I want my God to hear me say, I love you, I thank you, and I adore you every day. When my heart is heavy, I want my Lord to know and comfort me. When I am weak, I need His strength. When I am fearful, I need His reassurance. I want to be able to pray every day for the rest of my life, so that I do my best to maintain a right relationship with him. How is your prayer life? When was the last time you prayed to the Father? Have you considered how much the Father misses you, if you have given up praying? He wants you to serve Him, to worship Him regularly at church, to study His word, and to speak to Him from your heart. He wants you to be His child. Now to become God s child, believe in Jesus Christ. Galatians 3 verses 26 to 27 says, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put 2/25/2018 Will God Hear? 4

5 on Christ. Now being baptized is an act of faith. God unites us with Christ in baptism. God washes away our sins in baptism (Acts 22 and verse 16), so there is nothing offensive in our souls to God. In baptism, He adds us to His church and causes us to be born again. This way you can begin your walk as a follower and a lover of Christ and God. Well, we hope that today s study about prayer has stirred you to consider your prayer life and your relationship with God. If you live in the United States and want a free, printed copy or a CD of this message, mail your request to In Search of the Lord's Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK or send an to Or, call the Search office toll-free at You can download these lessons or a newsletter online at: You can also watch the SEARCH program anytime on YouTube! Just go to our channel, SearchTVMinistry, that s SearchTVMinistry. There s also online at our website, a schedule of our programs and a map with the location of churches in your area. And we offer free Bible Correspondence courses. Now don t worry, we re not here to get your money. We re here to help you get to heaven. Please get involved with a church of Christ. If you re looking for a healthy, Biblical church home, we ll be happy to help you find one. We ll be back next week, Lord willing. So keep searching God s Word with us and tell a friend about the program. God bless you and we love you from all of us at In Search of the Lord s Way. 2/25/2018 Will God Hear? 5

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