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21 September 2012

Listening to God - 21 September

Now for the most difficult way that God talks to us – through unanswered prayers. It’s frustrating when it seems that God isn’t paying attention. Why would God not want to answer our prayers?

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:3 (ESV)

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 1 John 3:21-22 (ESV)

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  1 John 5:14 (ESV)

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15  but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matt 6:14-15 (ESV)

If you’re not getting an answer, ask yourself if you need to forgive someone. If you’re all “forgiven up”, how about your obedience? He requires obedience and repentance. If all that’s okay, are you asking for the right reason, and are you asking for something that’s in His will?

Of course, an unanswered prayer could be a no or a not now as well. Sometimes that answer, while not as satisfying to us, is actually best for us and our Christian walk. Paul asked God to remove his thorn in the flesh. God said no, and then gave Paul grace to face his problem and wisdom to understand that a yes would have been the wrong answer under his circumstances.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Cor 12:7-10 (ESV)

Next week we will deal with knowing how to know it’s God’s voice. I pray that your worship on Sunday is blessed and that you take the time to prepare yourself for worship. Go to church ready to worship Him with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength. See you Monday!

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