Prayer and Supplication Part 4

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

1John 3:22 explains that whatsoever we ask of God, we will receive because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Here we have some of the conditions mentioned throughout Scripture for answered prayer which always includes obedience. Five secrets are noted here: Freedom from condemnation (Rom. 8:1). Confidence in God (Heb. 3:6; 10:35; 1Jn. 2:28; 3:21; 5:14). Asking (Matt. 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13). Keeping commandments (1Jn. 3:23-24). Pleasing God (Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8).

Looking at some more reasons for unanswered prayer we can discern the following: Lusts (Jas. 4:1-3, 5; John 8:44); murders (Jas. 4:2); covetousness (Jas. 4:2); fighting and war (Jas. 4:2); asking amiss to satisfy lusts (Jas. 4:3); adulteries (Jas. 4:4); friendship; pride (Jas. 4:6); rebellion against God (Jas. 4:7); backsliding and sin (Jas. 4:8); double-mindedness or doubt (Jas. 4:8); the misuse of the tongue (Jas. 4:11-12).

This passage should never be taken by the Christian as an excuse for unanswered prayer. By so doing he automatically classes himself as lustful, murderous, covetous, adulterous, worldly, proud, sinful, and blasphemous. Is it any wonder that God does not answer the prayers of such people? Would you? No man can ask amiss if he is in Christ and asks according to the promises (John 15:7; Mark 11:22-24; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8). The reason Christian prayers are not answered is unbelief.

Prayer and Supplication Part 3

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 

Scriptures are full of ‘secrets for answered prayers’ which does not mean that it is hidden or hard to understand. A study on any topic must be done by prayerfully reading and meditating on God’s Word while using all Scripture on the specific subject to explain the Scripture (Deut. 19:15; Matt. 18:16; 2Cor. 13:1), not coming up with one’s own interpretation (2Pet. 1:20-21).

Hebrews 11:6 explain that when we come to God we must believe that He is [in all things God as described in Scripture: true, holy, righteous, etc.) and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him – here we have four secrets of answered prayer: To please God (1Jn. 3:21-22; 5:14-15). To come to God with the right attitude and with the right motives (Matt. 6:5-15; 7:7-11; Php. 4:5-6). To believe that He is (John 16:23). To believe that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. If one can believe this as much as he believes in the existence of God, prayer will be granted. If one believes firmly in His existence and doubts His word, he makes Him a liar and God is under no obligation to answer prayer (Jas. 1:4-8). The Greek for diligently is ekzeteo, translated diligently seek (Heb. 11:6); seek after (Acts 15:17; Rom. 3:11); seek carefully (Heb. 12:17); require (Luke 11:50-51), and enquire (1Pet. 1:10).

James 1:5 states that if we lack wisdom we must ask it of God who will give it to us liberally, without reprimand and it shall be given to us.  Here we have six secrets of answered prayer: Lack of consciousness of needs (Jas. 1:5). Let him ask of God (4:6; Jas. 1:5). That gives to all men liberally (Jas. 1:5; Matt. 7:7-11; 21:22; Mark 11:22-24). It shall be given him (Jas. 1:5; Matt. 7:7-11; 17:20; 21:22; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26; 1Jn. 3:21-22; 5:13-14). But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (Jas. 1:6; Heb. 11:6).

To be continued…

Prayer and Supplication Part 2

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 

To get answers to our prayers, we have to obey that which is clearly stated in the Word in this regard: Pray to the Father (John 16:23), in the name of Jesus (John 14:12-15), by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:26). With a full understanding of your rights and privileges (1Cor. 14:14-15) and in harmony with the Word (John 15:7). In faith, nothing doubting (Jas. 1:6), with praise for the answer (Php. 4:6). Diverting in any way from this will lead to frustrating unanswered prayer. Eighteen reasons are given from Scripture for unanswered prayer: Refusing to listen to the truth (Prov. 28:9). Refusing to humble self (2Chron. 7:14). Forsaking God (2Chron. 15:2). Provoking God (Deut. 3:26). Hardheartedness (Zech. 7:12-13). Lack of charity (Prov. 21:13). Regarding iniquity in the heart (Ps. 66:18). Wrong motives (Jas. 4:3). Dishonour of companion (1Pet. 3:7). Unbelief (Matt. 17:20-21; 21:22). Sin (Jas. 4:1-5; John 9:31; Isa. 59:2). Parading prayer life (Matt. 6:5). Vain repetitions (Matt. 6:7). Unforgiveness (Matt. 6:14-15; Mark 11:25-26). Hypocrisy (Luke 18:9-14). Being discouraged (Luke 18:1-8). Worry and anxiety (Php. 4:6). Doubting – double-mindedness – not making up your mind on what you want (Jas. 1:5-8). 

To be continued…

Prayer and Supplication Part 1

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 

‘Careful for nothing’ [Greek: meden and merimnate] be anxious about nothing. Translated “be careful” (4:6; Luke 10:41); “have care” (2:20; 1Cor. 7:32-34; 12:25); and “take thought” (Matt. 6:25-34; 10:19; Luke 12:11, 22-26). Do not tolerate anxiety or worry, for it will injure your own souls. God alone can help you. And He will do it if you will pray about everything that happens and give thanks for everything (4:6; 1Thess. 5:18).

‘Requests be made known unto God.’ We are commanded here to let all requests be made known to God – requests for material, physical, and spiritual needs and wants – everything that concerns us in life along any line. It is the same as ask and receive, for we will not receive if we don’t ask (Matt. 7:7-8).

In Hebrews 3:6 we are reminded to hold fast the confidence [Greek: parrhesia] which means to have freedom of speech or liberty of access to God. Here it refers to absolute confidence in access to God because all sins which separate us from God are removed (Isa. 59:1-2). In Old Testament days men were not permitted to approach God. Even the mountain on which God gave the law was not to be touched by man or beast. Only the high priest was permitted in the holy of holies once a year, and even then he could not approach God without proper atonement. Now we all have free and daily access to God by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 10:19-23; Eph. 2:18). We are invited to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain help in time of need (Heb. 4:14-16). As long as we hold fast to his liberty of access to God we are His house (Heb. 3:6). If we are living in sin however we do not and cannot have this liberty of access. God will not hear our prayers (1Jn. 3:20-23; 5:14-15)!!

To be continued…