Wednesday, July 21, 2010

30 Days of prayer in the Home

Unanswered prayer? Part II

What are some other reasons that we might face unanswered prayer?

1) Some prayers will be answered in God's good timing, not ours. Acquaintances of mine knew a woman who shared her faith with a young lady who was not, at that time, ready to become a Christian. Sometime after the first woman died, the young lady began searching for God. She pulled out a scrap of paper that the first woman had given her and tracked down the church that the first woman had gone to. The young lady became a Christian after the first woman's death. We must never give up!

2) Sometimes, our prayers are answered in the affirmative, but we are not alert enough to recognize or to be thankful for the answers. We all can grow in gratitude! One way to increase your faith and your thankfulness is to write down your prayers and jot down answers to them. Others may not find this to be useful. Whatever works for you, be sure to be thankful. :)

Sometimes, we may not recognize the answer to a prayer until later. For example, the woman who prays for a friend may not realize that the unfriendly neighbor who moved in next is the answer to that prayer. Only after persisting in love to and prayer for her neighbor, does the neighbor's heart thaw and the two form a deep friendship.

3) We may not really be abiding in God or asking according to his will.

John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

1 John 5:14-15 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”



Michael Gormley said...

What is required in order to have Jesus ABIDE in us and we in Him?

Can we do it:

1. By accepting Him as our our own personal Lord and Savior ?
No. Where does the Bible say that?

2. By the grace of GOD only? Sola Gracias?
No. Where does the Bible say that?

3. By faith in GOD alone? Sola Fides?
No. Where does the Bible say that?

It is simple common sense that since He commanded that we must do something, then doesn't it stand to reason that He would also tell us how to do it?

Jesus was very clear in what we must do in order to have Him ABIDE in us and we in Him.

Jesus left this command for us in John 6:53-57:

53 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (the taken away branch);

54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.


57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."

Elizabeth said...

Hi Michael:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
You are right that Jesus does teach us what it means to abide in Him.

In John 15, he connects abiding in Him with bearing fruit, loving each other as He has loved us, and, most of all, with letting His words live in us, feeding on His words, and putting His words into practice.

Joh2n 15:1-12"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.


Megan said...

Well, I like your thoughts here and your topic is interesting, Sometimes we really need to wait for our prayers just continue believing in him. God knows the best for us.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Michael, Part II

In John 6, Jesus connects abiding in Him with eating his flesh and drinking his blood. He said this to a crowd of people who were following Him merely to get earthly bread. They failed to recognize that He was the source of Eternal Life, sent to them and to us by God, just as He has sent manna to the Israelites in the dessert. He tells them, "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."

Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

He also says, "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Of course, the crowd who first heard this words did not yet understand exactly how Jesus was going to offer his body and his blood on the cross and be resurrected so that they and we might have eternal life with God. In fact, even his disciples grumbled because they didn't have the full picture.

Jesus told them. "Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." vs.61-62

So, faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross is essential to abiding in Him. It is Jesus who gives us life. He also gives us his words, which are life. In every way, we are dependent on Jesus for true and eternal life, just as our human bodies are dependent on food to live.


Elizabeth said...

Hi Michael, I meant to say that faith in Jesus and what He did for us on the cross is foundational, for out of that flows love for Christ, obedience to Him, and love for His word and a desire to keep it. When we really realize that we can do nothing without Jesus and that we have no life without Jesus, we depend on Him in every area of our life and His words are more precious to us than earthly sustenance.

Michael Gormley said...

Elizabeth said...
In John 6, Jesus connects abiding in Him with eating his flesh and drinking his blood.

Dear Elizabeth,
John Chapter Six
What Does It Really Say?

"And behold, thou shalt be dumb and unable to speak until the day when these things come to pass, BECAUSE THOU HAST NOT BELIEVED MY WORDS, WHICH WILL BE FULFILLED IN THEIR PROPER TIME." Luke 1:20.

Saint John, New Testament, Chapter Six...

This chapter is so important in explaining the "true presence" of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

Following is a verse by verse explanation. If you will read the whole chapter, you will not find any verse to indicate Jesus was speaking figuratively, or in parables.

He was speaking literally as the context of the chapter plainly shows.

One of the basic rules of Bible interpretation is, if something is said only once in Scripture, it might be taken figuratively, but if it is repeated three times, it is to be taken literally.

Jesus repeated His message in John Chapter six, nine different ways, or nine times.


Pamela said...

God always hears our prayers. Its just that sometimes he want that to happen because of a wonderful reason. Just keep on believing.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Pamela,

Yes, the point of the articles is that God does answer prayers.

Thanks for commenting.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Michael,

Well, we're certainly getting far afield from my original topic, which is a series of articles by a woman and for women about prayer in the home. I appreciate your sharing. But, I really have no idea of using my simple little thoughts as a springboard for a theological discussion. Please see 2 Timothy 2:24. I hope you will understand that the focus of my little blog for women is about keeping a home.

There are many teachings in the New Testament that define what it means to abide in Christ and for Christ to abide in us. For example, I John 2:6 says, "The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked." Perhaps readers would like to study this topic for themselves. After all, Acts 11:17 teaches us that it is a noble thing to search the scriptures, to see if what is being taught is true.

Is Jesus literally present in the wine and the bread of the Lord's table? Was that the main subject of his teaching in John 6? John 6 is a very rich discourse that occurred before Jesus instituted the taking of the bread and the wine and before He went to the cross. Was he foreshadowing the Lord's supper? Reading this passage does add meaning to my regular and frequent participation in the Lord's supper. However, I think that there are other lessons to be gleaned from John 6, as well. For example, I certainly think that Jesus was foreshadowing what He would do for us on the cross. And, He was pointing to Himself as the One who is greater than Moses and to whom Moses pointed as the One who would fulfill the promises of the Old Covenant. Again, perhaps readers would like to make a thorough study of this passage on their own.

The fact that Our Lord and Savior gave His body and His blood on the cross is an everlasting cause for thanksgiving. Whatever else we believe about communion, we certainly want to remember the wonderful sacrifice Jesus made for us. Jesus himself said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." I Corinthians 11. The Lord's death is
the foundation for the Lord's supper.

At any rate, we can be thankful that we have a High Priest who sacrificed His body and his blood, once and for all, to save us. Hebrews 7 tells us, "Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever."

Praise God for our High Priest -- Jesus Christ! Isn't his sacrifice on the cross for us a cause for both celebration and trembling awe? I am sure we all agree to that!

If you'd like to discuss this at further length, perhaps, you could leave your email address in the comment box. I'd be happy to correspond. But, I'd rather not do it through my little blog, which is for women and is about keeping the home. Thanks!