[outline]

Why Our Prayer Are not Answered

  • We don’t ask.
    • James 4:2—You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
  • We have wrong motivations for asking.
    • James 4:3—You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Requirements of Prayer

  • pray regularly
    • Acts 3:1—Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
    • Psalms 55:17—Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
  • pray with others
    • Acts 3:1—Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
    • Matthew 18:19-20—Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
    • Acts 1:13-14—And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
    • Acts 12:12—When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
    • Acts 21:5—When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed
  • must obey God’s law and be righteous
    • II Chronicles 7:14—If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
    • Psalms 34:17—When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
    • Psalms 66:18—If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
    • Proverbs 15:29—The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
    • Proverbs 28:9—If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
    • Isaiah 59:2—But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
    • John 9:31—We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.
    • James 4:3—You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
  • must listen to God’s calling and rebuking
    • Proverbs 1:23-25,28— If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. 24 Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, 25 because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, 28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
  • must help the poor
    • Proverbs 21:13—Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.
  • must pray according to God’s will
    • John 15:7—If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
    • John 16:24—Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
    • I John 5:14-15—And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
  • pray with thanksgiving
    • Philippians 4:6—do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    • Colossians 4:2—Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
  • pray continuously
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:17—pray without ceasing,
  • pray with faith
    • Mark 11:24—Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
    • James 1:6-8—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. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
  • forgive before you pray
    • Mark 11:25—And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
  • pray humbly
    • Matthew 6:5-7—”And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
  • pray intentionally
    • Luke 11:5-13—And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
  • pray for other people
    • James 5:16—Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
  • pray boldly
    • James 5:17-18—Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
  • pray for all people
    • I Timothy 2:1-2—First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
  • always pray in the Spirit
    • Ephesians 6:18—praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
  • pray respectfully, for God’s will, for daily help, for the forgiveness of our sins, and safety from temptations
    • Matthew 6:9-13—Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
  • pray steadfastly
    • Colossians 4:2—Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
    • Luke 18:1—And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
  • pray without anger
    • I Timothy 2:8—I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

What God Commands us to Pray for

  • unity
    • John 17:20-21—”I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
  • knowing His will
    • Colossians 1:9—And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
  • knowing God
    • Ephesians 1:16-19—I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
  • faith
    • Luke 22:32—but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
  • hope
    • Ephesians 1:16,18—I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,…18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
  • love
    • Philippians 1:9-10—And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,
  • to be with others
    • I Thessalonians 3:10—as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
  • strength
    • Luke 21:36—But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
    • Ephesians 3:14-16—For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
  • Holy Spirit
    • Luke 11:13—If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
  • whatever we want that God also wants for us
    • John 15:7—If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
  • God’s will to be done on earth
    • Matthew 6:9-10—Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
  • what we need
    • Matthew 6:9,11—Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…11 Give us this day our daily bread,
  • forgiveness
    • Matthew 6:9,12—Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
  • avoiding temptation and Satan
    • Matthew 6:9,13—Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
    • Matthew 26:41—Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
  • evangelism
    • Matthew 9:38—therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
    • Acts 13:2-3—While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
    • Romans 10:1—Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
    • II Thessalonians 3:1—Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.
  • deliverance from evil
    • Acts 12:5,12—So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church…When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
    • Acts 16:25-26—About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.
    • Romans 15:30-31—I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,
    • II Thessalonians 3:1—Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.
  • justice
    • Luke 18:7—And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
  • boldness
    • Acts 4:29—And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
    • Ephesians 6:18-19—praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
  • healings, signs and wonders
    • Acts 4:29-30—And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
    • James 5:17-18—Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
  • raising the dead
    • Acts 9:40—But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.
  • healing sicknesses
    • Acts 28:8-9—It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him. 9 And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.
    • James 5:14-15—Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
  • casting out demons
    • Mark 9:29—And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
  • committing leaders to God
    • Acts 14:23—And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
  • resolutions
    • II Thessalonians 1:11—To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,