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Seven Footsteps to Answered Prayer

Introduction

In our walk with Jesus Christ there are three things that are absolutely necessary. A good and continuous study of His Word. By His Word we learn of our God, our Lord and our Savior. Jesus is the friend that is closer than a brother or sister and as our love for Him grows all the more we want to learn all that we can about Him. By His Word we learn what we can expect of Him and more importantly we learn of what He expects of us. This is essential if we are committed to following Him through this world to the Promised Land. By His Word we grow our Faith in our walk with Him. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

Faith is an essential to our walk with God. Our salvation comes through faith, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, then our belief must be manifested by our faith in His Word. Faith is an action word, in faith we must act upon His Word. Jesus said if you love me you will keep my commandments. (John 14:5) By our obedience in faith upon His Word we prove our desire to love God and follow His Son throughout all eternity. Without an active faith we cannot accomplish this. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Prayer is the other essential to our walk with Jesus Christ. By His Word in the Spirit of Truth He guides us along on our journey. We are not left as orphans to find our own way. He is with us leading us all the way and our Lord is faithful and true and will never forsake us. Jesus is the Word of God and He is, “Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Neither should we walk with Him in silence, as the purpose of God is to have a fellowship with us. It is essential, being that the adversary never rest, that we be in constant conversation with our Lord and Master. Prayer is that unique tool that has been given to the human mind to connect with the Creator. Like any tool, the more we use it the more proficient we become in its usage. Myself, when I do not know someone well, I find myself unable to express myself as fully as I would want. But as I become more familiar with a person I am better able to express myself. This is true when communicating with God. The more we communicate the better we are at carrying on our side of the conversation. Prayer then should become a constant conversation with our Lord. “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)

It most certainly is not my intent to diminish the importance of God’s Word but for this study I want to focus on Faith and Prayer. When we pray, we must pray in the Spirit of Truth and in faith we must act upon that truth. All three of these essentials are needed in our walk with the Lord, as it would be impossible to accomplish our walk without all three. When we walk with the Lord we walk by His Word in faith. When we pray to our Lord, we pray by His Word in faith. In this study I want to focus on Faith and Prayer that we may live successfully by His Word.

There are many kinds of Prayer that the Scriptures speak of. There are Prayers of intercession, Prayers in warfare, Prayers for worship, praise and communion. But here we are going to focus on Prayers that get an answer from God.

First we must know that it is not useful to Pray to God if what we are praying about is not within His will. If our Prayer is outside of the will of God, then it cannot be expected that He will answer in the affirmative. There are good reason as to why some Prayers are answered in the yes column and why some are answered in the no column. As I mentioned before if the Prayer is outside of God’s will it will not be answered at all.

There are laws that our lives are governed by. Legislative laws, social laws direct the way we live within a society. There are physical laws which direct the way we live in the physical world. And there are spiritual laws which govern the things of the higher realm. If we ask for things in prayer that do not abide within the law then we cannot expect that God would answer them according to our will. If we violate the laws which govern us then we can only expect to face the consequences for our disobedience.

If we are to expect a positive answer to our Prayers from God, then we must learn the ways of God. God not always does things for us without effort on our part. Often the answer to our Prayer is that God enables us to accomplish that which we have asked for. God is a provider that gives us that which we need to accomplish His will for our lives. God is a partner that will work through our life with us to achieve the success that He desires for us. If we want answered prayer, then we need to learn His ways and the secrets to Prayers that God delights in answering. We need to study His Word to discover the ways of God and fellowship with Him in our Prayers.

Our Prayers to the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ are given with our intent for a positive answer. The intent is good, Prayers should be offered with the expectation that they will be answered in God’s time. If our Prayers are not answered then something is wrong.

There are two things that draw us to Prayer, need and desire. When we find ourselves in need of something we are drawn to Prayer. An example would be that we all need to be fed daily. We all need to have our spiritual beings refueled by His Word each day, and better yet throughout the day. The old saying goes, “Seven days without Prayer makes one weak.” We need to go to the well often and drink so that we are able to face the spiritual battles of the day. “Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.” (Revelation 21:6)

When we have a desire in our heart we are also drawn to Prayer. We all have desires in our heart. I desire to see my sons come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I desire to be used of the Lord to help people along the narrow path to the eternal home in God’s Kingdom. I desire financial security and peaceful living for myself and all of mankind. These are good and moral desires and I believe that my loving Father will in His time bring all these desires into being. You have your desires as well. Have you expressed them to the Lord God. Even now Jesus is preparing a place just for you. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) He is the Master carpenter and He is preparing a place just for you. Have you partnered with Him in how you would want your eternal home to be? You should, because God wants you to have the desires of your heart just as your earthly parents also wanted you to have the desires of your heart. Have you Prayed and told Him? “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

How wonderful it is that our God is a God of love. He loved you and me so much that he sacrificed His Son to pay the debt of our disobedience. How fortunate we are that our God is a good God, who us a God of justice and only wants the best for His children. And how merciful it is that our God wants to answer our Prayers so that His children can live in great joy. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 1:24)

There are seven footsteps to prayer that is answered. Over the next several weeks we will be looking at each one. Till then, Peace be with you.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, February 22, 2015

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