Confidence in Praying
June 14, 2009
INTRODUCTION: In James 1:5, we are encouraged to ask God for the wisdom we often lack, and then He will liberally and lovingly give it. The context is that of trials. James again reminds us that when we respond as he suggests, God uses the trials to build and bless in the life of the believer. As a result, the Lord watches as the believer develops in the areas of perseverance and spiritual maturity. Remember, in James 1:5-8, the Bible lists three resources the Lord provides for trials:
1. WISDOM. 5
2. PRAYER. 5
3. FAITH. 6-8
Last week we took note that wisdom in the Bible is coupled with humility and the fear of the Lord that leads to a departure of evil. As we make our request to God for wisdom, He gives wisdom without finding fault, putting us down, or demeaning us.
James has painted a beautiful picture of our "willing Heavenly Father," and now his brush paints the next stroke of a "waiting child."
Possibly, at one time in your life, you have asked directions but did not feel that God actually gave you that wisdom for which you sought. James deals in part with this problem of unanswered prayer.
It has been said the Lord has four answers to prayer:
2. No (Denial)
3. Not Now (Delayed)
4. You Must Be Kidding!
Just as any mother and father would be displeased should their children show "lack of faith," in them, so "without faith it is impossible to please Him." (Heb 11:6)
"But 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 diligently seek Him."
Without faith it is not possible for one to walk with God.
2 Corinthians 5:7, "For we walk by faith, not by sight."
In Gen 5:24, we are told that Enoch walked with God, and in Heb. 11:5, "he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
The passage that so influenced Martin Luther in his coming to Christ was Habakkuk. 2:4, ...
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