A. Opening Illustration: ''He prayed for strength that he might achieve. He was made weak that he might obey. He prayed for health that he might do great things. He was given infirmity that he might do better things. He prayed for riches that he might be happy. He was given poverty that he might be wise. He prayed for power that he might have the praise of men. He was given weakness that he might feel the need of God. He prayed for all things that he might enjoy life. He was given life that he might enjoy all things. He had received nothing he asked for, but all that he hoped for. His prayer was answered and he was most blessed.'' Unaswered prayer
B. God doesn't always answer Prayer as we would desire.
C. A bigger problem is when we don't feel God is answering our prayers at all.
1. What would hinder God from answering our prayers?
2. Today's message is designed to point out some of the problem areas when it comes to prayer.
I. UNCONFESSED SIN. PSALMS 66:18
''If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.''
A. The word regard can mean to cherish, tolerate, or foster sin.
B. The word is a picture of a person knowingly sinning without any urgency to rid himself of the sin.
''Behold the Lord is at hand, and His hand is not short, that it cannot save. Neither is his ear so dull that it cannot hear. 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 you.'' ISAIAH 59:2
C. Salvation is the first step to answered prayer.
1. God Does not hear and respond to the prayers of a lost person. The exception is a salvation prayer.
2. What about prayers answered? Could have been the prayers of others.
D. Before I pray for a change in circumstances, I should pray for a change in character.
ILL. NORMAN VINCENT PEALE ILLUSTRATION:
Norman Vincent Peale tells a cute story about when he ...
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