by Richard Laue

This content is part of a series.

When Your Prayers Aren't Answered (10 of 17)
Series: The Epistle of James
Richard Laue
James 4:1-6

Why do so many of our prayers go unanswered? If you could answer that one to everybody's satisfaction, you would be the premier Bible teacher of the year. But I believe James gives the answer. Hear me out today and see if you agree. It seems to me that James is saying our prayers are not answered because of worldliness. Well, what is worldliness? There are varying ideas on that.

Some would say that worldliness has to do with our amusements and habits. If you go to movies, smoke, drink, chew, or go with girls who do, you are worldly.

Others would say that it's the kind of crowd you run with--birds of a feather flock together. If you have unsaved friends who do worldly things, you are worldly. Jesus was accused of eating with Publicans and sinners, with worldly people.

Still others would say that worldliness is a matter of your conversation. I have heard Christians say in reference to someone else, "He talks worldly." If you say, "Golly, heck, or darn," you are worldly. If you say, "Praise the Lord," "Hallelujah," you are not worldly. If you clap at baptism, you are worldly. If you say, "Amen," you are spiritual.

Some would say that worldliness is the way you dress. The kind of clothes you wear. Low cut dresses are worldly. Dresses with a slice up the side are worldly. Too much gold hanging around your neck is worldly. Too many rings on your fingers is worldly.

These things go on and on, but I don't believe the New Testament reveals that any of those things are worldliness. This doesn't mean that these things are all good, and we have license to do them.

Worldliness is at a deeper level. A brother of Henry Ward Beecher was a pastor in Upper State New York. He had a clock in his church that was never accurate. So he put a sign under the clock. "DON'T BLAME THE HANDS. THE TROUBLE LIES DEEPER."

James says that worldliness is Christians warring an ...

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