by Ken Trivette

Why Our Prayers Are Unanswered
Ken Trivette
James 4:1-4
This sermon was preached on May 7, 2006

a) A Privilege That Is Not Appreciated
b) A Practice That Is Not Attended
a) A Selfish Purpose for Prayer
b) A Selfish Profit from Prayer
a) A Relationship That Is Sinful
b) A Fellowship That Is Severed

Eliza Hickok wrote:

I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know: God answers prayer.

I think of the story of the Dallas Theological Seminary. It was founded in 1924 and almost had to close shortly there after. The creditors were about to foreclose at noon on a certain day. President Lewis S. Chafer met with the faculty to pray that God would provide. Also with them was Dr. Harry Ironside. He prayed in his characteristic style: “Lord, we know that the cattle on a thousand hills are Thine. Please sell some of them and send us the money.”

While they were praying, a Texas businessman stepped into the seminary office and said, “I just sold two carloads of cattle in Fort Worth and I feel compelled to give the money to the seminary. I don’t care if you need it or not, but here’s the check.”

The surprised secretary took the check, and timidly knocked on the door of the room where they were praying. When Dr. Chafer took the check out of her hand, it was for the exact amount of the debt. He looked at Ironside and said, “Harry, God sold the cattle!”

Yes, God answers prayer! If I were to ask how many of you believe God answers prayer, I am sure that most all of you would raise your hand. Probably a few of would shout, “Amen!” But on the other hand, if I turned around and asked how many have had their prayers answered the response would be somewhat different.

God answers prayer—Amen! Glory! Praise the Lord!—but for some reason many never experience answers to their prayers. If I were to ask people to come forward and testify to a definite experience of answered prayer, how many could do so. ...

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