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How Should We Understand Our Unanswered Prayers?

Aired November 28, 2018
Christian LivingPrayer

Episode 63 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer questions on unanswered prayers, salvation by faith, how to have hope about the church.

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Episode 63 Show Notes

How Should We Understand Our Unanswered Prayers?

From the Show

How should we understand our unanswered prayers?

When it says in Psalm 37, “The Lord will give you the desires of your heart,” what preceeds it is, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” It's a lot like Jesus saying "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these other things"—clothing, food, drink—"will be added to you." So, if we delight ourselves in who God is and what he's done for us, then our desire will be, as the Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Not just to glorify Him, but to enjoy him. That's where our prayer focus should be so that when we do pray for things, for a change in our job circumstance, a change in our relationship, a change in our ability to pay for college, or what have you, those things are absolutely worth praying for, [even] in our Lord’s Prayer he says, “Pray like this…Give us this day our daily bread,” but after we have first of all focused on God and His kingdom, His glory, and His honor, and His name.

It just kind of reorients everything. So, when Jesus says, “ask and it will be given to you,” he's not saying "name it, claim it." He's saying [that] if you ask anything in my name in terms of the everlasting benefits that he offers in the Gospel, he will give them to us. We know that if we pray for the gift of salvation, if we pray for a deeper understanding of God and His saving work for us in Christ, if we pray for cleansing from the guilt and power of our sin, if we pray for a fuller sense of the Holy Spirit in our life, if we pray for these things, absolutely we're going to receive them. — Michael Horton

Questions in this Episode

1. How should we, as parents, be preparing our kids to evangelize in their schools? Is there anything we can teach or coach them in that would make them more confident in sharing the gospel with their friends?

2. If Christians are expected to still keep the 10 Commandments, doesn’t that mean we should keep a Saturday Sabbath as well?

3. In John 15:7, Jesus says “ask and it will be given to you.” How does this verse coincide with all of the unanswered prayers we have?

4. I am wondering about the process of someone officially becoming a Christian. I understand we are to believe and have faith in Jesus, but when we see someone come to faith, how are we to know they’re converted or born-again?

5. Is there a reason why in the Bible Paul seems to talk about salvation by faith much more often than any of the other New Testament authors, or even Jesus in the gospels?

6. Despite many of the problems and disagreements within the church, what gives you hope about the church? What makes it something we should still be excited about inviting others into?


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