God Answers Prayer

Finding illustrations of answered prayer from the Bible is a relatively easy thing to do. For one thing, the Bible stories come with a narrator who tells us information from “behind the scenes.” For example, the narrator is the one who tells us that God relented (or repented) in the Jonah and Moses stories we talked about in the sermon this morning. In everyday life answered prayers are more difficult to observe. I have prayed for financial help more than once in my life and have been amazed at the unusual ways God has answered (such as someone giving me a car or my child being awarded a full tuition scholarship). I have also been amazed at the common ways the prayers have been answered (such as getting a raise or something costing less than I thought I would). Through both the unusual and the common answers to prayer there is often the question in the back of my mind, “How do you KNOW this was God answering the prayer?” The answer, of course, is that I know only by faith. If I ask God for something I need, when the need is supplied I am going to credit God with answering my prayer and offer a prayer of thanksgiving. I don’t believe in God because he answers prayer; I believe in God and therefore pray, trusting him to supplies what I need.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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3 Responses to “God Answers Prayer”

  1. avatar twehe says:

    Well, I’m back after somehow managing to delete an entire paragraph with intro and quite a few comments on my opening point. Clearly God had reservations about the tenure or content of what I started to say. Let’s hope I do a better job this time. I am remaining optimistic about most of my content, hopefully this is not an error in judgement on my part.

    I was saying that I “reely” have enjoyed this particular sermon series so far. But, per your request, I took some notes trying to focus on your content and delivery from a critical view, and share the following three points purely as a response to your request. But before I share them, I will add that I think you have a “David heart” for reaching out and sharing God’s touch in your life. And your speaking style, as I see it, is already quite engaging, and I feel that you are an honest speaker. This is sincere, even though I am sure sincere isn’t a word you might choose to describe just about anything coming out of my mouth. Anyway here we go:

    1) I think maybe a few more brief words reminding us of previously covered points in the series. – I offer this only because I find myself asking the question, “what have we learned so far about prayer?” And specifically since you chose the somewhat confusing message of “prayer doesnt work” followed by “prayer does work”, I found myself saying , shouldn’t we try to say what prayer is so that we can know how it should or shouldn’t work. And I can certainly see where that’s possibly your objective and we just haven’t got there yet, or maybe we got there and I forgot, which is why I thought some more reminders would have helped me, but I digress.

    2) I thought your best point of the sermon was “I dont know”, mostly because I wholeheartedly agree. ( that is I dont know either; not, you dont know ) :o)

    3) I kind of left today’s message thinking to myself “God needs us just like we need him” Which isnt totally correct since clearly our needs and God’s needs, although similar, are surely not exactly alike. – I am trying to express with this that through your messages to date I am increasingly sure that God needs us to talk to him, just like we need to talk to him. Much the same as we need to talk to our spouse , or our friends, or anyone that we are lucky enough to be close to in our lives. Because without these conversations, we really aren’t close at all. I think this may be best illustrated by how apart some families can become because, for whatever reason, they no longer talk to each other.

    So I guess what I’m getting so far is that Prayer is really conversations with God, and without them we can never be close to God, or do his will, or know what his will is, or help others find his will for their lives, … Pretty much we are useless unless we “pray” or talk to God, in whatever way works for us. We just need to do it, or perhaps like nike says, we need to “just do it”

    So, hope this read has been fun. I actually enjoy this sort of thing, even though I haven’t had a writing pal in a few years, ( somehow I got busy ) Maybe I can keep it going for a few sermons at least.

  2. avatar Jeremy says:

    Just got done listening to your sermon online since I was out preparing for the visitors luncheon yesterday. I guess you had to be there…

    JK

    No, really.

    So God’s will is not static. Perhaps prayers is like a balloon, the more we fill it with hot air (prayer) the more surface area it encompasses. Perhaps God limits his own will so that we can bring something to the relationship. By being a people of prayer we “allow” or “unlock” in a certain sense, more of God’s will. Thus by praying, we aren’t “helping ourselves” but we are participating in a relationship that creates more freedom and elasticity. As we into into this relationship with God through prayer (what is a relationship w/o communication anyways?), we, as you put it, “open up the flood gates” so that the Father can pour his blessings down upon us.
    In Face To Face v.1, the first of the morning affirmations is Romans 12:1-2. (On a side note, I know that the author worked from the Lord’s prayer, but where is lament? Lament is a lost language in Christendom today, and until it is “revived” grief, tragedy and lost will continue to confuse and alienate people from God.) I have been thinking a lot about how it is written in this book, “that I may prove that Your will is good and acceptable and perfect.” There is something about being human that involves us in the will of God. Whether it’s proving it to ourselves (I’m to lazy to look at the Greek right now) or proving it to the world, there is something very special that happens when God accepts us as his children and allows us to participate in his will instead of just being benign bystanders. In the end, prayer does work…just as God intended it to work.
    One of the things that I have the most trouble accepting is that we pray for the suffering and yet, often times, they just continue to suffer. But the more I live and the more I come into contact with people who are truly suffering, I realize that the problem is mine, not theirs. It is the suffering that often have the greatest faith, the most hope, the longest lasting love. I was watching Home Maker last night with Amanda. The show featured a young man who was blind and severely physically handicapped. It was a very moving show, and at the end, this young man sat at his new piano and sang about how what he “sees” makes him believe.
    It reminded me of a quote by theist Rolf Gruner, “The strongest believers have usually been those who have had the firmest conviction of the reality of evil, and many or most of them have never made any attempt at theodicy.”
    Perhaps God is still working on “transforming me into a new person by the way I think.” Christianity is a journey, not a destination.
    Fa che il Signore ti benedica dalla sua bonta’ in ogni opero tuo e che siami pronti ad abbracciare la sua volonta’.
    Grazia e pace.

    JP

  3. avatar twehe says:

    well, i was looking at what I said before and realizing, “yeah, so conversational prayer was actually one of the types of prayer Byron had mentioned, but it was only one; so, have I been listening at all?”

    I suppose I have been listening some, and perhaps I have been doing too much, “yeah but the way I see it is” Anyway, just thought I’d throw that out there. I thik I may reread your synopsis on all the series so far and try to refocus on your next speech so I can be one of those guys with “Ears to hear”, as Jesus so succintly puts it.