How to Get Answers to Prayer?
“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:14-16 NASB.
Do you believe it?
Why are we bringing up this text about healing the sick? We are using this text because it’s startling. We're bringing this up because we need to start right where people seem to have the problem: With faith. So why start with a most difficult promise? Because we want you to know with God the impossible is possible, that there is nothing too hard for God. Genesis 18:14.
Why do you need faith?
If it’s something you can do for yourself or mankind can provide, why do you need God for it? Faith is all about making your needs and petitions known to God that you cannot provide for yourself or for things you can do too! (We need God for everything!) When you have faith in God, then there is nothing that you need that He cannot provide if it’s for your best. So let’s start with discussing prayers that seem impossible as a place to start our talk on faith! That's why this Seminar is entitled the Prayer of Faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God! Hebrews 11:6. You need to believe the promises of God, as in James 5:14-16. You need to believe the Bible as it reads, because God says what He means, and means what he says and can be trusted because He loves you!
The title for tonight’s session is the Prayer of Faith Part 1 Conditions for answered prayer. We won’t be able to cover everything here. But the main thing is to understand [that there are conditions to answered prayer.] – How many people here want God [to] hear their prayers? How many people here want their prayers to be answered? (Audience: Yea.) There’s a science behind it – we don’t always know every prayer, but there’s some prayers that you can know that God is going to answer them. Did you know that? (Audience: Yes.) Did you know that there are some prayers that God isn’t going to hear? And some of it has to do with our attitudes. We’re not going to go into all that tonight. But there’s a protocol for dealing with God, and if we want answers to our prayers we need to understand. We are not going to go through all of them tonight. But the biggest one of them all is Faith! I mean I had known this for awhile – but it didn’t really sink in. You know I was thinking [about] other things. But when I did this study I realized that the prayer of faith is like the number one condition!
An inspiring message on how to get answers to prayer and get closer to God and get all the happiness and love and joy you were meant to have! The title for tonight’s session is the Prayer of Faith Part 1 Conditions for answered prayer. We won’t be able to cover everything here but, the main thing is to understand – How many people here want to have God hear their prayers? How many people here want their prayers to be answered? There’s a science behind it – we don’t always know every prayer, but there’s some prayers that you can know that God is going to answer them. Did you know that? Did you know that there are some prayers that God isn’t going to hear? And some of it has to do with our attitudes. We’re not going to go into all that tonight. But there’s a protocol for dealing with God, and if we want to answers to our prayers we need to understand. And – we are not going to go through all of them tonight. But the biggest one of them all is Faith! I mean I had known this for awhile – but it didn’t really sink in. You know I was thinking of other things. But when I did this study I realized that the prayer of faith is like the number one condition!
What does it mean to be justified? Are good works bad? We think it will be clear once we break it down. Some people want to insist that works are bad because works are done by those who are trying to save themselves. But is it true that works are bad? That depends on whether someone is trying to do good works in their own strength to save themselves or not. Paul doesn't contradict himself here. There's another way that good works can be done – they can be done by the Spirit of God. All this text is saying is that people who try to keep the law and their own strength will not be justified. We believe that since all our righteousnesses are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6 KJV), then the attempt to save oneself by their works is actually sin. This is because those who do this make themselves to be their own god, little “g”. It is God’s job to save us, not ourselves – we have no ability of saving ourselves. For someone to be justified - that's an act of grace by God alone, which is Paul's point. Those who are trying to save themselves cannot have the Holy Spirit, or enjoy what it means to really live – which is to be filled with wonderful peace, great love and joy inexpressible! Nor can they ever be truly righteous – it is a hollow shell. Paul’s point is not that we won't be doing good works, his point is that those who seek to try to work out their own salvation by themselves will not be justified. We think this is clear! Jesus said, “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14 KJV. The danger for those who trust in themselves, the self-righteous, is that they do not see their need clearly and may fail to confess their sins and humble themselves before God before it’s too late, because they may think that they are good and do not need to repent. So those who try to keep the law in their own strength will not be justified, until they ask for mercy, this is what Jesus and Paul taught. If they feel that they are keeping the law, they may have failed to confess the sin of breaking it. Self-righteousness is a form of Spiritual blindness. Therefore Galatians 2:16 does not contradict our passage in Romans 2:13: 'For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.' They are both in perfect harmony with each other, but they're talking about two different things. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 KJV.
Are “good works” really bad? The belief that good works are bad is contradicted by Paul who declared that we were created in Christ Jesus for good works: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 NASB. If God is working in you to will and to do His good pleasure, then these good works are acceptable to Him. Philippians 2:13. Notice that Paul said that ‘God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’ What is he talking about here? God has prepared ahead of time that we should walk in good works. This really goes against what many people are teaching nowadays! How can it be that all good works are bad, if God prepared ahead of time that we should walk in them? This contradicts what many believe doesn’t it? God prepared beforehand a way that you and I can have good works! How did God prepare ahead of time? By Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins – to make atonement for them, and by providing the Holy Spirit to write His Law of love in our heart and help us obey Him. John 3:3,5,16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Romans 5:8-11; 1 John 2:1-2; 4:10; Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 11:18-20; 36:25-30; Deuteronomy Acts 2; and Joel 2; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:37-39; John 7:37-39; Matthew 22:35-40.
For not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified.
The just man is the one who does the law.
To be just means to be righteous.
The just or righteous person does the law.
Therefore to justify someone is to make them a doer of the law.
To justify someone is to make them righteous.
The term justification by faith is used many places in the Bible, so we need to understand what it really means. It is important since it is used so many times. True faith takes the Bible as it reads and accepts it as the truth, because it is the word of God. Those with true faith believe and trust God and take Him at His word. Therefore the first step in order to get righteousness by faith is to believe the word of God, the Bible. Without the belief that the Bible is the word of God, no one can have the faith that is needed, which Abraham had, to be made righteous by God and be saved. The condition of salvation is to believe – to believe that Jesus and His Father can save you. John 3:16-17. You must also believe their word, the Bible. God doesn’t make mistakes, and you can trust His word, the Bible. This is what we are doing here, taking the Bible as it reads.
Jesus said, ‘unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.’ John 8:24 NASB. Do not suppose that Jesus was merely referring to the children of God on earth in His day here when He spoke this. Jesus said ‘unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.’ Yes, Jesus is speaking to the people in our day too and you! No one can save themselves, no matter how hard they try, no matter what they do - no matter what, regardless of how much truth they believe in, or how good they think they are. You simply cannot save yourself, dear reader. Unless you believe that Jesus was the Lamb of God, sent to take away the sins of the world - unless you believe that God sent Jesus to take away your sins, you will not have any life within you. Unless you believe that Jesus is the only one, you do not have any life within you. But if you believe Jesus is the one, you will have this life Jesus promised to all who would take it. When John-the-Baptist declared that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, that is what he said and that is what he meant. John 1:29, 36. For Jesus to be able to take away all of the sins of the world - He must take away your sins too. He came not only to clear your guilt from the record books in heaven, but He came to take away your sins as well, to help you stop sinning.
Jesus plainly declared: ‘no one is good but God alone.’ Luke 18:19 NASB. So how were Adam and Eve able to be good in the Garden of Eden before they sinned? God was abiding in them and in His whole creation. We will endeavor to show this in this article. In our article: Abraham’s Promised Possession Could Only Come Through the Resurrection: we stated that Adam and Eve had been given a measure of the Holy Spirit before they sinned. This provided the basis and the concept that we should write this article that you are now reading: “Adam and Eve Part 2: Clothed with Righteousness”, which also led to us seeing the need to write “Adam and Eve Part 1: The Test of Faith”, and then to “Adam and Eve, Part 3: Redemption: Bringing Back What was Lost.” Now let us explore this concept: that Adam and Eve had the Holy Spirit before they fell. You may be saying, ‘How do we know this?’ Keep reading, we will show you why Adam and Eve had the Holy Spirit before they sinned, and lost His full indwelling presence after they sinned. (Note that the Holy Spirit didn’t stop trying to work with them after they fell, but they lost His special presence and complete protection after it.)
“In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 KJV & NASB. ‘And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.’ Genesis 1:31 NASB77. This was the way God created this world - there was no sin; everything was good; everything was perfect. There were no animals killing other animals, no people killing other people or animals, or bloodshed or strife, all was perfect. If everything was good that God created, how did life get so messed up on this planet then? We want to contemplate what God did for mankind at creation, and what was lost, and how to get it back again. God made this world perfect, Adam and Eve were perfect. But they were born fully grown with no experience at life; they had no experience of sin or death or their need for complete dependence upon God. Complete dependence upon God was something they needed to learn.
God’s Promise of the Everlasting Possession: We want to show you from the Bible what God had promised Abraham, and why this promise to Abraham could only come to him personally through the Resurrection, and why the children of Israel could only fully get this promised inheritance through the Resurrection as well. Note what God promised Abraham regarding the land the He showed him: ‘to thee will I give it’ and ‘to thy seed forever.’ God promised this land to Abraham personally and to Abraham’s children forever! It was to be their possession forever! Do not miss this! If either Abraham or Abraham’s children (those faithful to God) did not receive this possession forever, then this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Note what Abraham said: ‘How will I know that I shall inherit it?” This makes it clear that Abraham expected to receive the inheritance for himself, not just for his posterity. For those who think that the children of Israel, delivered from their bondage in Egypt, coming into the Promised Land of Canaan was the complete fulfillment of this promise, think again, because it was not forever. In the dream that Abraham had, God answered Abraham and said that his posterity would come out of the land of Egypt with ‘many possessions.’ We believe that this was a partial fulfillment of the promise, when they got their inheritance in the land of Canaan. This was the beginning of the fulfillment of this promise.