Message Returned

Message returned, Message undeliverable . . ..

Itís a sick feeling when you have finished a long letter or e-mail and attempted to send it, only to learn that it never got to the one you meant to reach. It is no secret that sometimes when we pray, it appears that there has been no answer whatever. We are left at that point to decide, "Was it something I did? Did I err in how I asked? Is the Lord displeased with me?"

This morning I want to tackle an issue that is admittedly a difficult one upon which to preach. I am entitling this message, "What about unanswered prayer?"

Now I know that for some, for a preacher to even allow that there exists this seeming phenomenon is a lack of faith...a negative confession. Truth be known though, there are many more dear saints who have silently agonized over the possibility that their prayers are ineffective.

One person is miraculously healed. Another who outwardly seems to have more faith and more maturity in the Lord, languishes in a difficult circumstance with no apparent relief on the horizon. If we are going to be honest, the Bible records both amazing answers to prayer and puzzling (at least to us) occasions in which the situation got worse after prayer.

Now, from the outset, I want you to know that I believe that Jesus still does miracles. I have been the happy recipient of a number of such blessings myself. I have also prayed fervently for sick people and their condition worsened. I believe I can say with all candor that I am open to the Lordís scrutiny of my own soul. If it is a deficiency on my part, I am open to the Lordís correction or even His rebuke.

As we get into the Word this morning, letís be honest. In fact, letís be "honest to God." I believe that if we "rightly divide the word of truth," the Lord will give us wisdom and faith. Prayer it too important to our walk with God for us to operate in vagaries and cliches. I believe the Lord will teach us if we remain teachable.


Pastor Jim
March 30, 2008

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