Did you know that, if you are a Christian, you can move mountains? I know, everyone can move mountains if they have the giant earthmovers, but you can move mountains with your word as well. In James 4:2, we see that we have not because we ask not. Jesus said in Mat 17:20, “…ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” So, where is your faith today? Can you move mountains? Now, don’t go out and start commanding the hills just yet – lets look at why we can do this. If we are saved, we have the Holy Spirit of God living in us. This is God. This is the same God that spoke the universe into existence (Genesis 1), the same God at whose presence the mountains melt (Nahum 1:5, Amos 9:13). Yet we as Christians fail to claim this power that dwells within us. If we study James 4:1-3 we can see several reasons why our prayers may not be answered.
James 4:1-3 “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
First, we can see from this passage that we cannot have because we lust. Now, this is not necessarily in a sexual sense. If you see a new Corvette, and you pray for one just like it, chances are you’ll not get it. This lust causes our desires to be worldly. This is why God is saying that we “ask amiss”. We confuse what we want for what we need. We end up asking for things that we will use only for our own pleasure. New clothes, a car, a job, better speakers, whatever. What do you pray for and why do you pray for it? I know of a man who was told by the doctors that he would be dead in a few months. He prayed for God to allow him to live another year so that he could witness to a thousand more people. That year came and passed. He continued to pray “just another year that I can witness for you, Lord” And the Lord fulfilled his request, and the man kept his word. Now, there comes a time when we must simply trust in The Lord, that He knows best. We may want to build a church in a specific place. Our reasoning is good – there is not a church there, and there needs to be one there. However, God may simply have another place for us. A place where we can be more effective, and someone who can be more effective in the new church we want to build. God does have a master plan for us all.
Next we can see that we do not have prayers answered because we do not trust God to answer them. How often have you encountered some problem and immediately asked a friend, parent, teacher, or even your dog what you should do. More and more we are turning to Ms. Cleo for answers and not God. How perverted!! Why shouldn’t we run with our problems to God? Did He not promise to take care of us? Didn’t He promise to protect us? To feed us? To provide for our needs? Isn’t God the creator of the universe and all that is in it? Isn’t God all knowing: seeing the hearts of man, knowing what is the perfect plan for us? If so, wouldn’t God be the logical first choice to take our problems to? Yet, we take our problems to everyone but God. Then, we do not see answers to these prayers because we never ask them. But, this also applies to fulfilling our needs. Have you ever prayed for your electric light to work? No, you probably just assume it will work. I am in a unique situation where I am surrounded by people who have needs and never share them with anyone but the Lord. Regularly, we hear reports from these people of some need that no one knew of that were filled by the hand of God.
Are your prayers answered? There is one other reason why your prayers may not be answered. That reason is sin. There are basically two types of sin that hinder prayer: the sin of not being saved, and the sins that have not been confessed sins by the believer. In both cases, God will not hear you. And, in both cases, the broken line of communication can be fixed. If you are unsaved, turn to Christ for salvation. If you are saved, and have unconfessed sin in your life, confess and forsake it.
By: Randy Ross