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Don't give up on prayer, even when God doesn't give you the answers you're looking for.

Key Points:

  1. If the timing is wrong, God says “Slow.” John 11:5-6
  2. If the request is immature, God says “Grow.” Isaiah 59:1-2
  3. If the request is out of God’s will, God says “No.” 1 John 5:14-15 (NIV)
  4. When the request is right, God says “Let’s Go.”

Featured Text:

1 John 5:14-15 (NIV) This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

See Also: Prayer

SERMON PREP

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The Four Ways God Answers Prayer

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SERMON SEGMENTS

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Small Group Questions
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Read John 11:3-6. How would you have felt if you were in Mary and Martha’s shoes?
  3. Read John 11:43-45. Why did Jesus delay in answering Mary and Martha’s plea?
  4. Why is it hard to trust God’s timing with our prayer requests?
  5. Read Isaiah 59:1-2. Why did God refuse to respond to Israel’s prayers? When God doesn’t answer, can we assume that sin is involved? Explain.
  6. Read 2 Corinthians 1:8-9. Describe the situation Paul was in. What would you have prayed for in that situation?
  7. In what ways did God grow Paul through those hardships?
  8. Read 1 John 5:14-15. What confidence can we have in prayer?
  9. How do we know what God’s will is? If we’re not sure about God’s will in a given situation, how should we pray?
  10. Read Matthew 26:37-39. What was Jesus’ prayer request? Why did God say “No”? What was Jesus’ response to God’s refusal?
  11. Think of a time God said “No” to your prayer. What was your reaction? What did you learn from that experience.
  12. When God doesn’t answer “Yes” to our prayers, why do you think some people turn their back on God, while others continue to trust him?
  13. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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