When God Says No

James 4:1-4

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Reference: James 4:1-4

Prayer is the Christian’s greatest privilege, and it is often our greatest failure. There’s no substitute for prayer. That is why it is crucial that we know how to pray.

In James 4, we are told of two major problems concerning prayer:

  • The problem of unasked prayer. “You have not because you’ve asked not.”
  • The problem of unanswered prayer. “You ask and receive not.”

God’s response to our prayers may be direct, different, delayed or denied. Sometimes, the answer is no. But why does God say no?

We must remember this about prayer: We are to pray in Jesus’ name, with His approval, for His acclaim, with His authority, in the Spirit, in the will of God.

Adrian Rogers says, “The prayer that gets to Heaven is the prayer that starts in Heaven. What we do is just close the circuit. You see, it is the will of God. Prayer is not some method by which man on earth gets his will done in Heaven. Prayer is a method where God in Heaven gets His will done on earth.”

  • We are to pray in the will of God. A lot of times we pray with a covetous spirit, and we wonder why our prayers are not answered. It is because we prayed with the wrong intent.
  • We are to pray in obedience. It is a waste of time to pray if we have unconfessed sin in our hearts. If you want God to answer your prayer, get your heart clean before God.
  • We are to pray in fellowship. You cannot pray with a grudge in your heart toward somebody else.
  • We are to pray in faith. Faith is not positive thinking or wishing things into existence. Faith is hearing from God, believing God, and acting on what you hear and believe.

Apply it to your life

How is your prayer life? Perhaps it needs some work. Today, repent of any unconfessed sin or selfish intent in your life that may hinder your conversation with God, and pray to Him. If you can, write out your prayers so that you might reflect on how God moves in your heart and shapes your life.