As we continue to look at prayer, we are going to look at what we pray for and how answered Z(or unanswered) prayer fits into our lives and faith.  We can look at the passage of when both James and Peter were prisoners destined to be executed.  It is safe to say that people were praying for each to be released or saved.  But as we know, James was executed and Peter was saved from prison by angels.  If faith was tied to outcomes of our prayers, how could James’ family reconcile this outcome?

To many times we hear about how church leaders (especially in the United States) tie our circumstances to our prayer life and faith.  But we are also told to lift up the situations, desires, and issues we have to God and He will provide answers.  The bottom line is about being connected to God.  Our faith is the means in which God reaches and provide outcomes.  God answers prayers through us.

God is our controlling factor.  Our faith is in response to who He said he is and who we are.  And prayer is a natural way of conversing with God.

Some scripture we will look at:

We are acknowledging God’s will.  He knows what we need before we ask it.  So He wasn’t us to ask.  God’s will will be done, but He loves for us to converse with him and live in His will.  How many of us have our prayers answered exactly as we ask for?  Not many, if any.  But God is working, and it is through prayer when we lift up those areas and we listen on how God will answer.

We are going to begin looking deeper next week.  But we will prepare with an assignment. This assignment before we begin is to read .

14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (ESV)

15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (ESV)