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[a] = summary lessons
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A Mini-Series is a small subset of lessons from a major series which covers a particular subject or book. The class numbers will be in reference to the major series rather than the mini-series.
Wed, Sep 29, 1999

64 - Prayer

James 4:2-3 by Robert Dean
Series:James (1998)
Duration:57 mins 54 secs

Prayer; James 4:2-3

James 4:2b NASB "You do not have because you do not ask. [3] You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend {it} on your pleasures."

Seven reasons why Christians don't pray

1)  They are in reversionism, in carnality, in rebellion against God, so they don't want to come to God in dependence upon Him to ask Him for anything.

2)  They lack confidence in being heard because they have a sense of guilt and sin, and they don't understand the doctrines related to confession and cleansing.

3)  People are generally ignorant of the biblical doctrine related to prayer and how to pray. 

4)  Christians are spiritually ignorant of the mandate to pray. They become too busy, too wrapped up in their own lives, too caught up with temporal things to focus on God. We are commanded to pray without ceasing. We are commanded in Colossians to devote ourselves to prayer.

5)  Some Christians doubt that God is really there or that prayer changes things. They just lack faith.

6)  Sometimes Christians have gone through periods of disappointment, especially in relation to trials and testing, and they think that God did not answer their prayer so they become bitter.

7)  Many Christians get caught up in forms of hyper-Calvinism and distortions of the doctrine of the sovereignty of God and end up in fatalism. They just don't think that prayer will do any good or change anything. Yet what James says right here is: "You do not have because you do not ask." The implication is that there is contingency in the plan of God. Contingency does not mean that God learns something new or that God is surprised but that in His plan God decreed that His sovereignty and the volition of man would co-exist in human history. Within His plan He includes certain contingent factors, so that of we ask God will answer. If we don't ask He won't, it doesn't affect the overall movement of God's plan but it does affect the degree to which we experience God's blessing in this life.