Why aren’t my prayers answered?
- When your prayers aren’t answered.
- Are you doing something wrong?
- Do you really know how to pray?
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Why aren’t my prayers answered?
Gary Aris: Welcome to Finally Alive Radio. I am your host, Gary Aris. Your very own Christian Councilor, hope you doing well today. Remember to visit use at finallyaliveradio.com, were you can download all of the episodes right there, absolutely free. Don’t forget to join our email list. We send you news, all sorts of stuff there. Just some update with the show, we are on iTunes, Google play, and sound cloud, stitcher and a whole bunch of other ones. Just type in Finally Alive Radio, we will come right up. You will see all the episodes there; I am sure you can download all the episodes there too.
Well, today`s show is going to be a little bit different than the other ones so far. We are getting some email feedbacks, so it’s pretty exciting right now. If you want to give us some feedback, you can send me comments, questions, you can send me complaints. I am good with all of it and if it’s good enough, it’s going to be on the air. Just like the ones I share today. You can email me directly and the email . So, I have got some comments here and I also got some statements and questions and I want to go over all of those today.
Our first email comes, from Mumbai. They say, “Praise the Lord, my name is Minackiemani. I am from Mumbai; I came to know that your radio is the best Christian radio. It’s engaging and spreading the word of God, through audio media. I preach the gospel here in Mumbai, in a church.
Gary reply: Wow, thank you very much. Wonderful, praise God. I hope God blesses your ministry there and moves on the people there and that the gospel is being preached just like Jesus said. Go into all the world, preaching the gospel. So well done, and keep it up. We will keep you in prayer, keep us in your prayer, and God bless you. Here`s some comment and questions here, they are all from anonymous. So here we go!
Anonymous says: I listen to your episode three, I liked it! Thank you very much. In that section you are representing to believe in God and say that God will forgive you, no matter what kind of sin you committed. Here something was missing, in my opinion. You are encouraging people to sin as much as they can, giving a pass to every person to sin. Saying no matter how horrible it is, God will forgive you. That’s out of logic, to make people believe you or to your invisible God.
Gary reply: Regardless that doesn’t make this question a bad question; I think it’s a very good question. I think it deserves an answer and I will repeat my stands. My stands is and in fact- I will quote you, anonymous saying that I said “No matter how horrible it is, God will forgive you.” So we will go to the new testament, that’s where we have to go! The Old Testament is for Israel not for us! Not for the new testament church or Christians. Ephesians chapter 2, so this is Paul speaking to Ephesus, the first person you want to listen to is, obviously in the New Testament is going to be Jesus. The runner up is going to be Paul, that’s the guy who`s writing this. In Verse 1. He says, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you formally walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now works in the sons of the disobedience. Among them, and we too all formally lived in the lust of our flesh. Indulging the desire of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature, children of the wrath even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy because of his great love with which he loved us even when we were dead.in our transgressions, when we were messing up, made us alive together with Christ by grace. You have been saved.”
It isn’t what I do, it is by grace. The word grace in the Greek, is the word Charis, another close word to Charis is odity and it sound like charity. It’s not the same word but take the idea of the word, charity. He was charitable. What is charity? It’s a gift isn’t it? It’s the same idea with the word grace, it is a gift. God has given us this gift. Verse 6. says “and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. So that in the ages to come, he might show the surpassing riches of his grace, his odies toward us in Christ Jesus.’’ Verse 8. says: “For by grace, you have been saved, through faith.”
I got a gift, by simply having faith. The idea of trusting or believing, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, so there was nothing that I could add or do to gain this Charis, this grace. I am saved by his grace. His gift to me, all I have to do in return is to believe that. Verse 9 says, “not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” That word “works” in the Greek, it is the word ergon. Ergon is the idea of doing a deed, working, doing something with your own abilities and it`s says not has a resolute of ergon.so that no one may boast. Because, if I could add something to the value of what Jesus Christ did, then I made Jesus Christ to have non-affect. I have no say, I can’t add to the ability of what Christ did on that cross and he breaks it down very logically. He said, “It isn’t what you do, it’s what you believe”. Do you believe that Jesus death, burial and resurrection is what saves you? And there is nothing more you can do. That is the question. In Galatians chapter 3; again Paul speaking. verse 1. He says, “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? Before who`s eyes, Jesus was publicly portrayed as crucified! This is the only thing I want to find out from you? Did you receive the spirit by the works of the law? Or by hearing with faith? When Paul is talking about the works of the law, he is talking about the Old Testament. He is talking about the Ten Commandments and really it’s not just about the Ten Commandments, because they are more than ten, that’s the introduction to the 613 commandments. So, if you want to get real technical, he is talking about the 613 commandments. Paul is telling us you were not save; you were not under that law any more. I am not Jewish; I am not from Israel. I am an outsider, the bible could call us, outsiders, gentiles. Therefore, I can’t be under that law; I don’t live under that word, I don’t live under that culture. Then he asked, is it the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Back to belief. Verse 3. he says “Are you so foolish, having begun by the spirit, or you now being perfected by the flesh?”
It’s a rhetorical question, saying, you think you can do this? Do something to gain this? Are you crazy or foolish! Did you suffer so many things in vain, if indeed it was in vain? So then, does he who provides you with the spirit and works miracles among you; do it by the works of the law? Or by hearing with faith? Verse 6. he says “even so Abraham”, He even goes to the Old Testament. Abraham, he has called the father of the faith. He said, “Even so Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”. Even Abraham he considers under faith, under believing in God. Verse 7. says “Therefore be sure that it is those who have faith, who are sons of Abraham”. The scriptures foreseeing God, would justify the gentiles by faith. Preach the gospel beforehand to Abraham saying, all the nations will be blessed in you. So then, all those who are of faith, are blessed with Abraham the believer. I have seen nothing about what I can add to the value of what Jesus has done. All I see, all I can read here in the English, is that I just have to believe. Just like the father of faith; the top dog in Israel is Abraham. He even brings up his name, to tell you that even he believed, that is what reckoned to him as righteousness.
John 16:8 Now, it’s not Paul speaking, its Jesus himself speaking. John 16:8 says “And he, when he comes” he speaking of the Holy Spirit here, “And he, when he comes will convict the world concerning sin. Going to take a pause here, did you hear what I just said. The Holy Spirit will convict the world concerning sin. The word sin, when you look up in the manuscript, the word sin is “hamartia”. Why is that important? It is a noun, genitive, singular, feminine. Why is that a big deal, because it is singular. He is not saying plural, if was “hamartias” the word here would have been sins, plural. But rather, he uses the word hamartia, singular. So again, Jesus was say, he comes will convict the world concerning, hamartia(sin), singular, one single sin and rightness and judgment. Verse 9. concerning sin, again it is singular, hamartia. Concerning sin and what is that one sin? Because they do not believe in me. That is the only sin, straight from the mouth of Jesus himself and now that I have explain that, I still don’t think I have fully explained, I fully break down your question, because I still believe you make a good point and the point is, if you can sin, doesn’t that give everybody licenses to sin now. Paul even answers for that. In the book of Romans, chapter 6:15 “What then, shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?” It’s exactly what you ask anonymous. Should we sin, because we are not under the law anymore, but under grace? His responds is may it never be, no don’t do that. Verse16. he says “Do you not know that to when you are present yourselves to someone has slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death or obedience resulting in righteousness?” What does he mean there? Here`s the idea, we owed a debt to God and there was no possible way for us to pay him back, even if we attempted. We would still owe the interest on it. There was no possible way to pay God back. God knowing this, sent his one, and only son Jesus, who would be crucified in our place. He suffered in our place, took thirty-nine lashes on his back in our place, was crucified in our place, buried in our place. But here`s the kicker, he was resurrected. That’s what makes him different and guess what Anonymous, if you believe in Jesus, your debts are paid for. Now back to what Paul is saying here. What is the whole business about a slave, well if someone pays your debt, even in today, if someone pay a billion in debt that you could never pay, won’t you tell that person, I owe you my life? That’s the idea. God paid a debt that went beyond money, it costs our life. And he sends his one and only son to pay that debt that no one could pay. For that reason, I owe him my life. It is as if I am a slave, not a slave that is being hurt or beaten but in a sense that, we will serve him because I owe him my life. Verse 17. says. Thanks be to God, that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart, that form of teaching to which you were committed and having been freed from sin. You became slaves of righteousness. Now I serve righteousness, really I serve God. Here`s the logic, if someone saves your life, you owe him your life. If someone owes him your life, you are not going to stab him in the back. But guess what, if he has a request for me; I will do my best to do it. See, we also think people will go to hell for their sins, that’s a misconception. Those who go to hell, don’t go there for their sin. They go to hell for their sin nature. The issue is not what you do; the issue is that you are born, that’s the problem. The problem is that we are born in a broken world, what they call a sinful world or a sin nature. If we were born in a sin nature, guess what our D.N.A, our genes are tainted. It goes beyond what you do, down to your D.N.A. How do you fix your D.N.A? And that’s where Jesus comes in and fixes your D.N.A. That would be something beyond natural, super natural. That`s Jesus.
So anonymous, your issue isn’t a spiritual issue. Your issue is not an issue with God. Your issue now has become a social issue. God is no longer looking on at your sin and what you’re doing. Now I think, your argument still stands. What if you tell people, that they can sin? Wouldn’t that cause a society to go crazy? Well it could, if the society had no rules and that’s not our case. For example; if someone went and got drunk and they drove, that is illegal and let’s say they don’t get caught. Let’s say they do it every day and haven’t gotten caught. It’s eventually going to get catch up to them. Even if they don’t get in trouble by the law, they might hit someone, someone might hit them and that may cause a fatality. So you see life itself, becomes the judge. If I go and hurt you, logically you going to want to hurt me back, or at less you will not recuperate anything with me anymore. That is no longer a God issue, that is you and me issue. If you lie to every single person in your life, naturally, people will no longer trust you. Do you see? There are consequences for your actions. I want you to understand and separate the two, they are not the same, and one is a spiritual issue and social issue. There is nothing I can do spiritually speaking, there is no act or action I can take to spiritually make God happy. That’s why the reliance of Jesus, comes in play and make sure we understand that is simply a social issue. In Galatian 6:7, Paul says “Don’t be deceive, God can’t be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” So I have no intention of telling people; Hey, go out and sin but you need to know the truth. With God, you’re ok. The only thing you need is to have faith in him.
Socially speaking, I highly, highly recommend, that people obey the law and don’t do foolish thing. You do foolish things; you will reap foolishness. Again, the Old Testament laws no longer apply to us, as believers in Jesus Christ. If you are saved and believe in Christ, over time, and of course you have to go to church. You have to go and fellowship with people of the same faith. Guess what happens over time, God washes all that curt out of you. As he’s washing you, you will have less of a tendency to doing all of those things because the trick isn’t for you to stop sinning or doing bad things. It’s for you to whole heartedly believe in Christ, his resurrection which is the door way, which is the passages, which is the paid in full receipt to God. Once that is established, because you whole heartedly believe that, your actions will follow. I hope I have made that clear enough. If I haven’t, please respond back.
Another one here from anonymous, since we are dealing with invisible object, isn’t it wise to create a new era of theology philosophy in your line of preaching. Introducing “God” as a symbol of forgiveness, joy, hope, faith, passion on and on. The good things of mankind, the good things of people, mankind believe in. I like the idea! Anonymous. I love everything you are saying here, forgiveness, joy, hope, faith, passion. I love that but here`s the issue. I believe that it would end up being a form of false teaching. You see many Pagan religions believed in symbolism which is then adopted by even, circles of Christianity, Petalism, Hinduism, Orthodoxy. Which again, I do respect Petalism, that is our big brother as Christians. I also have respect for the Orthodox churches but I do believe that, this is one thing we differ on. Symbolism cannot be the center piece of our faith. God through Jesus Christ is the center of our faith. If I make forgiveness, the symbol of God or if I make joy, the symbol of God. What do I do in the case, where I don’t feel joy anymore? Does that mean God is no longer there? Or what if I no longer feel to forgive? Does that mean God is no longer there? but you see to mix the two together, is to attempt to put God in a small box, call joy or hope.
God is none of those things. God is above all those things. In fact, there is no category that can explain God to the fullest. That’s why we have issues understanding God today, because we will never understand God fully. He is God, if we could understand him, then he is not worthy to be God. That’s why he is worthy to be God, we can’t comprehend him. He is beyond our understanding. So to minimize him, to being a symbol of all those positive things you said. I actually like all of them, is to minimize who God is. God is the almighty, God is the omnipotent, and God is the all-knowing. I can’t not in any way, shape or form minimize who God is. And what if we just preached joy and forgiveness and all its positive and wonderful things or I could add an argument for you. What if we talk about faith, hope, forgiveness, joy, without preaching God? Unfortunately, with my own experience I did not find it anywhere. I can give you some details, in my youth I performed at the L.A Convention center. If you don’t know your way around the area, that convention area is about 800,000sqft. It is a giant place. I have performed there at the mere age of nineteen, and do you know what I was thinking while I was on stage? Something inside of me was saying ok, you did it Gary. What know? The thing that I thought was going to bring me happiness, hope and joy, ended up leaving me in the exact same place I was coming from. I don’t have hope in that anymore, the feeling that I got was been there, done that, now what? I have tried other things in life and I come back to the same conclusion. Something telling me, ok you have done that too, what now? I work with radio people, and that thought comes back. What now? I have worked in the music industry, the thought came back, “what now” Gary? You have done that too.
It wasn’t until I went to church, I heard the message and I was hook. The funniest thing, I can sit with five people in a bible study and I feel some of the most joy in my life. Oh and about that weird voice, it never happened again. I believe that God was showing me, that no matter how high you can get, 800,000sqft, convention centers, performing at the mere age of nineteen, isn’t going to bring you happiness. Isn’t going to add to your hope. I followed my passions and it took me nowhere. I have seen the top; I have seen it. I have been up there. I have rub elbows with celebrities, the ones I considered to be idols. The feeling inside, kept saying so what? And for that reason I have come to the conclusion, that I need something bigger, even bigger than 800,000sqft. It had to go beyond the natural; it had to be the super natural.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed this episode, went through a few question there. I hope that was enough details for you, and anybody else. If you have comments and questions. Go ahead and email me Until next time, God bless you.