Rabbi Schneider - Does God Hear Your Prayers?
1 John, chapter 5, verse 14. Hear what John said there. He said: This is the confidence that we have, that if we ask Him anything according to His will, He hears us and the prayers that we ask, He's granted. And so when we're asking God for the things that he desires us, desires for us, we can be assured, beloved, that he is gonna answer those prayers. Jesus said, you have not because you ask not. There's a balance between praying and asking for something, and then also taking faith a step further, by confessing those things that we're asking for.
And sometimes we can make the mistake of just presuming upon God, just declaring things that, that, that we, that we say we're possessing without asking him first. This can be presumption because Jesus said, blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God. We have to start out in a posture of humility. We have to start out asking. Jesus said, ask and you shall receive. Jesus said, you have not because you haven't asked. He said, ask me that your joy might be made full. But once we ask, and we know that we've asked him according to his will, then God wants us to take that next step of faith and confess that we have those things that we've asked for and we thank him that we are in possession of those things.
You see, Jesus said, if we ask the Lord for something, get it now, believing that we have received it, believing that we have it, then the things that we asked for, he said, we can be assured that we'll have. And so it's important that when we're asking the Father something that is according to his will, which is what we're gonna be studying, it's important then to recognize that we need to take the next step of faith and believe that he's answered the prayer and that we have it. Once again, Jesus said, anything that we ask for in prayer, believing that we've received it, we can be assured that we have received the thing that we've asked for when it's according to his will. And how do we receive it, beloved? We receive it first, get this now, in the spirit.
See the Bible says, eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and never has it even entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those that love him. He said, but these things are revealed to us, given to us, by the spirit. And so when we ask for something in prayer, knowing that we've prayed in God's will, now we need to believe that we've received it. And the place that we receive it first, beloved get it, is in the spirit. And once you know that you have it in your spirit and declare it by faith and stand in it by faith, what's gonna happen is it's only a matter of time before what you've received in the spirit materializes in your outer world. But first we need to be convinced, beloved, that we've received it in the spirit, hold to that, that we've received it, and as we do we're gonna see God is gonna manifest it in our life and in the material world.
And so let's look at those things that we can have confidence in that we've received. Last week, beloved ones, we were in the Book of Genesis. We were in chapter 28. We saw how Jacob prayed for safety and provision. You can get this entire series, beloved, on our webcast or by calling the 800 number at the end of the broadcast today. I'm moving on to the next prayer that I want to examine from the Book of Bereshit, the Book of Genesis. It's found in the Book of Genesis today, chapter number 32.
Hear the Word of God as I read now Genesis, chapter 32, verse number 9 through 12. We're focusing on the need to pray for and to believe God for deliverance. Hear God's Word: Jacob said, O God of Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord, who said to me, Return to your country and to you relatives, and I will prosper you, I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to me, Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies. And then he prayed: Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, and he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children. For You said, I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.
This is an awesome prayer. Let's take it apart just a little bit at a time and know how much God, not only loves us, but beloved one, how he relates to us as human beings. You know, Jesus himself was God clothed in humanity. And the Bible says that Jesus is able to empathize with us in everything that we go through in life because he himself lived life as a man. He himself took the same journey that we're taking, walking through this world having to put shoes on his feet every day, having to clothe himself with clothes, having to eat food to sustain himself. So Jesus understands as human beings our, our needs. And so I want you to know that God, he understands your needs. And he wants to minister to you and help you, and supply all your needs. But we have to ask him. Jesus said you have not because you ask not.
So let's examine the life of Jacob. By the way, we know that Jacob's name was changed to Israel, okay. And Israel became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. And as a believer in Jesus, you've been grafted in, the Bible tells us in the Book of Ephesians, to the commonwealth of Israel. And so the same favor that was upon Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, that same favor, beloved one, is upon you. You can trust God to give you the same favor and the same provision that he gave Jacob. Be confident in that today. Be assured of that today. God loves you just like he loved Jacob. Let's take it apart now, kind of line by line, concept by concept. Jacob begins here once again. He said, Oh God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac. And you know what? God is the God of your fathers too, because you now come spiritually from the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The Bible says in the Book of Galatians that the blessing of Abraham has come upon you. He said, O Lord, which is, he's actually saying he's calling God here, capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D. He's saying O Lord, he says, who said to me, Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you. Notice here that God loved Jacob and God said to Jacob, I'm gonna prosper you. First of all, I want you to see that. Jacob said, God said to me I'm gonna prosper you. Listen to this again. He said, Return to your country and to your relatives, the Lord is saying to Jacob, and I will prosper you. Do you know when all we hear about is prosperity and we're not hearing about sin, and we're not hearing about repentance, we're not hearing the full Gospel. We're not hearing the true Gospel, because the true Gospel begins with repentance.
John the Baptist who was the forerunner to the true Gospel said, repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus said when he began his ministry, repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent means to turn away from ourselves, to turn away from living selfishly, to turn away from living without moral boundaries, to turn away from the ego, and to pick up our cross and deny ourselves, to seek him first and to do his will first. That's what repentance means. The true Gospel begins with repentance. And without it, it's not the Gospel. But I want you to know, beloved ones, God also desires to prosper you.
And some people have rejected the prosperity Gospel because of some of what they consider to be the extremes at times. But I want you to know, beloved, even though any truth taken to the extreme becomes heresy, let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. God desires to prosper you. Jesus said, I have come to give life and to give it more abundantly. And John wrote in his letter, beloved, above all things I pray that you prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospers. I want you to know, God wants to bless you. God wants to prosper you.
You don't have to be afraid or ashamed of asking God to bless you and to prosper you. God wants to give you increase. God wants you not just to have enough, God wants you to have enough to give other people. God wants you to walk in blessing. He wants you to be a sign and a wonder. God wants you to be happy. Jesus anointed with the oil of gladness, and Jacob, who's one of the patriarchs of our faith, right, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, right, through whom Jesus came. Jacob walked, beloved, in prosperity. Listen again. He said, Oh God, you're the one that told me to return to my country and to my relatives, and that you would prosper me.
And so I want you to first of all know that you can ask God to bless you. You can ask God to prosper you. God desires, beloved, to bless his children. If you have children today, and you're a healthy adult, you know that you want to bless your children. You want to see them happy. You want to see them have the desires of their heart. You want to give them good gifts. God wants that for you even more so. Jesus said, if you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, he said, how much more does the heavenly Father give good gifts, get it now, to those, get it now, to those that ask. So let's understand right now, we can ask God to bless us. We can ask God to prosper us. Jesus taught it. Jacob modeled it. And John taught it when he said, above all else I pray that you prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospers.
So let's just pray together. Father God, I want to thank you that you love me. I want you to even repeat after me. I'm gonna give space between my confessions so that you can say it yourself to the Lord. Let's, let's connect with God right now. Prayer is connecting with God. Prayer is the life line that we have with God. Let's say this together. I'm gonna give you time to repeat it after me.
Father God, I want to thank you that you blessed me in Jesus. Father, I want to thank you that you love me. Father, thank you that you chose me. Father, thank you that your my Father and that I'm your child. Father, thank you for forgiving me through Jesus. You said to me, if you gave me your only Son, that you would also freely with him give me all things. And so Father God, I thank you now, and I ask you to bless me and to prosper me just like you did Jacob, and just like Jesus taught, and just like John prayed. Amen.
So let's continue on. Jacob continues on there. In verse 10 he says this: I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown Your servant. Notice here that Jacob is experiencing lovingkindness and faithfulness from God. I talked about this in an earlier broadcast with one of the Psalms that I did in the last series. But you know what? You can thank God and ask him for lovingkindness and faithfulness. He's faithful to you. But you know what? We want to depend on him for that, not just assume it. He is faithful even when we're faithless. But God doesn't want us to presume. He wants us to ask, beloved, and then confess in confidence.
Let's continue on. He said, You have shown me Your servant, and he said, when I crossed the Jordan, he said, I only had my staff with me. So what Jacob is saying here is that when he left to follow the Lord, when he crossed the Jordan, he said he didn't have anything. He had nothing. But how God blessed him and multiplied him and how he became so rich in the Lord just from following God. So he's remembering all that God had done for him. But now he's in a place in his journey, beloved ones, as we continue, that he really needs assurance because he's afraid. And he prays to God about his fear. He's afraid of being attacked by his brother, Esau, and so he's coming to God now, pouring out his heart to God in prayer.
Number one, listen, being honest with God about his fear, talking to God about his fear. Isn't that a beautiful thing? That Jacob had the type of relationship with God that he could talk to God about his fear just as he would talk about his fear to a friend. And after telling God that he's afraid, knowing God is merciful to him, knowing that his God is a gentle God, knowing that his Father loved him, he then asked for provision, and protection, and deliverance from Esau.
Let's listen once again. He says here: I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now have become two companies. In other words, he's talking about how big he had become. He had been multiplied so much in the Lord, such favor, such abundance, such blessing on him. But now he prayed this in verse 11. He said: Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children. For You said, and he's reminding God, I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.
So think about what's happening here. Jacob is comfortable enough with God. He's intimate enough with God that he knows God, listen now, as an intimate friend, as the lover of his soul, that he could cast his burden upon the Lord, that he could cast his burden upon his Father. Just like John at the Passover Seder in the Gospel of John, we read how John the Apostle, the one he described as the one who Jesus loved, how John leaned his head on Jesus's bosom. Think about how close and how safe John must have felt in his relationship with Jesus to lean his head on Jesus's bosom.
Think about that. And in the same way, God wants you to know that he loves you and he wants you to feel just as intimate with him as Jacob does here in the Book of Genesis, and as John did leaning his head on Jesus's bosom at the Last Supper. You can share your heart with God. You can tell him when you're afraid. Talk to him about what you're worried about. Talk to him about your fears. But don't just leave it there. Ask him for protection and then be confident, beloved, that he's gonna protect you, that his goodness goes with you, that he's a shield of protection around you, and that he's gonna keep you safe till the end of your life.
Jacob, after he shares with the Father that he's afraid, the next thing that Jacob does is he said, Lord, deliver me from Esau. I'm afraid that he's gonna attack me. And so I want you to know, maybe there's something in your life that you feel you need deliverance from. I want you to know that Jesus is a delivering God. That even as Father God broke in to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt, even as Jesus came to set the captives free, to bring deliverance to the captives, I want you to know that our God is still a wonderful, miracle working God today who grants deliverance. Maybe you can think of a time in your life or times in your life where you've already seen God deliver you.
I think of all the times in my life where the Father has delivered me. He saved me from going dangerous places that I shouldn't have gone, from making decisions which would have been disastrous, and from rescuing me and protecting me from demonic attack which sometimes even manifested through human beings. He's real, beloved. And you know what? He wants to be individually your God. In other words, he doesn't want you just to know him as the one that delivered Jacob from Esau, like we read about today. He wants you to know him individually and personally as the God that's delivering and will deliver you.