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On the Promises and Problems of Petitionary Prayer
J.P. Moreland


Biblically speaking, the most pervasive aspect of prayer is one of petitioning, asking and receiving. While worship and confession of sin are intrinsically valuable and biblically important to the purpose of prayer, they are not scripturally described as the most pervasive aspect of prayer.

Indeed, prayer is learning to interactively cooperate with what God wants to get accomplished by His Spirit. In this regard, prayer is a way of spiritually co-laboring with God, where we learn to persistently stay intent on "soaking" a project or endeavor in prayer under the direction of God.

Now there are at least three fundamental reasons why God will not answer a prayer:

  1. If it means that he will have to coerce someone's free will in order to bring about a request, in whole or in part;
  2. If it if means that answering it in the exact way that we want it to be answered will not be good for us or others in the grand scheme of things;
  3. Due to experiences of unanswered prayer, when we ask there is little faith and expectation of a result.

My talk at the Vineyard Anaheim addresses the above and more with both examples and further explanations.

Related content: If this talk interests you, you might also want to consider the following:


  • It offers helpful and encouraging examples of answers to prayer.
  • It frankly talks about why God might not answer all of our prayers.
  • It offers perspective and seasoned advice about how to get answers to prayer.

Get this talk.

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