Prayer does not change things which have no connection with the salvation of souls. We aim to spread the teaching of God’s Word through Christian media with the goal of transforming lives. There’s a little bird called the secretary bird and he has wings and he can fly but sometimes his enemy will begin to sneak up on him, much like the devil will attempt to do to you and I tonight...and He won’t have enough sense to spread his wings and fly away from his enemy and what happens?? b. He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. And so it must be for you and me! In Canaanite superstition, “Baal was the storm and fertility god who bestowed upon man and soil the blessings of fruitfulness. He suggested that they cry louder, for perhaps their god was busy (and couldn’t do two things at once); or perhaps he was sleeping and must be roused; or perhaps he was away on a journey (he is not omnipresent). It just doesn’t work. But let us be encouraged from the example of Elijah that the barren ground can indeed bring forth fruit in answer to our prayer. A well-known preacher began his message by stating thunderously, "Prayer doesn't change God." Nor is James alone in teaching this. This is significant because, as we have seen, in terms of God’s covenant with Israel, rain was given when they obeyed and withdrawn when they disobeyed. Elijah prayed again and again until the rain came. Fifth, we must pray with the motivation that looks beyond the immediate result to ourselves. Implicit in Hezekiah's prayer is that God cannot be defeated. A fruitful church is required to pray. God is the Lord of Hosts; He has made heaven and earth. Joshua 6:26). The glory of God and the good of His people were on the heart of this man. Paul T. Murphy Prayer Changes Things To make it more personal, “Prayer Changes Me!” At times our situation even remains the same; but we are different. By midnight we will be in the midst of the storm. One common heresy (“open theism”) is that God doesn’t know the future and only responds to it like a chess player. As the prophets of Baal and Asherah danced around and pray in a frenzied state, Elijah stood by mocking them. Do you battle with a sinful habit? That is, his eye was fixed firmly on the glory of God. Canvass bought in a garage sale with quotation in it, “Prayer Changes Things.” It was place in the dining area but it was always removed by someone until the wife discovered that it was her husband and he asked why, the husband said, “I lie it but I don’t like to change.”) “Fervent” does not mean frantic; instead, it speaks of prayer that is resolutely fixed on the glory and the character of God. The Bible tells us “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Of course, it is perfectly true that God changes things, but He often chooses to do so through the prayers of His people. It’s why a secularist will see the world according to one set of facts while a religionist will “know” a different set of facts. It was in the midst of this religious climate that “Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (17:1). The entire covenant community benefited from the answered prayers of one man. Nevertheless, when we don’t have a specific “word” concerning a matter then let us pray boldly until either God answers or changes our request. Many tables, loaded with the best foods sits in the middle of the room and guests help themselves at will. Is it not amazing how we can water our gardens with tap water, and it will have some effect, but as soon as the skies open up and the rain falls things really begin to change! Yes, we want to see our spouse and children saved, but our ultimate motivation must be greater than that: It must ultimately be the glory of God and the extension of His kingdom. After all, if Elijah is our example (to encourage us to pray) then we must understand all that we can concerning the circumstances of his prayer. It is often said that “Prayer Changes Things!” We should also add, “Prayer Changes Us!” It is true that your prayers will change things around you but sometimes your prayers change you. II. Soon the winds brought a driving rain and the drought was broken. So it is with prayer in the life of the believer. That’s quite clear: prayer changes things, things outside of ourselves; it even changes the course of history. With that said, there are times when prayer results in awesome results. Informative sermon done by pastor Doug Batchelor of Amazing Facts. Read How Does Prayer Work? On the other hand, God is not Santa Claus. In fact, this was so much liquid that the trench around the altar, which could hold some 14 litres of water, was filled! on Facebook, CategoriesJamesTagsGeneral Epistles, New Testament, Prayer. Asherah was likewise linked to fertility, but neither the fertility god Baal nor his female counterpart were able to grant rain. And for Elijah, it was enough. He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. And yet, apparently there was no sound of rain at all. Of course, it is often difficult for us to know for sure whether our prayers will be answered affirmatively, but if we have a burden to pray for something let us pray for it. I often think of prayer as if we are peering through a keyhole and focusing on one tiny portion of a vast and ever-changing scene. Our prayers must have as their goal the glory of God. James urges us in the local to confess our faults to one another and to pray for one another’s restoration (v. 16). You see, I believe that God initiates prayer, and when He initiates it He answers it! Elijah prayed and the boy revived. We must realise that if God doesn’t work His name will surely be dishonoured, and thus we must pray for Him to work mightily so that His name is not dishonoured. Sermon on Prayer Changes Things – How to Pray Effectively – Kevin Cauley gives a definition of prayer, shows where to pray, and shows what to pray for. When God sent the rain in response to Elijah’s prayer, it was not only Elijah who benefited. He pointed out that it was because of the nation’s worship of idols that they were now experiencing this covenantal curse placed upon them by God. The land was not producing because the rains were not falling. Undaunted by the lack of response, he wrote a letter to God presenting his request once again. Third, let us learn that we must pray in accordance with a biblical knowledge of God. “My God is Yahweh” is what his name declared, and he lived up to that name, even when the world around him seemed to be crying, “Our god is Baal!”. Elijah prayed for some great things—drought, rain, restoration of life, fire from heaven, etc.—but throughout you see a man who clearly understood his own helplessness. SUBJECT: Worship TITLE:To Pray Effectively PROPOSITION: To understand how to pray we must understand the Character, Circumstance, Content, and Consequences of prayer. He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. Edit Your Those things that are lifeless and fruitless in our lives can be changed, by God, in response to the fervent prayers of His righteous people. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. In our quest for orthodoxy we may find ourselves missing out on some very real blessings as we parse the power of God out of our lives and out of our church. After more than twelve hours of such nonsense nothing had happened by way of divine intervention. Summary: This sermon helps us understand that if we live for God, Prayer is an effective way to overcome. If you can give Him rest there is very little reason to believe that He will answer. In v. 18 the text mentions that “the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” That is, the Lord answered Elijah’s prayers and the result was seen, not only in a wet landscape, but in a fruitfully changed one as well. "Prayer changes us." His parents and his upbringing are a complete mystery, but we do know that his name means “My God is Yahweh,” and this is significant in light of the religious climate in which he ministered. Prayer Changes Things A Sermon on Matthew 7:7-11 The story is told of a young boy who wanted $100 very badly. Further, Elijah asked the Lord to so respond that the people would repent and return to Him. Presumably, when Elijah said that it would not rain “according to my word,” he was speaking with reference to his position as prophet declaring, “Thus says the Lord.” And, of course, Elijah was praying biblically, for drought was one of the clearly specified judgements of God against His people for forsaking their covenant with Him (Deuteronomy 11:16; 28:23-24). I … / Sermons / Prayer Changes Things. Please note that registration is essential for record-keeping purposes during the COVID-19 lockdown. “And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (v. 18). “Prayer doesn’t change circumstances,” he bellowed. James 5:17 tells us that Elijah “prayed earnestly.” Literally, this reads, “In praying Elijah prayed.” That is, he began to pray (for that which he had just promised to Ahab!) And when it eventually came, the landscape that formerly looked so dry and barren came to life. And so our prayers must always look beyond our own immediate needs to the needs of others and to the glory of God in the extension of His kingdom. His reign, then, was characterised in every way by blatant rebellion against God’s Word. Are you battling with a physical ailment? Elijah prayed in a time when the ground was barren, and as we survey the evangelical world around us we often conclude the same. “Haven’t you read the newspapers?” “Don’t you understand what is going on in our world?” We cannot allow our lives to be controlled by the status quo. Brother Matthew Honeycutt; View; SHARE ON Twitter Facebook Buffer LinkedIn Pin It. Elijah went down on his knees and begged God to send the rain; but the skies above were as blue as they had been for the past 42 months. Thus, this promised rain indicates that there had been repentance. Eventually, Elijah called for silence and stepped forth himself. James, an apostle, tells us this in these closing words of his inspired epistle. he returned with the news that the blue sky had a spot in it: “a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.” A cloud the size of a man’s hand. Posted on16 Nov 20089 Feb 2014AuthorDoug Van Meter, We who are committed to a biblical Christianity are often prone to dismiss cliché Christianity. After many days, the lack of rain had so effected the land that the brook dried up and Elijah was told to go and find shelter at the home of a widow and her son at Zarephath—a Gentile household. Required fields are marked * Comment. Prayer Changes Things (2 of 2) Mark Baker Philippians 4:6 Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, … The type of changes for which we pray can, after all, only come by the power of God! ILLUS: One night my 11-year-old daughter Eva noticed I was distracted as I tucked her in to bed. This man, who in nature was like us, was used by God to bring life and joy into a home. They were to sacrifice livestock and call on their god to accept their offering; Elijah will do the same, calling upon Yahweh. And I want to make the point that, all criticisms to the side, prayer is a means of God given to His people by which we can experience things changing. We would love to see the waters of baptism move more frequently than they do. Share this post: 1. Website, Morning Worship Bulletins and Worship Times, Jazz Vespers: A Unique Worship Experience, Christian Fellowship United Church of Christ, Worship Times, Websites for One example of this is the cliché, “Prayer changes things.”. We must be passionate about magnifying Yahweh as God, and passionate about bringing others to magnify Him in the same way. Ministries, Edit Your James, an apostle, tells us this in these closing words of his inspired epistle. Prayer changes us. Be encouraged that prayer can change things! (This is significant in itself, for ravens were unclean animals!) And give God no rest until you see your prayers answered! The Urban Alternative is a Christian Bible teaching and resource ministry founded 39 years ago by Dr. Tony Evans. In fact, some language scholars suggest that, at one point, Elijah even added the taunt that perhaps their god was busy relieving himself! Be encouraged and grow your faith with daily and weekly devotionals. He cannot be defeated. Let us then pray fervently that God would be glorified and others would come to worship Him; for after all, “Yahweh, He is the God,” and He most certainly changes things! May the result of our study be some currently barren earth becoming a harvest of blessings for God’s glory and for our good. He called upon the Lord to vindicate His claim that all of this (including the drought) had been done in His name; that is, according to His Word. Undaunted by the lack of response, he wrote a letter to God presenting his request once again. The text tells us that “there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded” (18:29). Having heard this confession of faith, Elijah immediately commanded that the false prophets be executed. Featuring a sermon puts it on the front page of the site and is the most effective way to bring this sermon to the attention of thousands including all mobile platforms + newsletter. Prayer, in other words, has the power to change things. "Prayer doesn't change circumstances," he bellowed. We should view God’s answer as a means to a fruitful, productive, providential end. The audience fell to a hush with an eerie silence. He then issued a challenge to the king to call for all the prophets of Baal and Asherah—950 in total—to Mount Carmel for a showdown of the gods (18:19). And we too must pray for things to change so that God can be glorified. When the Disciples ask why they couldn’t drive out a particularly powerful demon, Jesus responds, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29). Handling life without prayer is like playing basketball with a flat ball. When we are sick, we should pray that God would heal us, not primarily so that we can be more comfortable, but so that we can be more effective in the kingdom of God for His glory. When the people saw this they repented and cried out, “The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God” (18:39). Send us an email for more information. Prayer changes all of the variables at work in any given situation, making possible either a miraculous and instantaneous deliverance or the slow, progressive change and growth necessary for overcoming adversity. Furthermore, he openly rebelled against the revealed Word of God by issuing the decree for the rebuilding of Jericho (16:34; cf. PRAYER CHANGES THINGS!!!! TOP SERMONS. He told the servant to go to Ahab and inform him that the promised rain was near and thus he had better get going on his trip back to Jezreel before the flooding made the journey impossible. If it is God’s will for you to be healed, then He will answer your prayer and you will be raised up. Prayer Does NOT Change Things In one sense, prayer doesn’t change things. In many cases we are right to do so. But the apostle has also defined the type of person that Elijah was: “a righteous man” (v. 16). James speaks about the “fervent” prayers of a righteous man. Thus, in order for our prayers to be effective, we must be righteous. Your email address will not be published. Elijah begged God to answer his prayer, not so that he could save face, but so that people would see that He was God. April showers can indeed bring forth Mayflowers! We can imagine how well this must have gone down in a time of severe drought! God is Still on the Throne and Prayer Changes Things  In today’s modern world sometimes it is hard for us to realize the power of prayer. Prayer Changes Things (1 of 2) Mark Baker Philippians 4:6 Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. If you are a believer, you are indwelt by the Spirit and have the promise of God that, through Jesus Christ, He will save you from your sins! ... not matter goes on in our lives that God still care for us—and through that divine communication we believe that God things, other people, situations that we face—but more so that anything else, we pray that God changes us. When the postal authorities received...read more Does the likelihood of overcoming this sin seem hopeless? It is important that we do this, for James tells us that Elijah was just like us, and thus the answers to prayer that he realised can be our experience as well. November 21, 2020. Does the ground seem bare? The significance of this cannot be underestimated. The false prophets were in a frenzy, and began to lance themselves in an attempt to get the attention of their god. (Tell your neighbor, Prayer Changes Things) Our Scripture says in verse 24 "They lifted up their voice to God with one accord" i.e. My answer is standard: If you are burdened about their salvation then pray for them! To properly grasp the intent of this passage we need to properly understand the historical and contextual backdrop of Elijah’s situation that is here mentioned. A sermon preached on Sunday morning May 16, 2010 At the Bakers Creek Baptist church by James Carl Jones pastor. Fourth, we must learn to look beyond the obvious, for things can indeed change! Prayer Changes Things A Sermon on Matthew 7:7-11 The story is told of a young boy who wanted $100 very badly. Elijah wisely and boldly rejected this accusation and pointed his prophetic finger in the face of the ungodly king, “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim” (18:17-18). During the drought which preceded this, things had gone from bad to desperately worse in Samaria, the home of Ahab and Jezebel. God really is sovereign, and he rules the past, the present, and the future. When we pray our motivation must look beyond the immediate. What follows highlights how serious the situation became. There is no substitute for the growth that God gives through His water! “Prayer doesn’t change things,” he continued. Each begins with a different starting point. He rebuilt the destroyed altar of Yahweh. Pray for your lost husband to be saved. The scene that follows is delightful, at least for those who love God, for the idols were magnificently mocked and proven to be fallacious (18:20-40). The fervency of his prayer increased the longer the rain was withheld. We can now begin to make some practical connections. That is, for our prayers to be effective, we must live according to God’s standard. As local churches we must have this same desire. 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