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?? “Prayer doesn’t change things,” he continued. They were to sacrifice livestock and call on their god to accept their offering; Elijah will do the same, calling upon Yahweh. 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!) Elijah’s word came to pass just as he said: 18:1 informs us that the land was rainless for some three years, while James states that this lasted for three years and six months months (see also Luke 4:25). Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Please note that registration is essential for record-keeping purposes during the COVID-19 lockdown. Be encouraged and grow your faith with daily and weekly devotionals. If it is God’s will for you to be healed, then He will answer your prayer and you will be raised up. 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. 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. Undaunted by the lack of response, he wrote a letter to God presenting his request once again. ... 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. Each begins with a different starting point. 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. He could revive the dead, heal the sick, and grant blessings f progeny” (Dale Ralph Davis). We can imagine how well this must have gone down in a time of severe drought! Eventually, Elijah called for silence and stepped forth himself. The type of changes for which we pray can, after all, only come by the power of God! Fifth, we must pray with the motivation that looks beyond the immediate result to ourselves. When we hear such a slogan we are quick to point out that only God can change things and then we may find ourselves sitting back smugly ensconced in our theological ivory tower rather than joining with other believers in beseeching God to indeed change things. God is the Lord of Hosts; He has made heaven and earth. a. This righteous man will not let go of God; too much is at stake! Things changed! Undaunted by the lack of response, he wrote a letter to God presenting his request once again. God really is sovereign, and he rules the past, the present, and the future. II. 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. We do not see the conversions that we would like to see. It alters our perspective and changes the way we us our God-given faculties. on Facebook, CategoriesJamesTagsGeneral Epistles, New Testament, Prayer. 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). The Urban Alternative is a Christian Bible teaching and resource ministry founded 39 years ago by Dr. Tony Evans. Elijah then stood before Ahab to tell him that rain was coming (18:41-46). "Prayer changes us." Steven Swets Prayer Changes Things When the postal authorities received...read more Prayer Changes Things A Sermon on Matthew 7:7-11 The story is told of a young boy who wanted $100 very badly. Informative sermon done by pastor Doug Batchelor of Amazing Facts. Prayer, in other words, has the power to change things. We must be passionate about magnifying Yahweh as God, and passionate about bringing others to magnify Him in the same way. Many tables, loaded with the best foods sits in the middle of the room and guests help themselves at will. And when it eventually came, the landscape that formerly looked so dry and barren came to life. Of course, all who have been justified by faith in Christ are counted as righteous in God’s eyes, but the context of James’ letter makes it quite clear that he is speaking of more than only positional righteousness. 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. One common heresy (“open theism”) is that God doesn’t know the future and only responds to it like a chess player. James McLeod James 5:16 The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16). A fruitful church is required to pray. b. 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. “And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (v. 18). Read How Does Prayer Work? Handling life without prayer is like playing basketball with a flat ball. 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. - Daily Hope with Rick Warren - April 15, 2018 from today's daily devotional. 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. / Sermons / Prayer Changes Things. Things were in fact so bad that a royal search was made throughout the surrounding regions to see if there was any area where they might find grass to feed their ever diminishing supply of livestock (18:2b-6). Paul T. Murphy Prayer Changes Things He sent forth lightning, fire and rain. He cannot be defeated. But it was all to no avail. And we find all the information that we need to know concerning Elijah in 1 Kings 17-18. The god who answered by fire from heaven would prove to be the true God. Sermon Series: Prayer Changes Things by Mark Baker. (Tell your neighbor, Prayer Changes Things) Our Scripture says in verse 24 "They lifted up their voice to God with one accord" i.e. Website, Morning Worship Bulletins and Worship Times, Jazz Vespers: A Unique Worship Experience, Christian Fellowship United Church of Christ, Worship Times, Websites for Prayer builds us up, it is far more than just communication, it is fortification! To make it more personal, “Prayer Changes Me!” At times our situation even remains the same; but we are different. But let us be encouraged from the example of Elijah that the barren ground can indeed bring forth fruit in answer to our prayer. April showers can indeed bring forth Mayflowers! Third, let us learn that we must pray in accordance with a biblical knowledge of God. Website. Of course, it is perfectly true that God changes things, but He often chooses to do so through the prayers of His people. Even as a child I understood that the rain did not contain the seed itself, but that the water was used by God to nourish the potential that was already in the earth, which produced the beauty that was associated with May. The church needs to return to the example of Elijah. James urges us in the local to confess our faults to one another and to pray for one another’s restoration (v. 16). 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. The glory of God and the good of His people were on the heart of this man. Then pray to God for healing! James tells us that Elijah was a man “subject to like passions as we are” (v. 17). Howard Hendricks, who for years taught at the Dallas Theological Seminary and pastored in the area shared this story. 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. 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. 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. TOP SERMONS. The famine had made it impossible for the harvesting of any produce. I cannot guarantee that He will heal you, but I can tell you that prayer can change things! James, an apostle, tells us this in these closing words of his inspired epistle. Elijah prayed again and again until the rain came. With that said, there are times when prayer results in awesome results. 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. He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. Further, Elijah asked the Lord to so respond that the people would repent and return to Him. Verse 18 says that “he prayed again.” In fact, he prayed again and again and again—seven times again! Prayer Changes Things. Thus it is clear that Elijah was speaking words of faith, even though his prayer would only follow those words. 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! Soon the winds brought a driving rain and the drought was broken. 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.”) That’s quite clear: prayer changes things, things outside of ourselves; it even changes the course of history. 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. Isaiah 37:16 makes this crystal-clear. Through prayer, there is so much more potential than we often realise. Elijah became a source of provision, by the grace of God, to sustain this family through difficult days (17:8-16). With the festive season regulations now in place, we will be having a single, indoor service, limited to 100 people, live-streamed. The fervency of his prayer increased the longer the rain was withheld. 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. So it is with prayer in the life of the believer. This man, who in nature was like us, was used by God to bring life and joy into a home. Elijah begged God to answer his prayer, not so that he could save face, but so that people would see that He was God. 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. 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). So it is with prayer in the life of the believer. Sermon: Prayer Still Changes Things. The power that he had as a prophet was in direct proportion to his own human weakness, and so too the power of a church is in direct proportion to that church’s understanding of its own weakness. Share this post: And ultimately God was glorified as people repented of their idolatry and turned to Him. My answer is standard: If you are burdened about their salvation then pray for them! In fact, some language scholars suggest that, at one point, Elijah even added the taunt that perhaps their god was busy relieving himself! Prayer Does NOT Change Things In one sense, prayer doesn’t change things. A well-known preacher began his message by stating thunderously, "Prayer doesn't change God." Asherah was likewise linked to fertility, but neither the fertility god Baal nor his female counterpart were able to grant rain. Parents often ask me how they know whether their children are elect. His counsels stand. Prayer changes us. Download Service Schedule (20 December) (PDF). Ahab was a godless man and, if anything, his wife Jezebel was even worse. Elijah prayed and the boy revived. While there, the Lord performed another miracle, restoring life to the son who was suddenly stricken dead (17:17-24). 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. To be sure, the land still had plenty of potential, but without the rain the mere potential could feed no one. Elijah certainly refused to accept the status quo and, once again, we must follow his example. But the apostle has also defined the type of person that Elijah was: “a righteous man” (v. 16). The text is Acts 2:42. 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. Required fields are marked * Comment. “Prayer doesn’t change circumstances,” he bellowed. When we pray our motivation must look beyond the immediate. Yet I fear that all too often we are in danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. He was sinful (just like us), and had clear moments of weakness (just as we do), but he was nevertheless singular. When Elijah sent his assistant the seventh time (I wonder what he was thinking!) "Prayer doesn't change circumstances," he bellowed. It didn’t seem too likely that “an abundance of rain” was contained in that cloud, but it was better than nothing. ? Our prayers must have as their goal the glory of God. Elijah was sent by God to the brook Cherith near the Jordan River, from which he was able to drink and where God fed him by raven chefs (17:2-7). By midnight we will be in the midst of the storm. In many cases we are right to do so. Posted on16 Nov 20089 Feb 2014AuthorDoug Van Meter, We who are committed to a biblical Christianity are often prone to dismiss cliché Christianity. Summary: This sermon helps us understand that if we live for God, Prayer is an effective way to overcome. A sermon preached on Sunday morning May 16, 2010 At the Bakers Creek Baptist church by James Carl Jones pastor. change God.” The audience fell to a hush with an eerie silence. After some three years Elijah was commanded by God to go once again before Ahab to tell him that God would send rain (18:1-2a). Furthermore, he openly rebelled against the revealed Word of God by issuing the decree for the rebuilding of Jericho (16:34; cf. 19-20, as we shall see in our next study, he exhorts us to restore those who are heading down the road to apostasy. That is, the answer to the prayer—the presence of water—was a means to an end; an end that would glorify God and benefit others. And for Elijah, it was enough. And give God no rest until you see your prayers answered! Pray for your wandering children to be restored to fellowship with Christ. The entire covenant community benefited from the answered prayers of one man. 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. (This is significant in itself, for ravens were unclean animals!) In fact, this was so much liquid that the trench around the altar, which could hold some 14 litres of water, was filled! 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. It is not wrong, of course, to pray in terms of “Your will be done.” This must be the attitude of our hearts. when they had prayed and after they prayed in verse 31 it say's the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. The text tells us that “there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded” (18:29). This brings us to our second point of application, which is that our prayers must be motivated by the glory of God. When I was growing up, there was a saying commonly heard in my hometown that “April showers bring May flowers.” April was the time of the year when heavy Spring rain began to fall, and normally by May the formerly bleak landscape was beautified with colour. That is, his eye was fixed firmly on the glory of God. 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. That is, we should desire produce as provision for others. In Canaanite superstition, “Baal was the storm and fertility god who bestowed upon man and soil the blessings of fruitfulness. However this doesn't mean that prayer changes only spiritual things. Pray for your lost husband to be saved. When the postal authorities received...read more And so it must be for you and me! 1. That is, for our prayers to be effective, we must live according to God’s standard. That is, he was of the same nature as us. 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). For Christians, two of the most common New Year's resolutions are to spend more time reading the Bible and to spend more time in prayer. Elijah’s nature was like ours. ILLUS: One night my 11-year-old daughter Eva noticed I was distracted as I tucked her in to bed. 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. He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. The audience fell to a hush with an eerie silence. Thus, in order for our prayers to be effective, we must be righteous. Brother Matthew Honeycutt; View; SHARE ON Twitter Facebook Buffer LinkedIn Pin It. Elijah then prayed to the true and only God, “the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel” (18:36). 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). When God sent the rain in response to Elijah’s prayer, it was not only Elijah who benefited. Finally, as local churches, we must pray as devoted, repentant people who can corporately say, “The LORD, he is the God; the LORD he is the God!” (1 Kings 18:37-40). He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. What we have seen in verse 30 is that biblical prayer and biblical incentives to prayer imply a radically God-centered universe, and God-centered way of … Does the ground seem bare? According to 1 Kings 16:29-34 Ahab was on the throne of Israel during the time in which Elijah ministered. 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. After more than twelve hours of such nonsense nothing had happened by way of divine intervention. The false prophets were in a frenzy, and began to lance themselves in an attempt to get the attention of their god. As the text of 1 Kings 17 opens, Elijah appears quite unexpectedly on the scene. 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. The significance of this cannot be underestimated. First, let us learn that there are conditions to effective prayers. Does the likelihood of overcoming this sin seem hopeless? Having heard this confession of faith, Elijah immediately commanded that the false prophets be executed. 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. When the people saw this they repented and cried out, “The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God” (18:39). “Fervent” does not mean frantic; instead, it speaks of prayer that is resolutely fixed on the glory and the character of God. If we do not, then we will not receive God-initiated produce. God Changes People’s Wills in Answer to Prayer Now, these two questions from verse 30 set the stage for the lesson of verse 31. 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). After a brief encounter with a fellow God-fearer (18:7-16) Elijah stood once again before King Ahab. We can now begin to make some practical connections. “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. And if we are living according to His righteous standard, then our prayers will be for His glory, not for our own comfort. 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. “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!”. THE POWER OF PRAYER When a new year begins, many people make resolutions. Do you battle with a sinful habit? PRAYER CHANGES THINGS!!!! 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). In vv. We need to see more of this passionate sort of praying. Date written: July 24, 1994 Scripture ref: Acts 2:42. "Prayer doesn't change things," he continued. We aim to spread the teaching of God’s Word through Christian media with the goal of transforming lives. What follows highlights how serious the situation became. November 21, 2020. I … Ministries, Edit Your During the drought which preceded this, things had gone from bad to desperately worse in Samaria, the home of Ahab and Jezebel. He rebuilt the destroyed altar of Yahweh. We know that God is sovereign and that He will always work things the way that He wants them to be. Does Prayer Really Change Things? Joshua 6:26). James, an apostle, tells us this in these closing words of his inspired epistle. Are you battling with a physical ailment? 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