Prayer is for the glory of God and incentives to prayer are God-centered so that when our hearts are moved by those incentives, it will be clear that we are acting because of the way God is. It implies that God is not sovereign enough to decide that prayer can be used as a vehicle to influence his decisions. 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. He has always been merciful, He is merciful at this very moment, and He will be that way right into eternity. Now in verse 31 assumes this same view of the world. GET IT NOW Provided by Ministry Pass. He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. In Genesis 18:16-33 we see the patriarch standing before the Lord, actually praying for Sodom and Gomorrah and pleading that the Lord would reconsider His plan to destroy the evil cities. God heard and answered with the love of the Spirit. A sermon preached on Sunday morning May 16, 2010 At the Bakers Creek Baptist church by James Carl Jones pastor. Prayer internalizes the burden. — Jonah 3:4. FaithGateway is brought to you by HarperCollins Christian Publishing and is dedicated to helping you grow and share your faith. These sermons were hand picked to help you prepare one or many sermons on this topic. The reason is this: God’s customary way to move your will is through your mind. The threatened judgment didn’t fall, and that nearly drove Jonah crazy. Five things that happen when we pray: 1. In today’s modern world sometimes it is hard for us to realize the power of prayer. He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. So self-doubt should not make us wonder whether prayer can change things. Handling life without prayer is like playing basketball with a flat ball. This is why we read the Bible. What have you not even considered praying over? Because the people of Nineveh changed their minds about the way they had been living, and God changed His mind about destroying them. Finally, don’t neglect the amazing influence you have in the world for good through prayer. 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 looking at the universe. In chapter 23 Paul is in jail and some of his enemies form a conspiracy to ambush him when he is transferred to Caesarea. But Abraham learned that he could reason with God in prayer — and make a difference. Your faith life directly correlates to the quality of your prayer life. So his will is that we be aware of these things: that we know them, that we think on them, and that they become conscious incentives in the way we make choices and the way we get stirred up to pray. He is the Lord over the wills of centurions, and commanders, and mobs, and little boys. He influenced the will of a boy, Paul’s nephew, to be in a place to overhear the conspiracy, and then influenced him to have the courage to tell Paul about it. The reason is plain: God would not get glory for our actions if they were not stimulated by views of God. The second question from verse 30 is this: why do the prayers of the Roman Christians promise more help than if Paul simply prayed alone for his two requests? Let’s work to change people’s minds with truth and people’s wills with prayer. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. He hated the people of Nineveh (for many logical and understandable reasons) and wanted very much to see such a vile place wiped off the world map. Title: PRAYER THAT CHANGES THINGS. A Sermon on Matthew 7:7-11. Do Not Neglect Prayer. Since Jesus is Lord, you may pray with confidence that he has the right and authority and power to restrain the disobedient in Judea. Recall, there are two incentives: (1) I urge you “by our Lord Jesus Christ”; (2) I urge you “by the love of the Spirit.” Why does Paul use these incentives? And Paul was spared. He is the bestselling author of eleven books including The Blessed Life, From Dream to Destiny, The God I Never Knew and The Blessed Church. Paying attention to what the early church prayed for can help keep your prayer life from falling into a rut. And now the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. Scripture is pretty clear that this isn’t the case. Today, let’s reboot our prayers and ask God for some life-changing, family-changing, city-changing, world-changing answers! Why is this? So we don’t read anything about the church rejecting Paul or his ministry. It deepens our ownership of the burden and our partnership with God. By prayer we are to influence the wills of presidents and kings and senators and governors and mayors (1 Timothy 2:1–2). So your prayers are useless. Stand in awe of the Lordship of God and his Son Jesus. And when they heard it they began glorifying God. We want to hear from you about changing God’s mind as we reason with Him in prayer. All Rights Reserved. I suggested last week that these two incentives correspond to the two prayer requests in verse 31. Prayer Changes Things – 3 Miracles Of Prayer. Some of you have wondered, Why do we have prayer meetings? We should actively pray and trust in its power to change our circumstances for good. So do not listen to them, for more than forty of them are lying in wait for him who have bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they slay him; and now they are ready and waiting for the promise from you.” Therefore the commander let the young man go, instructing him, “Tell no one that you have notified me of these things.” And he called to him two of the centurions, and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready by the third hour of the night to proceed to Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen.”. He will always want to touch people and to answer prayer. When these two things unite, infinite power and overflowing love, nothing can befall you but what God wills for your good. So to awaken their will to this kind of vigorous inclination, and pull it out into dynamic action, he puts two God-centered truths in their minds: (1) Jesus Christ is Lord (“by our Lord Jesus Christ”); (2) the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of love (“by the love of the Spirit”). If we want a steady heart in an unsteady world, among unsteady people, during unsteady days, we need to be upheld by God. My goal in this sermon is very simple. THE POWER OF PRAYER When a new year begins, many people make resolutions. First, someone willed to run and tell the commander there was a riot. ~ Devotionals Daily. By prayer God calls us to join him in shaping history. Then switching to God’s changelessness, he will say, You think you can change things through prayer? I hope to convince you of the importance of persistence in prayer. So stand in awe of your Lord Jesus. Why do You think I ran away from You in the first place, refusing to preach that message to them? The point I see is very simple and far-reaching in its implications. Jesus Over Everything Week 5 — Changing Your Heart. Don't pray unless you want to change. And so again Paul was delivered from the unbelievers in Jerusalem just the way he asked for prayer in Romans 15:31. One common heresy (“open theism”) is that God doesn’t know the future and only responds to it like a chess player. Caliandro was not surprised but he was excited because an expert in human behavior was telling him what he knew all along — prayer is powerful! Don’t neglect this great work God has put into your hands. Twitter It is a sign of gratitude and recognition towards God and His creations. Acts 21:17–20 gives the answer: And when we had come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. Could that be right? What a joke. So the more people there are praying for something, and thus depending on God for mercy and power, the more people will give him thanks and glorify him when the answer comes. In response to prayer God changes people’s wills. The Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people. God wants our minds to be filled with this kind of God-exalting truth as the incentive to our praying and our living. Third, the rest of the verse says, “and when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.” So their evil will was restrained and they stopped short of killing Paul and the prayers of the Roman Christians 1,300 miles away were answered. God does not change, will not change, and cannot change. Going back and forth in conversation with God, he gradually worked the number down to just ten. Trust him. But Moses pleaded with God to turn aside from His intention of judgment and spare the people. Prayer does not change things which have no connection with the salvation of souls. This brings us to the very point where we are in our study of providence in the BITC on Wednesday nights. Be glad and rejoice that the Spirit of God is a Spirit of love. 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. The assumption behind the answer to both of these questions is that the divine purpose of prayer is to magnify the greatness of God. So Paul urges the Roman Christians 1,300 miles from Jerusalem to ask God not to let that happen. But there weren’t even ten righteous people in either of those dark, unhappy cities, and God did move in judgment against them. God is Still on the Throne and Prayer Changes Things. That’s the implication of verse 31. You can’t change God’s mind, because God can’t change. That God is going to do whatever God is going to do, so why pray? (Tell your neighbor, Prayer Changes Things) Our Scripture says in verse 24 "They lifted up their voice to God with one accord" i.e. Prayer Changes Things. When the postal authorities received...read more Follow Robert Morris on: The implication is that the will of the unbelievers to hurt Paul and the will of the believers to disapprove Paul’s ministry are both in the power of God to change. One answer is that the more people that are praying for a thing, the more thanks and honor God will get when he acts. God had said it would happen, but it didn’t happen. Follow him. Robert Morris is the founding senior pastor of Gateway Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. This year let’s use both our instruments to win people over to Christ. The closer we come to the heartbeat of God the more we see our need and the more we desire to be conformed to Christ." I want you to see that God is greatly glorified when we continue in prayer over a long period of time. Most of the religions use prayers or contemplation. Not in forty days, and not in forty years. 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. When we pray, God’s powerful hand begin to bring change, something great and unsearchable things happen in the spiritual realm specially in the hearts of men, in our hearts. Now, what about the believers? We do not think the same or act the same because we serve a different Master. The story is told of a young boy who wanted $100 very badly. So Abraham prayed again. The therapist told him that prayer was the most therapeutic behavior for a human being. 7,780 views. Come join the conversation on our blog. So we learn that God is immutable and will never, ever change His character. What a joke. 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. Please consider this request from John Piper and become a monthly partner by December 31. Yes, that’s what Scripture says. So how was Paul saved? — NLT, emphasis mine. Summary: This sermon helps us understand that if we live for God, Prayer is an effective way to overcome. Paul had said, “I urge you by the love of the Spirit to strive in prayer.” Think what it must have meant for Paul as he came toward Jerusalem to have Christian groups “receive him gladly.” “The brethren received him gladly.” Oh how precious is the love of the Spirit when it flows to us from other believers. 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. He calls it “striving” in prayer. To say that the only thing that prayer changes is us is kind of an arrogant statement. Notes. There would seem to be no point in praying for these two things if God could not do them. It makes prayer a self-help therapy instead of a kingdom advancing force. He is featured on the weekly television program, The Blessed Life, and serves as Chairman of the Board of The King’s University. You’re running into a brick wall a thousand miles thick, and you’ll never move it. They take an oath not to eat until he is dead. Like a child before the Father (Luke 18:17), upon coming to faith in Christ, we realize not only that we have needs, but that the Lord is the best and only provider for our needs.For this reason, we quickly and willingly go to the Lord in prayer, laying all our cares before Him, knowing that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Have you ever heard that demonic whisper that your prayers don’t matter? Did it happen? Be glad that that God has both a powerful Son and a loving Spirit. I knew very well that You are a compassionate God, and that if these people repented that You would change Your mind too! In one sense, prayer doesn’t change things. But He can and will change His mind when His people pray. And the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. Verse 31 gives Paul’s two prayer requests: (1) “that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea”, and (2) “that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints.” So he had two concerns: (1) that the non-Christians in Judea would kill him and end his ministry; (2) that the Christians would find fault with his ministry. (Romans 15:30–31). So in this case, through Paul, God desires that the will of the Roman Christians incline to pray — and not just incline but incline vigorously. It is why I preach and write books — to stir you up with truth about God, so that when you act, God will get the glory. Or to say it another way, I want us to understand that we ought not to give up when we pray. How did they respond to Paul in answer to the other prayer in Romans 15:31, that his ministry be acceptable to the saints? 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. Abraham began by asking the Lord not to wipe out the cities if he found fifty righteous people there. Undaunted by the lack of response, he wrote a letter to God presenting his request once again. But God's will is sovereign. Sproul argues that prayer has a vital place in the life of the Christian and calls us to come before God’s presence with joy and hope. Series: Meet The Savior Who Was A Servant Sermon: Time For A Change Mark 10:46-52 Pastor Ricky Powell March 14, 2010 Introduction: An old man from the mountains took a trip to the big city. We can be confident that prayer does change things—including our own hearts. Well, in Acts 21 Paul meets a very hostile city, just as he expected. Abraham knew this. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. One of the most wonderful mysteries in the universe is that prayer changes things. Verse 30: “And all the city was aroused, and the people rushed together; and taking hold of Paul, they dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut.” Mob violence is not easy to restrain. Verse 16: “But the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul.” Then in verses 17–23: Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Lead this young man to the commander, for he has something to report to him.” So he took him and led him to the commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to lead this young man to you since he has something to tell you.” And the commander took him by the hand and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, “What is it that you have to report to me?” And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him. If God is God, and it is his power that makes a difference in answering prayer, why does it matter how many people ask him? — Exodus 32:14. And after he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. He watched as an old, haggard woman… But according to Scripture, He can and will change His mind! Then switching to God’s changelessness, he will say, You think you can change things through prayer? He was saved by the working of the will of secular authorities. Our sermon ideas on Prayer will help you preach a powerful message. James McLeod James 5:16 The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16). He is perfect and perfection itself. One means God has given us to do this is prayer—asking him to act. To make it more personal, “Prayer Changes Me!” At times our situation even remains the same; but we are different. | Leah Klett/The Christian Post McLean Bible Church Pastor David Platt recently answered some common questions about prayer and highlighted how God uses the prayers of his children for the good of His people and ultimately, for His glory in the world. Why does Paul give the Roman Christians incentives to pray for him instead of just telling them to pray? And count on him to help you in your longings to see people change. Why? Nineveh remained as a city for possibly one hundred fifty years. You’re pushing against Mount Everest, but you’ll never make it sway. Since it began in 2000, the church has grown to more than 36,000 active members. God influenced the wills of someone to inform the commander, the will of the commander, and the will of the mob. Text: James 5:13-20. If I pick up Noël from the library because our son asks me to, she is just as picked up as if four sons asked me to. And at once he took along some soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them.” So here we see an answer to prayer. Sermon: Prayer Changes Things. When these two things unite, infinite power and overflowing love, nothing can befall you but what God wills for your good. One day they were having a conversation about prayer. No, it wasn’t. Finally, don’t neglect the amazing influence you have in the world for good through prayer. Why would He do that? Jesus said in John 14:13, “And whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” The aim of prayer is that the Father be glorified through Jesus. He has always been and will always be compassionate. Prayer exists for the glory of God. 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