We can imagine how well this must have gone down in a time of severe drought! 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. But the apostle has also defined the type of person that Elijah was: “a righteous man” (v. 16). Having heard this confession of faith, Elijah immediately commanded that the false prophets be executed. 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 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). Third, let us learn that we must pray in accordance with a biblical knowledge of God. 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. 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?? Send us an email for more information. After more than twelve hours of such nonsense nothing had happened by way of divine intervention. James urges us in the local to confess our faults to one another and to pray for one another’s restoration (v. 16). We must be passionate about magnifying Yahweh as God, and passionate about bringing others to magnify Him in the same way. As local churches we must have this same desire. In fact, this was so much liquid that the trench around the altar, which could hold some 14 litres of water, was filled! His reign, then, was characterised in every way by blatant rebellion against God’s Word. A sermon preached on Sunday morning May 16, 2010 At the Bakers Creek Baptist church by James Carl Jones pastor. Elijah prayed in a time when the ground was barren, and as we survey the evangelical world around us we often conclude the same. Does the ground seem bare? 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. on Twitter This man, who in nature was like us, was used by God to bring life and joy into a home. Thus it is clear that Elijah was speaking words of faith, even though his prayer would only follow those words. And ultimately God was glorified as people repented of their idolatry and turned to Him. change God.” The audience fell to a hush with an eerie silence. 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 cannot be defeated. 19-20, as we shall see in our next study, he exhorts us to restore those who are heading down the road to apostasy. This brings us to our second point of application, which is that our prayers must be motivated by the glory of God. 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). To Those Who Stand Watch on the Wall Terry … Be encouraged that prayer can change 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). 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. The entire covenant community benefited from the answered prayers of one man. 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). He then commanded that his sacrifice be doused with twelve barrels of water. Thus, this promised rain indicates that there had been repentance. Nor is James alone in teaching this. (Tell your neighbor, Prayer Changes Things) Our Scripture says in verse 24 "They lifted up their voice to God with one accord" i.e. We pray for church growth because we want to have a larger church that will have more of an impact as a church for the extension of God’s kingdom in the world. Yet I fear that all too often we are in danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Elijah’s nature was like ours. And give God no rest until you see your prayers answered! Prayer builds us up, it is far more than just communication, it is fortification! Elijah prayed again and again until the rain came. 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. This righteous man will not let go of God; too much is at stake! Download Service Schedule (20 December) (PDF). After a brief encounter with a fellow God-fearer (18:7-16) Elijah stood once again before King Ahab. During the drought which preceded this, things had gone from bad to desperately worse in Samaria, the home of Ahab and Jezebel. 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). Joshua 6:26). Handling life without prayer is like playing basketball with a flat ball. Through prayer, there is so much more potential than we often realise. That’s quite clear: prayer changes things, things outside of ourselves; it even changes the course of history. We have read nothing of him until this point, and thus know nothing of his background. Elijah then prayed to the true and only God, “the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel” (18:36). 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. 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. James, an apostle, tells us this in these closing words of his inspired epistle. 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. Ministries, Edit Your 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. Our prayers must have as their goal the glory of God. Perhaps we can state it this way: Don’t be happy to merely accept the status quo. The type of changes for which we pray can, after all, only come by the power of God! Elijah prayed and the boy revived. and as time went on and the ground remained dry, he really prayed! 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. In this study we return to James 5:16-18 for what will probably be the final time as we consider once again the important issue of prayer in the life of the church. Posted on16 Nov 20089 Feb 2014AuthorDoug Van Meter, We who are committed to a biblical Christianity are often prone to dismiss cliché Christianity. 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). “Prayer doesn’t change things,” he continued. Prayer does not change things which have no connection with the salvation of souls. And we too must pray for things to change so that God can be glorified. However this doesn't mean that prayer changes only spiritual things. 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 … 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. One example of this is the cliché, “Prayer changes things.”. “And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (v. 18). Be encouraged and grow your faith with daily and weekly devotionals. I … The Lord heard and answered, and fire fell from heaven, consuming the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the water! In Canaanite superstition, “Baal was the storm and fertility god who bestowed upon man and soil the blessings of fruitfulness. “Prayer doesn’t change circumstances,” he bellowed. 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. Website, Morning Worship Bulletins and Worship Times, Jazz Vespers: A Unique Worship Experience, Christian Fellowship United Church of Christ, Worship Times, Websites for Pray for your lost husband to be saved. He could revive the dead, heal the sick, and grant blessings f progeny” (Dale Ralph Davis). And yet, apparently there was no sound of rain at all. That is, his eye was fixed firmly on the glory of God. He is speaking, instead, of practical righteousness. 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). 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! Elijah became a source of provision, by the grace of God, to sustain this family through difficult days (17:8-16). So often we think of prayer as the means by which THINGS will change, but in reality it usually changes us and thereby things change! April showers can indeed bring forth Mayflowers! Let’s take the time to consider some practical lessons from this account. 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. Soon the winds brought a driving rain and the drought was broken. 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. Fourth, we must learn to look beyond the obvious, for things can indeed change! And so it must be for you and me! 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! When we pray our motivation must look beyond the immediate. The principle, of course, extends far beyond just conversions. "Prayer doesn't change circumstances," he bellowed. And so it must be with the motivation for our prayers. Prayer Changes Things A Sermon on Matthew 7:7-11 The story is told of a young boy who wanted $100 very badly. The famine had made it impossible for the harvesting of any produce. The audience fell to a hush with an eerie silence. I cannot guarantee that He will heal you, but I can tell you that prayer can change things! So, too, when God sends His showers of blessing in response to our prayers, things really begin to change! In many cases we are right to do so. Edit Your The false prophets were in a frenzy, and began to lance themselves in an attempt to get the attention of their god. 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). Prayer Changes Things A Sermon on Matthew 7:7-11 The story is told of a young boy who wanted $100 very badly. Then pray to God for healing! PRAYER CHANGES THINGS!!!! Read How Does Prayer Work? The church needs to return to the example of Elijah. They were to sacrifice livestock and call on their god to accept their offering; Elijah will do the same, calling upon Yahweh. Does the likelihood of overcoming this sin seem hopeless? As the prophets of Baal and Asherah danced around and pray in a frenzied state, Elijah stood by mocking them. Again, these were words of faith, and this faith was soon to be honoured as the sky began to darken. With that said, there are times when prayer results in awesome results. ? A well-known preacher began his message by stating thunderously, "Prayer doesn't change God." The text tells us that “there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded” (18:29). Prayer, in other words, has the power to change things. In vv. Informative sermon done by pastor Doug Batchelor of Amazing Facts. Your email address will not be published. "Prayer doesn't change things," he continued. He sent forth lightning, fire and rain. / Sermons / Prayer Changes Things. If we do not, then we will not receive God-initiated produce. One common heresy (“open theism”) is that God doesn’t know the future and only responds to it like a chess player. Date written: July 24, 1994 Scripture ref: Acts 2:42. We can now begin to make some practical connections. A fruitful church is required to pray. The text is Acts 2:42. 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. God really is sovereign, and he rules the past, the present, and the future. (This is significant in itself, for ravens were unclean animals!) What is interesting to me is that James brings an additional perspective to this scene. What follows highlights how serious the situation became. 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. He was sinful (just like us), and had clear moments of weakness (just as we do), but he was nevertheless singular. Are you battling with a physical ailment? And if we are living according to His righteous standard, then our prayers will be for His glory, not for our own comfort. ... 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. He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. 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.”) We need to see more of this passionate sort of praying. We aim to spread the teaching of God’s Word through Christian media with the goal of transforming lives. And when it eventually came, the landscape that formerly looked so dry and barren came to life. 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. The significance of this cannot be underestimated. When Elijah sent his assistant the seventh time (I wonder what he was thinking!) prayer not only changes things; it changes lives The easiest way for me to illustrate God's provision for us, is to compare it to a buffet banquet. 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. Does Prayer Really Change Things? As he prayed, he kept sending his servant to check the horizon for clouds, and only on the seventh reconnaissance was a cloud finally spotted. When the postal authorities received...read more But let us be encouraged from the example of Elijah that the barren ground can indeed bring forth fruit in answer to our prayer. 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