Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Which Prayers Are Always Answered


A study of what types of prayers God always answers. 


Scriptures:
  • Isaiah 65:24
  • 1 Kings 17:1
  • James 5:16-18
  • Deuteronomy 11:16-17
  • 1 Kings 18:1
  • 1 Kings 18:41-45
  • Luke 18:1
  • Matthew 6:9-13
  • Exodus 32: 13-14
  • James 4:3
  • 1 Kings 18: 36 - 37
  • 1 John 5:14
Outline:
  • Introduction
  • Elijah Stops the Rain
  • Make it Rain
  • What We Learned
  • Elijah's Prayer

Introduction

Is God’s will always done?
  • What about the sin in your life?

Can we influence whether God’s will is done or not?
  • Definitely in your own life

If we sin then God’s will wasn’t done

What did it mean that God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth?

Which Prayers Always Work

Isaiah 65:24
24“It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.

Elijah Stops the Rain

No Rain

  • Ahab was king over Israel
  • Ahab did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him.
  • Married Jezebel
  • Worshipped Baal in the temple

Enter Elijah

1 Kings 17:1
1Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.
  • Who is this dude?
  • Why does he think  he can just change the weather
Elijah = Yahweh is my God

How did Elijah control the weather?

Effective Prayer of a Righteous Man

James 5:16-18
16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail. 17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth yielded its crops.
  • Elijah prayed that it not rain
So Elijah woke up one morning and said “I don’t want anymore rain right now”?

What did he have against Ahab

Was Elijah able to do it because he was righteous and have faith?

Can WE supernaturally impact nature if we have enough faith?

God Said No Rain

Deuteronomy 11:16-17
16“Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. 17“Or the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.
  • Serve other gods and worship them - idolatry
  • Not working too much or washing your Tesla
The rain was stopped because of the idolatry of Israel

Elijah was praying for what God already Decreed

Elijah’s Prayer Initiated God’s Will

Elijah wasn’t praying for what he personally wanted to happen to Israel

He was praying what God explicitly said He wanted
  • Elijah didn’t make a judgment call
  • God explicitly told him
It would not have happened if Elijah hadn’t prayed for it

Promise of Rain

  • Ravens bring him food
  • He raises a boy from the dead

1 Kings 18:1
 1Now it happened after many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.”
  • God told Elijah to go to Ahab

Elijah Slays the Prophets of Baal
  • Mount Carmel
  •  450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah
  • call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD,
  • the God who answers by fire, He is God
  • Prophets cried out to Baal all day until evening
  • Nothing happened
  • Elijah repaired the altar of God
  • the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering
  • all the people said, "The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God."
  • Elijah brought the prophets of Baal down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there

Make it Rain

1 Kings 18:41-45
 41Now Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.” 42So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees. 43He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go back” seven times. 44It came about at the seventh time, that he said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.’” 45In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 
46 Then the hand of the LORD was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins and outran Ahab to Jezreel.

Elijah got alone with God

1 Kings 18: 42
42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees.
Elijah finds a place to get alone with God
He needed an undistracted environment
You need to be in a posture of prayer 

Expectantly and Persistently

43 He said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." So he went up and looked and said, "There is nothing." And he said, "Go back" seven times.

Expectant

  • Expect it even without evidence
  • Faith
Don’t stop because you don’t hear anything 

He prayed expectantly

Why didn’t Elijah say “if it’s your will”
  • Because he knew that it was God’s will
He was confident because he heard from God

Persistent

  • He prayed earnestly
Example: Parable of the unjust judge


Luke 18:1
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart

God May not give it to you all at once

44 It came about at the seventh time, that he said, "Behold, a cloud as small as a man's hand is coming up from the sea." And he said, "Go up, say to Ahab, 'Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.'"

What We Learned

Idolatry

The rain stopped because of idolatry

Why did the rain come back?

Are you worshipping the wrong God?
  • Bad doctrine?
  • Something in the place of God
The rain didn’t come until the idolatry was addressed
  • Until the prophets of Baal were killed
Many people want God to do something in their lives without doing something to their lives

God is not going to rain on you so that you can share it with an idol

Pray For What God Has Already Decreed

Prayer is the one thing God has established to make contact with what He has decreed

Prayer is the supernatural ability to let you in on the will of God

Prayer does not make God do what He doesn’t want to happen
  • It releases God to do what He has decreed to do
God had already said it’s not going to rain, but Elijah still had to pray for it.  

Are there decrees of God waiting for someone to pray for them?

Pray in Accordance to God’s Will

Matthew 6:9-10 
9 “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
  • Do you think Jesus would tell us to pray for something that was guaranteed to happen?
  • He told us to pray…”thy will be done”
  • Are we wasting our time when we pray?
  • Did Jesus think we were wasting our time when we pray?
This implies that our prayers will help make this possible
  • This implies that our prayers influence whether or not God’s will is done

Remind God of What He Said

 Moses - Golden Calf
  • God wanted to destroy Israel because of the golden calf
  • He told Moses He was going to start over with him
  • Moses reminded God of His promise

Exodus 32: 13-14
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 14 So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.
  • God Changed His mind
  • It appears that Moses changed the will of God by reminding Him of His decree
Pray reminding God of His promises
  • But you need to be cognizant of the context
Explanation: God in relationship with Israel/Moses


Example: Hezekiah - 2 King 20
  • God said you’ll die tomorrow (Isaiah)
  • Hezekiah reminded God of his faithfulness and cried
  • God added 15 years to his life

Don’t pray selfishly

James 4:3
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Notice Elijah was praying for judgment
  • But not for himself, for God
He wasn’t praying for something to benefit himself

He was doing the work of the Lord

He was God minded...Kingdom minded

Not Elijah minded

Elijah’s Prayer

1 Kings 18: 36 - 37
36At the time of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet approached the altar and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and have done all these things at Your command. 37Answer me, O LORD! Answer me, so that this people will know that You, the LORD, are God, and that You have turned their hearts back again.”
Elijah’s prayer
  • It was for God’s glory
  • He only did what God commanded him to do
  • He asked God to answer his prayer
  • The goal was to turn people to God
What kind of prayer are always answered?
  1. Idolatry has been removed from your life
  2. Pray for What God Has Already Decreed
  3. Don’t pray selfishly
  4. Pray in accordance to God’ will
  5. The motive is God’s glory
  6. The motive is to turn people to God
  7. God commanded you to do it
How to pray
  1. Remind God of What He Said
  2. Ask God to answer your prayer
1 John 5:14
14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.


Instructor: Michael Leadon




References

Praying And Waiting for God's Timing | Sermon by Tony Evans
BONUS Lesson: Why Doesn't God Always Answer the First Time I Pray
Rick Warren

Extra

Prayer experiments

San Francisco hospital
  • 400 people
  • Half prayed for
  • “The People who were prayed for got statistically better in 21 of the 26 categories”
  • Prayer was to the Judeo Christian God
In the multi-religious prayer experiment people got worse

Joshua 23:15                                                                
"It shall come about that just as all the good words which the LORD your God spoke to you have come upon you, so the LORD will bring upon you all the threats, until He has destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

How God Responds to Prayers


Sometimes God responds to us in a manner different that what we're expecting.  How to detect if God is actually giving you an answer that you are missing.


Scriptures:
  • Psalms 143:1
  • Isaiah 30: 20 - 21
  • 1 Kings 18:24
  • 2 Corinthians 12: 6 - 9
  • Exodus 4:21
Outline:
  • Introduction
  • When God Says Yes
  • When God Says Wait
  • When God is Silent
  • When God Says “No”
  • Conclusion (Praying for Babies)

Introduction

We Limit God’s Response

Story: man in the flood
  • Sent the weatherman
  • Sent boat
  • Sent helicopter
If we don’t know how God response to prayer we run the risk of missing our answer

Trip to Israel

I asked God to give us an all expenses paid trip to Israel plus $2k spending money.
  • I’m happy to report that God answered my prayer!
  • He said “no”
Some people think that God answering your prayer is equivalent to God giving you what you want
  • Answering your prayer just means that He responds
  • Even if that response is ‘no’
What responses can you Get from prayer?

Responses
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Wait
  4. Direction / Guidance / Clarity
  5. Silence
Sometimes we may not recognize that God is answering our prayers

Psalms 143:1
O LORD, hear my prayer.
In Your faithfulness, give ear to my plea;
in Your righteousness, answer me.

When God Says Yes

Santa Clause Response

You ask for a bicycle and he gives you one
You ask for a new job and you get one

Biblical Example: Elijah asked God to bring the child back to life (1 Kings 17:17-24)

Seed Response

Some time you’re looking for supplication  and God gives you seed

You may pray for an oak tree and he may give you an acorn
  • You have to
  • Plant it
  • Water it
  • Tend the soil
  • Defend it from predators
Some things are connected to our response and our stewardship 

Example: world famous concert pianist
  • God may give you a natural talent to play the piano
  • God may put an excellent piano instructor in your path
  • The results are still dependent on you practicing
  • The results are still dependent on your effort
God will keep all of his promises but he is not obligated to keep all of your potential

When God Says Wait

  • The timing is wrong
Sometimes you’re trying to push yourself into something you aren’t prepared for
  • Or  that isn’t prepared for you right now
A blessing in the wrong time could be a curse

Example: lottery winners
  • 70% of lottery winners end up bankrupt in 5 years

The Wilderness

Sometimes you go through trials to prepare you for your blessing

God doesn’t just use the destination
  • He uses the journey to train you
Who went through the wilderness
  • Children of Israel
  • David
  • Jesus
Some things aren’t real until they’re tested

Example: brain surgeon

You Have to Take A Course

Sometimes the answer to our prayers comes in the form of a course that we have to walk out
  • Sometimes you’re not developed enough to get what you ask for
  • You having the prize is based on you being willing to finish the course
Sometimes it’s not that God didn’t answer you it is that you didn’t take the time to finish the course.
  • Or we failed the course
  • It is the Devil‘s job to get you to drop out of the course.

A Word To Sustain You

  • God gives you a promise to get you through the storm
When God gives you a promise: He looks into your future and gives you the word to get you there
  • I need to pay attention to what God said
  • I will use what God has spoken to take me into what God has promised
Example: God told David he would be king

Sometimes God speaks many times
  • Other times He only speaks once
  • If he speaks it over and over it’s likely because you have strong warfare against that area

Train You To Hear

God uses the test to train your ear to hear His voice under pressure
  • The trial should build your relationship with God
Example: Norma listening in noise

You Asked For It

If you pray to hear from God He will give you situations that you can’t get through without Him

Didn’t Need It

Some times when you get through the Wilderness you’ll realize you don’t need or want what you’ve been asking for

When God Gives Direction / Guidance

Walking Shoes

  • God gives you one step at a time
Isaiah 30: 20 - 21
20 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. 21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
You don’t often get a decisive answer to a complex/large request all at once
  • It comes a piece at a time
  • Sometimes God just gives you the next step
Yeah I believe, I believe
But it's a dream that I ain't seen yet
Chasing a dream that I ain't dreamed yet
But I'mma meet it halfway if I keep on walking, walking, walking If I keep on walking,
Yeah I know it when I see it walking, walking when I see it walking
  -- Walking Shoes (Mali Music)

Example: my Bible Study
  • Told me to teach
  • Told me to record it
  • When I started hearing from God I stopped listening to people

Unction

 We get an unction
  • Don’t go in there
  • Don’t trust him

Clear Revelation

The Revelation from God will allow you to persevere
  • As time passes our conviction can lower

Help

Confirmation may come from packets of help

God guides by what He provides

Gifts and talents

If your abilities, interests, and circumstances are in alignment that may be God

Bible Example: ram in the bucks - Isaac

Example: teachers have a hunger to study the Bible

Closing a Door

Sometimes God will talk to you by closing a door

Only Tells You When to Turn

The way the navigation system works is how God wants to talk to us
  • Recalculating
  • Make a u-turn when you messed up
  • Sometimes the system doesn’t speak until it’s time to make a turn
He will let us know before we have gone too far

Sometimes the silence is an indication that you’re on the right road

When God is Silent

Would you rather have a “no” or silence?

If God is silent it’s not punishment

Listening For What We Want to Hear

Sometimes we’re too focused on confirmation on our own desires to hear what God is saying
  • You’ve already made up your mind
Example: the man in the flood

 Already Gave The Answer

Sometimes we’re waiting on God and He’s waiting on us
  • He already gave you the answer

Not the Answer We Wanted

He gave an answer but we don’t like it

The answer is in the Bible

  • There’s a whole genre in the bible called “wisdom”

You’re Praying to the Wrong God

1 Kings 18:24
24“Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” And all the people said, “That is a good idea.”
  • Elijah
  • They were serving Baal and Asherah
The Bible says God created us in His image. A lot of people want to return the favor.
  • They construct their own God
  • They believe a doctrine that doesn’t agree with the God of the bible
  • When they get into trouble their God is silent
Example: Your God will give you all of your worldly desires if your faith is strong enough
  • God will give you all of your selfish desires

When God Says “No”

2 Corinthians 12: 6 - 9
6Even if I wanted to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me, 7or even with these surpassingly great revelations.
So to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.
  • Paul prayed to God and God said “no”
  • The God Paul served said no to Paul
  • Do you have more faith than Paul?
Example: handsome pastor
  • 30 women praying for God to make him their husband

Asking for What You Think You Want

  • Beggar That Peter let walk
Biblical Example: Beggar asked Peter and John for money (Acts 3:1-8)

If you had everything you wanted you might miss what you needed

Against God’s Will

  • God may have a bigger plan
  • You can’t see the big picture
  • Bigger than your comfort or pleasure
Exodus 4:21
21The LORD instructed Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have put within your power. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.
  • God hardened Pharaoh's heart
Many Israelites had been praying to God to be freed
  • The defeat of Egypt was THE defining moment in Israel’s history
  • It established God as being superior to all of Egypt’s God’s
  • Remember Rahab said they were scared because they heard about it

Selfish Prayers

  • Sometimes the request is selfish
Example: sit next to Jesus in Heaven
  • James and John wanted to sit next to Jesus in Heaven (Mark 10:35-38)
If all of your prayer requests got answered would anyone else be blessed?

Praying for Babies

  • God may be responding about your future
Isaac’s wide Rebekah was pregnant with Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25).  She prayed to God questioning why she had so much turmoil in her womb.
God responded that there were two warring nations in her womb.
  • She asked about her babies
  • God responded about two nations at war
Are you praying for babies when you should be praying for nations?
Jesus said don’t worry about what you will eat or what you will wear.
  • Tomorrow  can worry about itself
Are your prayers big enough that only God can answer them?
If your prayers are answered what nations will be blessed?
Are you praying based on your potential
  • Are you praying based on your circumstances?
What does God want to do with your life?
Pray that God uses you for something mighty
Pray For something your children’s children’s children will be telling stories about
  • … write chapters about in history books
  • … act out in plays
  • … make movies about
Pray that God uses you for the mighty task that He has designed you for!!

 Instructor: Michael Leadon


References

Hearing the Voice of God

Does God Answer Prayer?

Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer

T D Jakes

Why do 70 percent of lottery winners end up bankrupt?

Extra

Philippians 4:6-7
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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When God Says “Yes”

1 Kings 17:17-22
17Later, the son of the woman who owned the house became ill, and his sickness grew worse and worse, until no breath remained in him. 18“O man of God,” said the woman to Elijah, “what have you done to me? Have you come to remind me of my iniquity and cause the death of my son?”
19But Elijah said to her, “Give me your son.”
So he took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. 20Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have You also brought tragedy on this widow who has opened her home to me by causing her son to die?” 21Then he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, please let this boy’s life return to him!”
22 The LORD heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned fnto him and he revived.

When God Says “No”

Selfishness

Mark 10:35-38
35Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and declared, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”
36“What do you want Me to do for you?” He inquired.
37They answered, “Grant that one of us may sit at Your right hand and the other at Your left in Your glory.”
38“You do not know what you are asking,” Jesus replied. “Can you drink the cup I will drink, or be baptized with the baptism I will undergo?”

Asking for What You Think You Want

Acts 3:1-8
1One afternoon Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.a 2And a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those entering the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter the temple, he asked them for money.
4Peter looked directly at him, as did John. “Look at us!” said Peter. 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6But Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!”b
7Taking him by the right hand, Peter helped him up, and at once the man’s feet and ankles were made strong. 8He sprang to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and leaping and praising God.

Praying For Babies

Genesis 25
21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord [d]answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 The Lord said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb;
And two peoples will be separated from your body;
And one people shall be stronger than the other;
And the older shall serve the younger.”
24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.