Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Which Prayers Are Always Answered

A study of what types of prayers God always answers. 

  • 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
  • Introduction
  • Elijah Stops the Rain
  • Make it Rain
  • What We Learned
  • Elijah's Prayer


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.


  • 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


  • 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


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


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


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.

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