Going back and forth in conversation with God, he gradually worked the number down to just ten. Your faith life directly correlates to the quality of your prayer life. He is perfect and perfection itself. A more profound reason to wonder whether our prayers make a difference is the biblical emphasis on God's greatness and the power of his will. When the postal authorities received...read more Most of the religions use prayers or contemplation. Or to put it simply, in answer to prayer God changes people’s wills. Scripture is pretty clear that this isn’t the case. He will always be faithful. SUBJECT: Worship TITLE:To Pray Effectively PROPOSITION: To understand how to pray we must understand the Character, Circumstance, Content, and Consequences of prayer. It is saying that God doesn’t change His character. Be glad that God is like this. Please consider this request from John Piper and become a monthly partner by December 31. When the Bible says that God is unchangeable, however, it isn’t saying that God doesn’t change His mind. By prayer we are to influence the wills of professors and writers and entertainers and editors and pastors and elders and missionaries. In chapter 23 Paul is in jail and some of his enemies form a conspiracy to ambush him when he is transferred to Caesarea. If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives.   Twitter Because the people of Nineveh changed their minds about the way they had been living, and God changed His mind about destroying them. So Paul urges the Roman Christians 1,300 miles from Jerusalem to ask God not to let that happen. He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. And when they heard it they began glorifying God. Prayer exists for the glory of God. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. Robert Morris is the founding senior pastor of Gateway Church, a multi-campus church in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The text is Acts 2:42. After his wet-and-wild encounter with the great fish, the runaway prophet did some repenting of his own and set out for Nineveh to deliver the message God had given him: Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown! But Moses pleaded with God to turn aside from His intention of judgment and spare the people. And so again Paul was delivered from the unbelievers in Jerusalem just the way he asked for prayer in Romans 15:31. Share. Why is it not God’s usual way to just tell us to do things without giving us incentives like this to do them? Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints. And count on him to help you in your longings to see people change. Don't pray unless you want to change. 2. Then switching to God’s changelessness, he will say, You think you can change things through prayer? Let’s work to change people’s minds with truth and people’s wills with prayer. He has always been merciful, He is merciful at this very moment, and He will be that way right into eternity. 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. 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. 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. One answer is that the more people that are praying for a thing, the more thanks and honor God will get when he acts. What have you quit praying about? God has so arranged his world that we have the ability to make significant choices, some good and some bad, which affect the course of history. We are not to act on mere impulse or whim. Why gather in St. Paul tonight in a larger group? By prayer we are to influence the wills of our friends and our enemies. And it’s a good thing for the Jewish people that he did. Finally, don’t neglect the amazing influence you have in the world for good through prayer. 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. Transcript. 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." God is in the main business in the world of magnifying the worth of his Son and the power of his Spirit and the glory of his own name. First, someone willed to run and tell the commander there was a riot. So self-doubt should not make us wonder whether prayer can change things. We can be confident that prayer does change things—including our own hearts. And since the Spirit of God is a Spirit of love, you can pray with confidence that he will lovingly fill the saints in Jerusalem with love for Paul so that his ministry is accepted and not resented. — NLT, emphasis mine. 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. 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. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love and joy and that is what Paul met with in the church of Jerusalem. God doesn’t change, because if He could change, He could get better. So your prayers are useless. Now, these two questions from verse 30 set the stage for the lesson of verse 31. Prayer Changes Things: Prayer Changes Us! Prayer will certainly change material things when that change has a spiritual benefit. God had heard the striving of his people in Rome, and he had acted. The reason is plain: God would not get glory for our actions if they were not stimulated by views of God. 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”). Did it happen? Since Jesus is Lord, you may pray with confidence that he has the right and authority and power to restrain the disobedient in Judea. Prayer Changes Things – Prayer is the main way a human being can establish and maintain a connection with God. Why does Paul give the Roman Christians incentives to pray for him instead of just telling them to pray? The story is told of a young boy who wanted $100 very badly. — Jonah 4:2. So stand in awe of your Lord Jesus. 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. It is a sign of gratitude and recognition towards God and His creations. Follow Robert Morris on: Verse 31: “And while they were seeking to kill him, a report came up to the commander of the Roman cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. By prayer God calls us to join him in shaping history. ~ Devotionals Daily. 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. Church, I know it may sometimes seem fruitless, and vain—but never stop praying, never stop lifting your life—and the life of your friends unto … We can see the same dynamic in the story of Jonah. We want to hear from you about changing God’s mind as we reason with Him in prayer. God really is sovereign, and he rules the past, the present, and the future. I want you to see that God is greatly glorified when we continue in prayer over a long period of time. The "life" referred to is eternal life. God influenced the wills of someone to inform the commander, the will of the commander, and the will of the mob. Stand in awe of the Lordship of God and his Son Jesus. We can say the same thing two different ways: Because Moses prayed. The subject of prayer is one that at first comes easily to new believers. God does not change, will not change, and cannot change. You can’t change God’s mind, because God can’t change. — Exodus 32:14. Prayers are not only for Christians. — Jonah 3:4. He will always want to touch people and to answer prayer. But in closing this morning ask yourself if you believe this simple and powerful truth about prayer. Dr. Arthur Caliandro, long-time pastor of Marble Collegiate Church, had a therapist on his church staff. 02.07.2016 Preaching Text: “Now eight days after these saying Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.” (Luke 9:28) You never know where you’ll find sermon material. Another translation puts it even more starkly: So the Lord changed His mind about the terrible disaster He had threatened to bring on His people. 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. (Romans 15:30–31). He prayed for a long time, but nothing happened. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. 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