Sermon Illustrations

Stories of pivotal prayers: Story from Tim Elmore “Pivotal Praying” (Page 1):

His life’s dream was to be a missionary, and it looked as though it was finally coming true. As the nervous young man sat in the mission’s agency’s office, he assured the interviewer that he and his new bride were committed to working hard, managing their resources as good stewards, and sharing Christ with as many people as possible. His future looked bright. Then it all seemed to come crashing down. His dream began to fall apart. During their cross-cultural preparation, he and his wife realized she could never endure the rigors of life overseas. Her body was fragile and frail. If they went to Africa as planned, she would certainly die. Confused and emotionally crushed, the young man returned home. His tragic tale continued as he failed to find a ministerial position. The first blow had left him devastated. This one left him depressed. One night he awoke from sleep feeling the weight of his failed dream. His hands were clammy, and his temperature ran high. He was angry. He was baffled. He began to wrestle with God over his calling. How could God call him to change the world, then close all doors to ministry? It was during this time of prayer that God reminded him of his original commitment-to work hard, to manage his resources, and to share Christ with as many people as possible. Bingo! His entire attitude changed. It suddenly struck him that he could still remain true to his commitment, wherever he worked. So, he prayed exactly for this. He decided to work for his dad, a dentist who had a small business on the side that produced juice for Church Communion services. As his father grew older, the young man took over the family business and determined to use it to touch the world for Christ. He would keep his promise by financially supporting others who could go overseas as missionaries. He built the company into a huge enterprise. In fact, you probably have purchased some of his juice. His name was Welch, and his grape juice is sold in supermarkets everywhere. Mr. Welch has not only given huge sums of money to world missions, but he has also impacted the world for Christ in a far greater way than if he had gone overseas himself (Page 1, 2).

This story would not have happened if Mr. Welch had not prayed that pivotal prayer at a crisis and crossroads point in his life. He took his “If only” set back into a “What if” possibility with God and made a difference through his work!

We find another true story in the pages of Psalms of a person who had to pray pivotal prayers to God when things did not work out like they should. When his dreams seemed to be crushed and hopeless. His name was David and listen to his pivotal prayers at a crisis and crossroad moment in his life:

Scriptures on pivotal praying: Psalm 18

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