Summary: This is a sermon on the power of short prayers.
Powerful Short Prayers Pt 4
Praying when you don’t deserve an answer
A. We are continuing our sermon series on “Powerful Short Prayers.” We have been looking at some of the short prayers that are recorded in the Bible and one thing that we are seeing is a clear pattern that SHORT PRAYERS REALLY COUNT! According to God’s Word, short prayers are important. Short prayers move the heart of God.
B. Prayer is a portal. It is a doorway which allows us to interact or cross over into the spiritual world. It allows us to experience the spiritual dimension. For some people they like to pray in a certain place or at a certain time. They feel comfortable praying there. It becomes sort of a ‘thin place’ where they feel they can cross over into the spiritual dimension. For some that might be in their living room while they sit on a certain chair. For some that might be on their back porch or at their dining room table. For others it might be their car, or while they are walking out in the woods, or alongside of a river or on the beach at the lake or the ocean. What we need to understand is that ANY PLACE can be a ‘thin place.’ Any place is a good place to talk to God. We don’t only have to restrict our prayers to a certain time of day or a certain place. We can use that portal of prayer and cross over into God’s presence 24/7. That is what short prayers are all about.
C. We looked at the short prayer prayed by Abraham’s servant, Eliezer and saw how quickly God answered that prayer.
D. We looked at the short prayer prayed by Nehemiah and how God answered his prayer.
E. Last week we looked at the short prayer of the mother who would not take no for answer and how Jesus did eventually answer her prayer.
F. Today we are going to look at a short prayer prayed by a king who knowingly did something wrong and as a result got himself in big trouble. Has anyone here ever done that? Well this is a great story to read then. We shall see that this king had the sense of mind to still cry out and ask God to help him anyway.
G. Let’s take a look and see what happens to this king. We will be reading in 2 Chronicles 18 and 19.
Tell the story of what happened.
A. At this time Israel was divided into two kingdoms. They had a civil war after King Solomon died and the 12 tribes were divided into two kingdoms. One consisted of the large tribe of Judah and Benjamin and the other kingdom was called Israel and it consisted of the other ten tribes.
B. The sad state of affairs that existed at this time was that the ten tribes had fallen away from worshipping Jehovah God and were worshipping idols and the man who was the king at this time was Ahab. The Bible says that Ahab and his wife Jezebel were the worst rulers in all of Israel’s history.
C. The two tribes in the south, Judah and Benjamin had stayed true to Jehovah but were continually warned by God’s prophets to stay away from the Kingdom of the north, Israel.
D. Here we read that Jehoshaphat had married Ahab’s daughter and was trying to reunite the two kingdoms. This is where we pick up this story.
The king at least wanted to hear what God had to say 18:1-6
A. It is to his credit that he sought out a man who he knew he could trust to tell him what God really says. It is so easy to get counsel from our friends who we know will see things our way and agree with us.
B. You know, people are always looking for “flattering prophets.” Those who will say just what they want to hear. There are some Christians who go around from person to person, even to every preacher in town, they buy books and tapes, looking for someone who will say what they want to hear. Listen, if you search long enough you’ll ALWAYS find someone who is willing to agree with you, even if you say the moon is made of cheese! Sure, you may have to go to an institution to find them; but you can ALWAYS find someone who’ll say what you want to hear.
C. The world laughs at the caricature of “fire and brimstone” preachers. They mock and scorn such men. But do you know why? Because they don’t want to hear a message of judgment, a message that makes them uncomfortable and demands a decision. So they laugh, and run off to their flattering prophets who say “Be at peace, all is well!”