Summary: Prayer brings victory.
Reading: 1 Samuel chapter 7 verses 2-17:
• It was the late Donald Barnhouse the American pastor and author,
• Who stunned his congregation by saying;
“Prayer changes nothing”.
• The church was packed full of people,
• Yet you could have heard a pin drop.
• Now his comment was deliberately designed to make folks think.
• It is God who through prayer changes things!
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson went on a camping trip.
• As they lay down for the night,
• Holmes said, "Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see."
• Watson said, "I see millions and millions of stars".
• Holmes asked, "And what does that tell you?"
"Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Theologically, it tells me that God is great and that we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.
What does it tell you?"
• Asked Watson.
• Holmes answered, "Somebody has stolen our tent."
(1). Two quick points regarding victorious praying:
• That I don’t want you to miss this morning is this:
• By way of introduction to our passage.
(1). Right recipient - True God.]
• Prayer in itself changes nothing, people of all ages, colours, creeds & faiths pray,
• The vital ingredient is not just the prayer but the recipient of that prayer.
• It is Prayer to the living God that brought the victory.
• Prayer is only as good as the God it is sourced in.
1 Samuel chapter 7.
• Victory was not because they had the ark of the covenant,
• Victory was not t because they had a powerful army,
• Victory was entirely due to the power of God.
(2). Right Lifestyle - The righteous.
• Samuel was a man of prayer.
• He was himself born in answer to his mother’s prayers (Chapter 1).
• Throughout his life, prayer is something that marked him out,
• Now God brings victory, through the prayer of the righteous (right with God).
“I’ve tried praying, it’s a waste of time, it doesn’t work”
• She treats pray like it was a magic spell,
• She wants God to get her out of the mess she is in.
• But she is blowed if she will let him affect her life in anyway,
• Ill: Spare tyre mentality (Only for emergencies) so she will be disappointed.
Quote James chapter 5 verse 16.
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective”.
• Imagine you are in a boat and you are approaching the river bank,
• You throw a rope and hook to the bank and pull.
• Question: Do you pull the river bank to you?
• Or do you pull yourself towards the bank?
• Prayer is not pulling God to my will,
• But the aligning of my will to the will of God.
• For prayer to be effective and bring victory,
• Surrender to God’s will and co-operation with God’s will is essential.
• In this chapter,
• The prayers of Samuel the prophet were powerful and effective.
• Samuel occupies nearly half of the first book of Samuel:
• Yet this is the only chapter that gives us an insight as to what he did,
• The early part of the book concentrate on his background and early years,
• The last part focus’s on his relationship with Saul.
But these verses give us an insight as to what he actually did:
• Samuel had a threefold ministry;
• He was a prophet, priest and judge.
(a). He was primarily a prophet
• We read about him delivering God’s message,
• Bringing both good and bad news throughout this book.
Chapter 8 verse 10.
“Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king”.
(b). He was obviously a priest (verse 9).
• He was active in priestly duties.
• E.g. he offered a sacrifice.
(c). He was also a judge / politician:
ill: Chapter 7 verse 15:
“Samuel continued as judge over Israel all the days of his life.”
It would be impossible for him to judge every case of disagreement:
• He probably had to judge all the difficult cases,
• Which could not easily be dealt with by the local elders.
Verse 16: He did this by establishing three key places that he would go round and visit.
• Samuel had his home in Rammah, but his political base was at Mizpah
• Which is one reason the Philistines attacked there,
• They wanted to establish themselves as the ruling power in the land.