Summary: The changing power of prayer in the life of the Christian.
Today is the final sermon in our series of messages entitled, "If My people pray..." Today is also the end of the prayer challenge, so today we will be focusing on the changing power of prayer.
The first thing that prayer changes are circumstances. It is vital that we tell God all of our needs. Physical needs, financial needs, relational needs are just a few of the things that we need to be bringing before God. When you pray about your needs, know that God hears your prayers. We should faithfully expect His answers.
The night before Peter was to be put on trial, he was asleep and bound by two chains. A soldier was guarding him on each side, and two other soldiers were guarding the entrane to the jail. Suddenly an agnel of the Lord appeared, and light flashed around in the cell. the angel poked Peter in the side and woke him up. Then he said, "Quick! Get up!"
The chains fell off his hands, and the angel said, "Get dressed and put on your sandals." Peter did what he was told. Then the angel said, "Now put on your coat and follow me." Peter left with the angel, but he though everything was only a dream. They went past the two groups of soldiers, and when they came to the iron gate to the city, it opened by itself. They went out and were going along the street, when all at once the angel disappeared.
Peter now realized what had happened, and he said, "I am certain that the Lord sent his angel to rescue me from Herod and from everything the Jewish leaders planned to do to me." Then Peter went to the house of Mary the mother of John whose other name was Mark. Many of the Lord’s followers had come together there and were praying.
Acts 12:6-12 (CEV)
Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Genesis 25:21 (NASB)
Not only does prayer have the power to change our circumstances, but it also has the power to change our perspective. When we pray we begin to see life through "heavenly eyes." Our focus changes from ourselves to God. We begin to look for God’s movement all around us.
Elisha’s servant got up early, and when he went out, he saw an army with horses and chariots all around the city. The servant said to Elisha, "Oh, my master, what can we do?"
Elisha said, "Don’t be afriad. The army that fights for us is larger than the one against us. Then Elisha prayed, "Lord open my servant’s eyes, and let him see." The Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2 Kings 6:15-17 (NCV)
Finally prayer changes us. We learn to rely on God. We learn to trust in His promises. Our desire is to become more Christ-like. Our character is transformed and we become more and more like Christ.
So that I would not become to proud of the wonderful things that were shown to me, a painful physical problem was given to me. This problem was a messenger from Satan, sent to beat me and keep me from being too proud.
I begged the Lord three times to take this problem away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you." So am I very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me.
For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NCV)