Summary: We believe that prayer changes things because we know that God hears us.
Yahweh: The God Who Hears
Text: Gen. 29:31-30:24
1. Read Gen. 29:31-35
2. "Prayer Changes Things"
Skies seemed dark to me one morning,
And my thoughts were tinged with gloom;
But my eye fell on a motto
That was hanging in the room.
Silvery letters on blue background,
Heavenly thought on shining wings,
Brought me hope in one brief message.
It was this, "Prayer Changes Things."
Things surround like iron mountains,
Things that make a thorny way,
Things that curtain clouds with doubting,
Things that make it hard to pray.
Dreadful things that never happen
Dog our steps, but faith still sings
In our ears this golden message,
Don’t forget: "Prayer Changes Things."
We have seen some things prayer changes;
Greater things we yet may see.
When the Hebrews came from Egypt,
Prayer made pathways through the sea.
In the hot and dusty desert
Moses prayed, and cooling springs
Gushed out from their rocky prisons,
Just because "Prayer Changes Things."
We should be so very careful
Lest some things should change our prayers.
Pleasing things, like lotus perfumes,
Steal in on us unawares,
’Til we loiter in a dreamland—
Slaves, but thinking we are kings.
There’s a golden key to freedom;
It is this, "Prayer Changes Things."
3. One of the great truths of the Christian life is that "prayer changes things." The reason that prayer changes things is that God listens.
4. 1 Jn. 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Propostion: We believe that prayer changes things because we know that God hears us.
I. God Hears Us When We Call (29:31-35)
A. He Hears
1. This is a story of two sister who were married to the same man. One was loved and the other was not.
2. It is also a story where the meaning of names plays a huge role.
3. In this story, the sister that was not loved by her husband was Leah.
a. She was the sister that was substituted on the wedding night.
b. She had a husband, but not his affection.
4. Verse 31 says "And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren."
a. God looked upon her affliction and responded to her need.
b. It was not her father earthly father who saw she was unloved, but her Heavenly Father (Hamilton, Genesis 18-50, 265).
c. God saw that she was unloved by her husband, and He responded by "opening her womb."
5. She conceived and gave birth to a son and named him Reuben.
a. Now this is where the name significance comes in.
b. The name Reuben means "Yahweh has seen my distress" (Hamilton, 266).
c. This naming showed her hope but also her consolation and faith. Jacob never saw her affliction, but God did —Bible Knowledge Commentary
6. Then she has a second son and names him Simeon.
a. The name Simeon means "Yahweh hears."
b. Simeon was so named because the LORD heard (šāma‘) that Leah was not loved.
c. “God heard” was her testimony in faith to His provision —Bible Knowledge Commentary
7. She then continues to conceive, and has a third son and then a fourth son whom she named Judah.
a. It is with this fourth son that we learn a very important aspect to prayer: thanksgiving.
b. The name Judah means “let Him be praised.”
c. With every succeeding son she recognizes that it was God that provided these sons with the hope that now Jacob would love her.
B. God Hears Our Prayers
1. Illustration: There was a pastor who had a parrot. All the parrot would say was, “Let’s pray, let’s pray.” The pastor tried to teach him to say other things but to no avail. He learned that one of his deacons had a parrot. Thet parrot would only say, “Let’s kiss. Let’s kiss.” So the pastor decided to invite the deacon and his parrot over to his house. When the deacon arrived they put the parrots into the same cage to see what would happen. The deacon’s parrot said, “Let’s kiss, let’s kiss.” The pastor’s parrot said, “Thank you, Lord. My prayers have been answered.” There’s great power in prayer.
2. There is great power in prayer because God always hears us when we call on HIm
3. There is great power in prayer because:
a. His line is never busy
b. His service is never disrupted
c. His modem always works
d. His server is never down
4. You’ve heard of email, well we have knee mail.
a. Email only takes milliseconds, but knee mail doesn’t take that long.
b. The moment that you pray, God hears.
c. It doesn’t matter where you are, and it doesn’t require any computer knowledge