PRAYER THAT WORKS--PART I
SERMON TITLE: HOW TO PRAY LIKE A RIGHTEOUS MAN
SERMON THEME: YOU HAVE TO ASK!
INTRODUCTION: DO YOU EVER FEEL LIKE FOLLOWING JESUS IS NOT WORKING?
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
· IF THERE IS SOMETHING YOU WANT FROM GOD YOU SHOULD PRAY OR HAVE OTHERS PRAY FOR YOU.
· WE FEAR PRAYER, BECAUSE WE DO NOT KNOW HOW TO PRAY OR WHAT TO SAY.
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
ELIJAH SERVES AS A GOOD MODEL ON HOW TO PRAY
· GOD CHALLENGES KING AHAB AND THE NATION OF ISRAEL FOR FALLING INTO A KIND OF HYBRID PAGANISM.
I KINGS 18:21
21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
· ELIJAH CHALLENGES THE PROPHETS OF BAAL, AND HE PRAYS TO GOD
I KINGS 18:41-44
41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. “There is nothing there,” he said. Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” 44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” So, Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”
WHAT MAKES ELIJAH'S PRAYER A GREAT EXAMPLE
I) ELIJAH WORKED AT HIS PRAYERS
I KINGS 18:43
43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. “There is nothing there,” he said. Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
· WHEN YOU WORK AT YOUR PRAYERS IT SHOWS GOD THAT THE ANSWER MATTERS TO YOU.
II) ELIJAH WAS SPECIFIC IN HIS PRAYERS
I KINGS 18:41-42
41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
· WHEN YOU ARE SPECIFIC IN YOUR PRAYERS YOU WILL KNOW WHEN GOD ANSWERS YOUR PRAYERS.
III) ELIJAH PRAYED FOR WHAT GOD WANTED.
I KINGS 18:1
After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.”
· WHEN YOU PRAY YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHY GOD SHOULD WANT TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS.
IV) ELIJAH INVOLVED OTHERS IN HIS PRAYERS.
Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
· YOUR FAITH IS NOT A SOLO ACT. YOU HAVE TO INVOLVE OTHERS.
V) ELIJAH PRAYED EXPECTING AN ANSWER.
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
· WHEN YOU PRAY, PRAY, BELIEVE, AND EXPECT GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS.
VI) ELIJAH PRAYED TO BE A WITNESS.
I KINGS 18:42
42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
· THE PURPOSE OF THE DROUGHT AND CONRONTATION WAS TO CHANGE THE HEART OF AHAB AND THE PEOPLE.
II PETER 3:9
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
CONCLUSION: IT IS THE FERVENCY AND THE CONSTANT FAITHFULNESS IN YOUR PRAYERS THAT WINS THE DAY AND UNLEASHES THE POWER OF GOD.