Does Prayer Make Any Difference?

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Pastor Elio Marrocco's "Does Prayer Make Any Difference?" sermon at New Life Christian Church on January 8, 2012. You can read the sermon text here: http://newlifecc.ca/does-prayer-make-any-difference

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Does Prayer Make Any Difference?

  1. 1. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? SALVATION IS BY FAITH IN CHRIST Romans 10:9-10 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
  2. 2. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? BE BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT ACTS 1:4 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
  3. 3. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? BE BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT ACTS 1:8 8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
  4. 4. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?
  5. 5. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? But are we to assume that God is wrong or non-existent because our prayers are not answered?
  6. 6. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? Chesterton wrote, "The real trouble with the world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor even that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite."
  7. 7. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? Ravi Zachariah, ‘For every person who feels that prayer has not "worked" for them and has therefore abandoned God, there is someone else for whom prayer remains a vital part of her life, sustaining her even when her prayers have gone unanswered, because her belief and trust is not only in the power of prayer but in the character and wisdom of God.’
  8. 8. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? John Chrysostom, “Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by the clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings....
  9. 9. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? John Chrysostom, .... The potency of prayer hath subdued the strength of fire, it hath bridled the rage of lions, hushed anarchy to rest; extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt.”
  10. 10. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? IS ANYONE LISTENING? DOES ANYONE CARE?
  11. 11. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE 'I have absolutely no doubt that if you are a praying Christian, your faith in God is what is carrying you, through both the good times and the hard times. However, if you are not a praying person, you are carrying your faith you are trying to make your faith work for you apart from your source of power and trying to carry the infinite is very exhausting.'
  12. 12. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him…
  13. 13. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 … 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began…
  14. 14. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 …6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them…
  15. 15. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 …They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them…
  16. 16. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 …11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me…
  17. 17. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 …None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them…
  18. 18. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 …14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it…
  19. 19. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 …17 Sanctifythem by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, …
  20. 20. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 … 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me….
  21. 21. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 …24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world…
  22. 22. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER John 17:1-26 …. 25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
  23. 23. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER ‘More than anything else prayer is about training one's hungers and longings to correspond with God's will for us and it is what the Christian faith is all about.’
  24. 24. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER Jeremiah 29:12-13 ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…’
  25. 25. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER CALVIN MILLER, ‘…What is essential is the sense of God's presence during dark seasons of questioning.... Our need for specific answers is dissolved in the greater issue of the lordship of Christ over all questions -- those that have answers and those that don't.'
  26. 26. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER Paul Waitman Hoon, 'How often have we craved light on our life in the world, only to be summoned to ponder our destiny in eternity. How often have we been preoccupied with the church local and instead found our vision turned to the church triumphant and universal...
  27. 27. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER Paul Waitman Hoon, ... And how often have we asked that worship bless our souls with peace, only to hear the lesson for the day calling us to a holy warfare. How often have we desired strength to overcome the world, only to learn that we are to be stoned and sawn asunder in the world...
  28. 28. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER Paul Waitman Hoon, ... How often have we sought comfort to our sorrows and instead found the sorrows of the world added to our own. Such reversals may be strange to men. But only such contradiction answers to realities both relevant and irrelevant that are at the heart of the church's worship.'
  29. 29. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER Matthew 6:9-10 ‘ Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be your name, Your Kingdom come Your will be done On earth as it is in Heaven.’
  30. 30. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER "Your Kingdom Come" "Your Will Be Done"
  31. 31. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER ‘It is ultimately a conversational relationship in which God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.’ ‘It is not trying to persuade God to rethink His will but the means through which God reshapes us into a person who desires His will and is content to receive it, regardless of what it entails.’
  32. 32. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER ‘They tell me, Lord, that when I seem To be in speech with you, Since but one voice is heard, it's all a dream, One talker aping two...
  33. 33. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER ... Sometimes it is, yet not as they conceive it. Rather, I seek in myself the things I hoped to say, But lo! my wells are dry...
  34. 34. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER ... Then, seeing me empty, you forsake The listener's role and through My dumb lips breathe and into utterance wake...
  35. 35. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER ... The thoughts I never knew. And thus you neither need reply Nor can; thus,. while we seem Two talkers, thou art One forever, and I No dreamer, but thy dream.’
  36. 36. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER Matthew 26:39 "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I, will, but as you will"
  37. 37. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done" (v 42)
  38. 38. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? THE MYSTERIOUS IMPACT OF PRAYER "...like drops of blood falling to the ground." (Luke 22:44)
  39. 39. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? WHY DO PRAYERS GO UNANSWERED? ‘But if one understands the purpose of prayer — and, more to the point, the purpose of life — the unanswered prayer becomes more endurable in light of the bigger picture.’
  40. 40. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? WHY DO PRAYERS GO UNANSWERED? THROUGH PRAYER GOD IS TEACHING US 1. Humility 2. Spirituality 3. Faith
  41. 41. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? WHY DO PRAYERS GO UNANSWERED? Prayer is the assurance that our Lord superintends over our lives in our needs and our dependencies, in our successes and accomplishments.
  42. 42. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? WHY DO PRAYERS GO UNANSWERED? ‘Faith is that sublime hourly dependence on God — our conviction that even though we may not get what we want or think we need, we know and love the One who denies us in this instance for His good reason and for our ultimate good.’
  43. 43. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? WHY DO PRAYERS GO UNANSWERED? THROUGH PRAYER GOD IS TEACHING US 1. Humility 2. Spirituality 3. Faith 4. Fellowship
  44. 44. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? WHY DO PRAYERS GO UNANSWERED? ‘The inbuilt danger within all of us is that no matter what God does, someone will wish he had done it differently.’
  45. 45. DOES PRAYER MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? WHY DO PRAYERS GO UNANSWERED? THROUGH PRAYER GOD IS TEACHING US 1. Humility 2. Spirituality 3. Faith 4. Fellowship 5. Understanding

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