Prayer is the one thing God has established to make contact with what he has already decreed. Where there is no prayer there is no contact, and where there is no contact you do not get what God has already declared for you to have, known as his will. Do you want your prayers to be more effective? Your job is to distribute what God makes to happen from the invisible spiritual to the visible physical.
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Here are some highlights from this message about prayer from Tony Evans.
Prayer is the mechanism God has decreed that is absolutely necessary for him to release what he intends. Prayer does not make God do what he hadn’t planned to do. Isaiah 65:24 says that “before you call I will answer.” In other words the answer has already been made, it’s just waiting on the call. God has already decreed his will for you. Prayer activates the decree and the will of God, it doesn’t make it happen. It just grabs it because it has already been decreed to happen.
Prayer is the mechanism that grabs something out of the invisible realm so you can see it at work in the visible physical realm. I Kings 18 it states that, “the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year saying go show yourself to Ahab and I will send rain on the face of the earth.” In chapter 17:1 he says, it’s not going to rain, in chapter 18:1 he says it’s getting ready to rain. In Deuteronomy 11:13-17 God says if you go worship idols I’m going to close down heaven so it won’t rain. If you choose other gods, I’m going to no longer bless your crops, your planting, your fruit bearing and the sky is going to dry up. But he says if you turn away from other gods then I will open up heaven and I will let rain again fall on the earth. So the reason Elijah is praying is based on something God had said years earlier to Moses.
At 13:22, Tony continues to explain why many prayers go unanswered:
There are things in Scripture that are applicable to your scenario that you’re seeking a miracle for that you’ll never see rain on because you don’t know how to link what you’re asking for to what God has declared. James 5:16 says “therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effectual prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
As long as there was idolatry there would be no rain. People want God to send rain in their lives called blessings without wanting God to change their lives. They want God to do something for them while they remain idolaters (and remember idolatry is any unauthorized noun, person, place or thing that you look to meet your needs). An idol can be a person, a place, money, possessions, a job, your career, your position.
At 16:30, Tony reveals why it is important for us to pray even for things God already plans to do:
We have people coming to church all the time looking for their blessing who don’t want to be messed with by their God. What God has decreed needs a point of contact before it is delivered. So even though God decreed rain to start and stop, he didn’t let it rain until Elijah made it a prayer matter. So God has decreed certain things for your life, his will, and it’s sitting up there to be delivered at the proper time when the point of contact is made. Your proximity to God will determine what you hear. See if you are not close to God you won’t hear the will of God applied to you. You cannot hear the sound of God’s will and live a lifestyle that makes him sad.
An answer is coming in due season if you keep going, you don’t quit because you see nothing, you hear nothing, you know nothing. Sometimes God doesn’t give it to you all at once. Sometimes he brings a little something that’s a little cue to let you know, keep on going, keep on praying, keep on trusting.
At 20:42, Tony concludes this message with the following statements:
If you’re here today looking for a miracle that will open up heaven, shut heaven, that is, bring the supernatural in the history, based on the will of God, tied to his word, you must have an effectual fervent righteous prayer.
God can take you and give you strength for whatever he’s going to bring you through.
If you need a miracle today in your life, your emotions, your home or your job commit to righteousness. If you commit to prayer what happened to Elijah, James says is available to you.