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*Prayer Can Change Your Life  -  Part 4 of 4*
*Luke 1:5-23*
* *
*Introduction:  *In /Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism/, a textbook prepared by Soviet scholars in Moscow and being used by members of the Communist Party, U.S.A., this statement appears:* *“*/Materialists do not expect aid from supernatural forces/*.
Their faith is in man, in his ability to transform the world by his own efforts and make it worthy of himself.”
* *
This story is told by the captain of a ship on which George Muller of Bristol was traveling.
During his life he received more than 1,000,000 pounds from the Lord, without advertising—every penny came as an answer to prayer.
“We had George Muller of Bristol on board,” said the captain.
“I had been on the bridge for twenty-four hours and never left it and George Muller came to me and said, “Captain, I have come to tell you I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.”
“It is impossible,” I said.
“Then very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way.
I have never broken an engagement in fifty-seven years; let us go down into the chart room and pray.”
/“I looked at that man of God and thought to myself, “What lunatic asylum can that man have come from, for I never heard of such a thing as this?” “Mr.
Muller,” I said, “do you know how dense this fog is?”/
/ ““No,” he replied, “my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God who controls every circumstance of my life./”
He knelt down and he prayed one of the most simple prayers.
*/When he had finished I was going to pray, but he put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to pray.
“As you do not believe He will answer, and as I believe He has, there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.”/*
“I looked at him and George Muller said,*/ “Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years and there has never been a single day when I have failed to get an audience with the King.
Get up, Captain, and open the door and you will find the fog has gone.”/*
“I got up and the fog indeed was gone, and on that Saturday afternoon George Muller kept his promised engagement.”
* *
1.
You must be willing to let God answer in His own time.
1.
That means according to God’s schedule, His time-table; whenever He thinks best.
2.       Zacharias -
1.       Well advanced in years (18)
2.       Probably had given up on praying
3.       The ultimate skeptic
3.       Why does God wait?
1.       Sometimes to prepare us
2.       Sometimes to prepare others
3.       Sometimes to prepare events in time
4.       /Roger’s testimony about John his brother/
*2.       *We must be willing to let God answer in His own way.
1.
Not only whenever but however God wants to answer
1.       Isa 55 /“My ways are not your ways” My ways are higher God says/
2.       Leonard Ravenhill said, “God always gives His best to hose who leave the choice to Him”
*3.       *A native of the Congo prayed thus: “Dear Lord, You be the needle and I be the thread.
You go first, and I will follow wherever You may lead.”
*4.       *The minister of the church discovered at the last minute that he hadn't invited a devoted elderly member to attend his garden party.
He called her and asked her to come on over.
"It's no use," she informed him.
"I've already prayed for rain."
*5.       *If God would have answered there prayer in their time there would be no John the Baptist - no forerunner or at least they would have missed out on the blessing.
3.
You must be willing to let God answer in His own power, in His own ability.
1.       God often waits until the situation seems hopeless or humanly impossible before He answers
2.       God gets all the glory when He answers His way
*3.
*A friend's daughter works in a large bookstore and is often amused by the combinations of books customers choose.
She found it particularly funny when a woman approached the checkout counter with two bestsellers.
The first was titled Conversations With God.
The second?
How to Argue and Win Every Time.On Friday morning, March 28, 1988, Debbie Danowski and her family were told that her ten‑month‑old son, Eric, would probably die within 48 hours.
Dr. Thomas Starzl of Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh had been treating Eric, who recently received his second liver transplant.
Although the surgery was a success, severe pneumonia soon developed and was coating the baby's lungs with a gluelike mucous.
Ninety percent of transplant patients who contract this virus do not survive.
Eric was slowly smothering to death.
Knowing that her son was receiving the best treatment medicine had to offer, Debbie decided to lean her whole weight on God.
She visited the local newspaper, pleading for assistance.
The editors responded and the story in that evening's edition began, "Debbie Danowski is asking for your prayers to help her baby live."
It ended with a reminder that Debbie was hoping readers would do what medicine apparently could not: bring a healing through prayer.
After Debbie rose the next morning, the first thing she did was to pray for strength to face whatever the day might bring.
When she arrived at the hospital, Debbie was greeted with the most extraordinary news: X‑rays showed little Eric's lungs were clearing.
His fever had disappeared, and his vital signs had greatly improved.
By late afternoon his physician declared, "As of now, I would say that Eric has beaten the virus."
While some might consider that event a mere coincidence, Debbie Danowski is convinced that Eric's dramatic recovery was due to his having been "bombarded with prayers" the night his story appeared in the paper.
Even the reporter who covered the story was impressed by the results.
"I know that this child was dying, that doctors were doing a deathwatch, when people all over this town started praying," says reporter Jack Grazier.
"Should I ever be in such a life‑threatening situation, I hope a body of people put their prayers together for me."
4.       Be willing to let God answer for His own purpose.
1.       Elizabeth saw it as an answer and blessing to her
1.
In Alexander Solzhenitsyn's book, a Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Ivan endures all the horrors of a soviet prison camp.
One day he is praying with his eyes closed when a fellow prisoner notices him and says with ridicule, "Prayers won't help you get out of here any faster."
Opening his eyes, Ivan answers, "I do not pray to get out of prison, but to do the will of God."
*2.       *Sometimes prayer changes things; more often it simply changes us.
2.       God saw it as a means to accomplish and fulfill his word
*1.       *Maybe you heard about the wives of two church leaders, both were busy sewing  their husband's slacks.
One said, "You know I think Harvey is going to resign from being a deacon, he says nothing is getting accomplished, and he's not going to do it all, its just not fair so  he's probably going to quit."
The other lady, as she sewed replied, "Really, my husband was just saying the complete opposite.
He really senses the power of the Spirit moving in a mighty way, even if things don't go the way he had hoped, God seems to energize him and help him to be optimistic for the future."
They each continued to sew in silence ‑‑ one, sewing the seat, the other sewing on the knees.
3.       God answers prayer for our growth and for His glory.
*1.       *The three‑year‑old, Erin, stared briefly at her plate, bowed her head, and prayed, "Dear Lord, I don't like this stuff.
Amen."
Conclusion:  A cab driver reaches the Pearly Gates and announces his presence to St. Peter, who looks him up in his Big Book.
Upon reading the entry for the cabby, St. Peter invites him to grab a silk robe and a golden staff and to proceed into Heaven.
A preacher is next in line behind the cabby and has been watching these proceedings with interest.
He announces himself to St. Peter.
Upon scanning the preacher's entry in the Big Book, St. Peter furrows his brow and says,  "Okay, we'll let you in, but take that cloth robe and wooden staff."
The preacher is astonished and replies, "But I am a man of the cloth.
You gave that cab driver a gold staff and a silk robe.
Surely I rate higher than a cabby."
St. Peter responded matter‑of‑factly: "Here we are interested in results.
When you preached, people slept.
When the cabby drove his taxi, people prayed."
\\ We're in a series of messages on "Prayer Can Change Your Life".
The first week we talked about the four purposes of prayer.
The second week we talked about the five conditions of prayer.
Last week we talked about the six steps in dealing with prayer for a difficult situation or problem.
Today I want to talk to you about how God answers prayer or "How to Receive An Answer From God."
There are four attitudes I believe we need in order to have answers to our prayers.
I heard a story one time about a young girl who wrote a letter to a missionary.
It was a prayer letter and she was trying to lend her support to the missionary.
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