Texts: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
A. Quote "Prayer changes things"
1. Donald Barnhouse, "Prayer changes nothing"
2. Charles Swindol, "Prayer changes me"
3. Martin Childs, "Prayer positions me For Agreement With God's Will"
B. How I view prayer reveals how I view God
1. "Prayer changes things - God is a cosmic vending machine. God is a holy bellhop. God is a spiritual genie in the lamp.
2. Prayer positions me for agreement with God's will - God is in control of my life; already has a will and plan for my life, and is waiting for me to come to him in agreement regarding his will and plan for my life so that i may receive it.
C. "Wait a minute" I have always believed "Prayer changes things"
D. We must adjust what we believer regarding prayer
AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE
A. 14 years earlier Paul was taken to the 3rd heaven (paradise)
B. Paul could have boasted regarding this experience
1. Effect on his ministry
2. Effect on the kingdom of God
C. What would discourage Paul from telling everyone?
1. Paul was given a thorn in the flesh
2. From whom did Paul receive the thorn?
3. For what reason did Paul receive the thorn
PAUL PRAYED. THINGS DID NOT CHANGE
A. Paul prayed for the 1st time - Things did NOT change
B. "My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is perfected in weakness"
C. Paul prayed for the 2nd time - Things did not change
D. "My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is perfected in weakness"
E. Paul prayed the 3rd time - Things did not change
F. "My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is perfected in weakness"
G. Why did things not change?
1. God gave Paul the thorn in his flesh
2. So Paul would boast in his weakness and not his strength
3. So Paul would understand that God may not change things, but will strengthen us in those things
4. As Paul was strengthened to endure those things, God was preparing him to take pleasure in future things he would endure.
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK: THAT I WILL PRAY TO BE POSITIONED IN AGREEMENT WITH GOD'S WILL