Samuel Rodriguez - You Are One Prayer Away
The Bible is not a book of pristine, perfect people from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible's not a book of perfect people, pristine people, people that always got it right. The Bible is a book of people who prayed. And via the conduit of their prayers, they literally changed, not just their outcome and their reality, they changed the trajectory of their children and their children's children. What if I tell you that we are one prayer away from changing your now and securing your next? Let me repeat that for the hearing impaired. One prayer can change everything.
I don't wanna make any assumptions so I am gonna inquire, how many here can remember a moment, a day that you were in your lowest, most difficult, precarious moment you actually prayed, God showed up and turned everything around. I'm not gonna sue, if that happened at least once in your life, raise one hand. If you have a couple of moments where you say, "I am one", not that you think, hope, but that you know that you'll die on the proverbial hill, that you know that because you prayed, God showed up. And it was more than just one moment, raise both hands. Lemme ask this, if God has answered your prayers, specifically, on more than two occasions, raise both hands and a foot.
If God has been faithful in answering your prayers on multiple occasions... how many are 173% certain that God will answer your prayers regarding your family and the people you love? Can anyone here come in agreement with me that 2022 will not be the year that we got out of COVID? How many come in agreement that 2022, when you look back, will be the year of answered prayers? If you believe that, praise like you believe God will answer your prayer. How 'bout this? Praise, not like you hope or you think, or you feel. Can anybody here give God the kind of praise, like, "I know you are the God that will answer all of my prayers". God has the power to answer the prayers regarding your family, regarding your children, regarding your health, regarding your relationships, he has the power to answer your prayers.
There was a man whose name was pain. Literally, that was his name, pain. P-A-I-N. The word 'Jabez' means 'the pain'. This guy was pain. His mom called him pain, 1 Chronicles 4:9. His mom named him pain, because in childbirth he caused that much amount of pain, so she said, "I have a name for you, you're a pain, you are the pain". For the rest of his life, imagine him in elementary school, "Pain, where are you"? He was the pain, but somehow, in his mind, he made one determination, "I could either die the pain or I can pivot". And what did he do? He pivoted. He said, "I'm shifting this. I will not die, I will not live the rest of my life with a trauma. I'm gonna go from trauma to testimony".
You have a choice right now, you can either live in perpetuity in your trauma, in your pain, in your failure, in your brokenness, or you can make one prayer that would change everything. So, here it is, 1 Chronicles 4:10. Let me make it legal so you know I'm not making this thing up. "He was the one", what made him famous? What made him famous was not his mama calling him "The pain", what made him famous was "He was the," what? "He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel".
So let me begin by declaring the following upon you, you, you, you. Pain prayed, you are not your pain, you are your prayer. What does that mean? It means this, you will not be known for your trauma, you will be known for your testimony. You will not be known for your drama, you will be known for your destiny. You will not be known for your anxiety, you will be known for your anointing. You will not be known for your wounds, you will be known for your worship. You will not be known for your brokenness, you will be known for your breakthrough. You will not be known for your mistake, you will be known for your miracle. You will not be known for your failure, you will be known for his forgiveness. You will not be known for falling down and complaining, you will be known for getting up and occupying all of God's promises.
Philippians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God". When you are defined by your prayer rather than your pain, everything changes. Look at your neighbor and tell 'em, "Neighbor, my pain does not define me. My prayer life defines me". Now this is critical, this is quick, this is a quick Father's Day message, wham bam, thank you Sam, no pun intended. Number two: "When you pray, you step into the presence of God. When you pray, you step into the presence of God".
Every time you pray you literally activate the presence of God. You cannot, by the way, it's easy to pray when you're in victory. It's easy to pray, and praise, and come to church, and have, you know, when things are awesome. It's easy to pray and get excited when you're blessed and you get a pay raise. It's easier to pray and praise when everything is pristine in your life but, "Blessed are those who in the midst of their pain, cried out to the name of the Lord God Almighty".
There is one thing to pray when you are happy, but I don't know, has anyone in here ugly prayed? If you've ugly prayed, raise your hand. Does anyone know what ugly pray means? Ugly pray is not the kind of pray you do in church like, we're praying, oh Lord, and, the ugly pray is, this is, oh. Snot's coming down, hair messed up, tears, I don't know how many here know, God will never ignore someone who is broken or contrite that will, the Psalmist shouted in Psalm 51, David said, "I know there's something about you you will never ignore. There is something you will never ignore, a contrite spirit, a repented heart, a person who is broken in humility before you, you promised you will never ignore them".
So, I don't care how broken you may be, I don't know what hell you're going through, I promise you, if you open up your mouth and call upon the name of the Lord, heaven will respond in your favor. When you pray, you step into the presence of God, activating the purpose of God, enabling you to occupy the promises of God. As a church we wanna, as fathers, lemme hit the fathers. Oh, help us, Lord. Help us, Lord. Listen, you show me a praying father, show me a father who prays. It's once a year, we're gonna double down on this. Oh, help us. The most influential person in your life cannot be, must not, with all do deference to schoolteachers, your Christian father must be more influential than your schoolteacher. Your dad must be much more influential than a sports figure.
If you're listening, if you listen more to a cultural influencer and an NBA, NFL, MLB, if you listen to someone who has a lot of followers on Instagram rather than your father, something is out of alignment, that's why we need men who pray. We were talking about it in the back room with our pastors that we need men to rise up. Lauren, pastor Lauren, was referencing it. I'm tired of indoctrination, and ideologies, and teachings. The world is trying to replace fathers with everything else. The most, they're trying to teach and dominate, and just in, if you know, we need dads, we need righteous dads to rise up in the name of Jesus, we need fathers to tell our children what is right and what is wrong.
We need fathers to rise up and say, "I don't care what they say over here, I don't care what movie may do this, I don't care what person may say this. The Word of God is the Word of God, and the heavens and the earth will pass away, but God's word will never pass away". We need father that will pray over their children, pray with your... Show me a praying dad and I will show you a family that the gates of hell will never be able to destroy! Lemme say that one more time. Show me a dad who prays, show me a dad who lifts up his hand. Hey dad, I know we love ESPN, but put the remote down for a second, get your family together and tell 'em, "Let me show you what a powerful man looks like".
A powerful man is not the one with a gun or the one with a billion dollars in the bank. A powerful man is the man who can do this. Show me a person who does this! We need a revival of righteous men to rise up in America, take back our families! As a church, we don't wanna be known for our stage, our lights, our music, our screens. We don't wanna be known primarily for our first impressions, our connect lounge, our growth tracks, our social media, even our community or outreach, our amazing diversity, and multigenerational reality. As a church, we must be known first and foremost as a community that prays. When we pray something happens. Somebody, repeat after me, "Prayer changes everything". No, actually, say, "Prayer changes everything". No joke.
When we pray, heaven shows up. When we pray, heaven, I mean, it shows up in such a way, when heaven shows up, all of hell has to run out. I've experienced supernatural encounters in prayers, the moment I've opened up my mouth, I have seen God show up in my life. I wouldn't be here right now if not being the byproduct of prayer. I had a grandfather who prayed for me every time he saw me. He would just start praying over me the moment he saw me. It was weird, it was awkward, but he did it. And he would pray in the most ridiculous of moments, family gatherings, parties, Easters, you name it, weddings. He would see me, he would pray over me, and here I am today, because I had a man who prayed over my life, I had someone who prayed over me, I had a, my dad may not be perfect but my dad prayed.
I saw my dad pray on his knee, I saw that. I'm telling you, it works, prayer works. You need to believe with me in the name of Jesus, that we're about to experience a prayer revival and renewal. 1 John chapter 5 says this, "This is the confidence that we have towards him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he will hear us, he will hear us". Prayers are dangerous, one conversation with God can change absolutely everything. One prayer can change your life, and the life of your children, and your children's children. Let me repeat this, I've stated this previously, prayer is the WI-FI that connects you to heaven. Prayer is the Zoom call with the presence of God. Prayer is spiritual Facetime with our Heavenly Father. Prayer is voice-activated, supernatural technology that activates what? Eternity's algorithm.
You will only go as far as your prayer life. Don't tell me you haven't experienced your breakthrough and then you tell me you haven't been praying. There are things that will not happen unless we pray. There are things that will not happen until we pray. Jeremiah 33:3 says this, "Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. And I will show you great and mysterious things which you have never seen before". Raise your right hand, I am believing you're about to see in your family what you've never seen before. Can you come in agreement that you're about to see in your calling what you've never seen before? In your relationship, in your community, in your generation, in your faith, in your finances, in your health, what you have never seen before. The Bible says, "Pray in the spirit." Ephesians 6:18.
The Bible says, "Pray without ceasing", which means, pray until, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, pray until hell lets go of your entire family. I'm gonna repeat that, pray until hell lets go of your entire family. Pray until the doctor confirms the miracle. I'm gonna repeat that, the doctor's about to confirm the miracle. The doctor's about to confirm your miracle. Is anyone here ready to see the doctor confirm the miracle? "Pray until"! Outside sources are about to confirm that God has done a job in your life, "Pray until". Pray until your haters see you blessed. Pray until you look, love, and live like Jesus, Mark 11:24, pray believing, "Therefore, I tell you whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, it will be yours". Pray in that powerful name. John 14:13: "Pray like a child of God".
"Our Father," Matthew 6:9. Stop praying like an orphan, pray like a child of God. There are no orphans in this church today. No, let me repeat that. You're not an orphan, you're not a stranger, and you're not a customer. When you step into the presence of God, you're not stepping in there as an orphan, as a customer, or a stranger, you're stepping in there as God's child. Are there any children of God in the place here today? Raise your hand, repeat after me, "I am a child of God. I pray to my Heavenly Father. I have received the spirit of adoption enabling me to shout 'Our Father'". You're not an orphan, you are not an orphan. Pray before your Father, pray before your Father.
And it's not just prayer, point number three, "When you pray to God", if you go back to the verse, 1 Chronicles 4:10, Jabez did not just say this, "God". It says, "And he was the one who prayed to the God," of what? Oh boy, Jabez did not pray to a random God, he did not pray to a politically correct God, to a generic God, he did not throw spaghetti on the prayer wall. With great lasered focus intentionality, Jabez prayed to the God of Israel. Oh, y'all need to hear this. We need a church that is not ashamed to pray to the God of Israel.
When Uvalde took place in Texas, the tragedy of the kids that were shot, and this happened already in 2020 but now there's a campaign. I don't know how many of you know, in social media, there's actually a campaign that comes against people who pray when there's a tragedy. So, if you go on social media, it's big, there's actually a curse word attached to it, the f-word, and it's not faith. And it says, "Stop f praying". Because the campaign is directed by people who hate the fact that when all health breaks loose, a lot of people say, "Let's pray for," so they are anti-prayer.
And we're talking about people from different sectors including Hollywood. I'm involved in Hollywood, so not all of them. But people from Hollywood, from different political areas and spheres, very different cultural silos, they're just saying, "Stop this prayer stuff, stop this blank prayer". And they are against prayer. Why would people be against prayer? Why would the enemy wanna shut down prayer? And I don't mean people are enemies, the spirit behind what they're doing is definitely diabolical, so we call it by name, it's diabolical.
So, why would the devil be upset if we pray, because the moment we pray, the moment we pray, and by the way, this church is dangerous, I'm gonna double down on this, not only do we pray when white people, and black, and brown, and Asians, and native Americans, when we pray together every devil has to come out of that region. I don't know if you got that, I'm gonna do that one more time. When all the ethnicities and all the races pray together every demon has to run out, every devil has to flee! When every generation, I said, when every generation calls upon the name of the Lord, when boomers, and millennials, when generation X, when Z, and Alpha pray together, the glory of the risen Christ shows up!
He prayed to the God of Israel because the God of Israel had a reputation. The God of Israel was universally known around the world as the provider, the Way-Maker and the promise-keeper. One more time, this is what Jabez did, Jabez got... God of Israel. Why? The God of Israel was known as three things. The God of Israel was the provider, the Way-Maker and the promise-keeper. The God you're praying to is the provider. God provides. Somebody say, "God provides". Look at your neighbor and tell them, "God provides". You're not just praying to any God, you're praying to the God who provided for Abraham, a ram, for Isaac, a wife, for Jacob, a ladder, and Joseph, a dream.
He prayed to the God who provides, he prayed to Jehovah Jireh. He prayed to the God that according to Philippians 4:19, "Provides all of our needs according to his riches," which are in what? I'm here to tell you on Father's Day to get ready because if you dare to pray like Jabez, God the provider will show up in your life this season like never before. Somebody say, "God will provide". How many need God to provide? How many are, like, are in a need right now? I don't mean just financial, physical, emotional, relational. If you need God to provide, raise both hands. Repeat after me, "God will provide. God will provide". "Pastor Sam, what about the gas prices"? I'mma do that one more time, we're in California.
"Pastor Sam, what about the gas prices"? What about inflation? But there's a recession coming. I don't care, I know it's gonna sound weird to some of y'all, we are not driven by the economy of the United States of America. All of y'all didn't hear that. Are you denying it? Guys, I know it sounds crazy, you and I are not the byproduct of what happens in Washington D. C., we are connected to the economy of the kingdom of heaven! Are there any benefactors in the house?
Some people are waiting for another stimulus check from Washington, I'm not waiting for a check from Washington. My God provides all of my needs according to his riches which are in glory! If God has provided for you, raise one hand. If he's provided for you on multiple occasions, no joke, you know it was God, raise both hands. If he always shows up, even at the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs, but God always provides, raise both hands and a foot. What if I tell you that I'm a hundred and fifty percent certain that he will always provide for you. No, no, no, no.
What if I tell you I'm willing to die on that hill? Would you say, "Are you crazy"? I go, "No, I'm a hundred and ninety-nine percent certain that he will never, ever, ever forsake you, that he will always", how do I know? Psalm 37:25, this is what the Psalmist said. He said, "I was young but now I'm old, but this one thing", he said, "This one thing I know for certain, I have never seen the righteous forsaken. I have never seen God's children forsaken". I'm here to tell you if you're a child of God God never, ever forgets about you! I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor their children, or their children's children, or their children's children's children having to beg for bread.
If you believe the Lord is your shepherd, how many know the Lord is your shepherd? "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not... I shall not..." lift up your hands, God's gonna provide for you, for your children, for your children's children, and your children's children's children's children. If you believe the God of Israel is still providing, give him the best kind of praise that lets him know that you believe... How many here can praise like this will be a season of provision? How many can worship God like Jehovah Jireh is about to show up in your life? He will provide! Not only is he the provider, he is the Way-Maker. Somebody say, "He's the Way-Maker".
God makes a way where there is no way. So when Jabez prayed, he prayed to the God of Israel who provides, and he prayed to the Way-Maker 'cause God made a way where there was no way. He made a way where there was no way. He made a way through the Red Sea, he made a way out of the desert into the Promised Land. The same God that opened up the Red Sea is the same God that brought down the walls of Jericho. God is always making a way. Where there is no way, he makes a way. I say, "He is the Way-Maker". So, "Can I get my family out of this precarious circumstance"?
You are praying to the Way-Maker, he is the God that will literally open up something that should never have been opened up, but God says, "I have the power to open it up so I'm gonna make a way". Some of you are waiting for God to open a door over there and God says, "You don't limit me. You're looking for that door to open, I'll make a door out of this wall". You're not getting that right now. I'm preaching to somebody right now. Can you believe with me that God's about to make a way right now for your life, for your marriage, for your home, for your finances, for your dream? Can somebody come in agreement that this week will be a week where God will make a way where there is no way? If you need that, raise your hand?