H.B. Charles Jr., senior pastor of Jacksonville’s Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, visited The Master’s University last semester and delivered a chapel message titled, “The God Who Answers Prayer.”
Charles preached on why believers in Christ should be content in leaning on the Lord through times of struggle, giving students an appreciation for the privilege of prayer by looking at Ephesians.
“God changes things, not prayer,” Charles said. “Prayer works not merely because of the words we say, or the promises we claim, or the faith we express. Prayer works because God hears and answers prayer.”
Charles’ main point was that there is nothing God can’t do for His children — He is the God “who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or understand” (Ephesians 3:20, LSB).
Charles said this verse doesn’t only declare that God can do much, but that He can do everything. In his words, “All means all.”
“This statement is bad news and good news,” he said. “It is good news for the believer, but bad news for the unbeliever, and the good news and the bad news is the same news. ‘God is able to do far more abundantly than all that you can ask for.’ This is why it is so grievously evil for the sinful, unbelieving heart to say, ‘Jesus, stay out of my life.’ He can do what you ask or think, now and for all eternity.”
But Charles reminded his audience that this good news doesn’t always mean easy circumstances, citing 1 Corinthians 12:9: “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (LSB).
As Charles explained, the privilege of prayer was not given so that believers would ask for power, but so that God would display His power Himself.
“How do we glorify the God who answers prayer?” asks Charles. “Paul says that when you get an answer to prayer, there is not a list of people to thank — there’s only one person to thank. Paul says that the glory belongs to Him. Not to them. The glory belongs to God alone.”
Past messages and future livestreams are available through TMU’s YouTube channel.
Camden Specht graduated this May from TMU’s Creative Writing & Publishing program.
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