Do we “make too much of Paul?”

Do we “make too much of Paul?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

Once, while talking to a discouraged Christian minister, I told him about Paul’s apostleship and how the Pauline epistles contained good words of encouragement for him to read and cheer up. His reply was, “Yeah, but there is more to the Bible than just Paul!” I responded, “Absolutely, but the Pauline epistles are God’s Word to you as a Gentile living in the Dispensation of the Grace of God.” The dear man had such a daze on his look; he had never heard this plain and yet profound truth of the Bible! If you want to know what God has to say to you, you must read the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon. Everything else in the Bible is God’s Word to Israel, and you are not Israel!

You are forced to separate Paul from the rest of the Bible. Even though your church and pastor may not do this, you have a choice—obey God, or obey mankind. But what makes Paul so unique? In the Four Gospels, we have the Lord Jesus Christ giving His twelve apostles the clear commandment (Matthew 10:5,6): “[5] Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. [6] But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” And Jesus continued in verse 40, “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”

The Lord Jesus Christ sent Peter and the eleven to minister to the nation Israel (unfortunately, most church members have never been taught that simple fact). Jesus told them that if no one wanted to receive them, that person was simply rejecting Him (Jesus Christ), and thereby rejecting God the Father who sent Him. The question is: “Whom did Jesus Christ send to us?” It was certainly not Peter and the eleven because they had a ministry amongst the Jews, the nation Israel. Galatians 2:9 says that Peter, James, and John are Israel’s apostles (cf. Matthew 19:27,28).

Go with me to Romans 11:13, where the Apostle Paul writes: “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.” Who is God’s apostle of the Gentiles? PAUL! The ascended Lord Jesus Christ, post-resurrection, selected Paul to be the apostle of the Gentiles.

In Acts 9:15, the Lord Jesus told Ananias: “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he [Saul of Tarsus, Paul the Apostle] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

Paul wrote in Romans 15:16: “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” And Galatians 1:16: “To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:” Finally, 2 Timothy 1:11: “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”

The Apostle Paul is our apostle; he is the one God sent to us. Paul is God’s spokesman to us today. Accordingly, if we ignore Paul—like most professing Christians do today—we are actually ignoring God and His Word to us Gentiles in this dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace!

Now, look at 2 Peter 3:15-16, one of the last statements the Apostle Peter wrote: “[15] And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; [16] As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

Did you notice what Peter wrote? He emphasized Paul’s epistles! Here is Peter, one of the chief apostles of Israel, encouraging you to read Paul’s epistles. Will people ever say “Peter made too much of Paul?” No, never. In that case, they have no right to say that you “make too much of Paul,” either. These are simply false accusations concocted by our critics, caught up in legalism and denominationalism, who hope to discredit our position so they can hold to their church tradition.

We are not making Paul to be a god; Paul is not God, but God has sent him to us so we had better listen to the message Paul was given by God. We recognize the Pauline epistles as God’s Word to us. We study all 66 books of the Bible, but the non-Pauline books are for basic learning, and are not written to us or about us. The non-Pauline epistles in the Bible cannot always apply to us. Paul was a man just like us. However, he did not write his own thoughts or opinions. As the Spirit of God moved him, he penned the doctrines of grace written to the Church the Body of Christ. He is the only Bible author addressing non-Israelites who are living outside of God’s purpose and program for Israel (Romans 16:25,26; Ephesians 3:1-9). God’s current dealings with man are only found in Paul’s epistles. We are emphasizing the office of the apostle of the Gentiles, not the man Paul. Just like the Jews depended on Moses to give them God’s revelations, so we depend on the Pauline epistles to receive God’s revelations to us.

In reality, mid-Acts (Pauline) dispensationalists are not “making too much of Paul”—God the Holy Spirit in the Bible makes “too much” of Paul. So much so that nearly half of the New Testament is attributed to Paul! The Apostle Peter wrote two books, the Apostle John wrote five books; Luke wrote two books, and James, Matthew, Mark and Jude each wrote one book. The Apostle Paul wrote 13 Bible books, Romans through Philemon (contrary to what some suppose, I do not believe Paul wrote the book of Hebrews). Paul’s epistles alone contain half (13/27) of the “New Testament” and one-fifth (13/66) of the entire Bible! Are you going to say that “God made too much of Paul in His Word?” I think not, friend.

Finally, we see in 1 Corinthians 3:9-12 that Paul is the “wise masterbuilder” that laid the foundation and that foundation is Jesus Christ crucified, buried, and risen again. This is Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of the Grace of God (see Acts 20:24). Peter, James, and John were not the wise masterbuilders! They had no ministry to us Gentiles and the Church the Body of Christ (cf. Galatians 2:9).

Again, we emphasize Paul, not the man, but the doctrine revealed exclusively to him, the gospel given exclusively to him, and the ministry entrusted exclusively to him. Contrary to the teachings of traditional Bible interpretation, we recognize the unique ministry that the ascended Lord Jesus Christ gave to Paul. The Lord specifically revealed the “revelation of the mystery” exclusively to Paul (Romans 16:25,26; Ephesians 3:2). God’s plan for salvation today is only found in Paul’s epistles. After all, the Bible says, “God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my [PAUL’S] gospel” (Romans 2:16; cf. Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 2:8).

If you do not have your faith resting in a firm understanding of Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of the Grace of God, it is the plain and simple truth that you are on your way to hell. Someone who loves you enough needs to tell you that before it is too late. You need to trust in Christ Jesus alone as your personal Saviour today. Jesus loved you and died for your sins, He was buried, and He was raised again for your justification (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Trust in Jesus Christ alone, and God will save you forever.

Paul is your apostle and my apostle, and we are submitting to God’s design when we spend most of our Bible study in Paul’s epistles. END OF STORY!

For those who think that we Pauline (Mid-Acts) dispensationalists “make too much of Paul,” perhaps they will think differently in light of our closing remarks:

  1. Can you completely explain God’s plan of salvation (the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for sins), without making even a single reference to any of the verses found between the books of Romans through Philemon? (You cannot, for you need Paul’s epistles to explain the Gospel of the Grace of God—the gospel for this dispensation (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)—is only found in Paul’s epistles!)
  2. Without using Romans through Philemon, can you sufficiently explain the Church the Body of Christ and the rapture? How are we to live as believers in Christ in this dispensation? Are we under law or grace? What is the purpose and destiny of the Church the Body of Christ? You cannot answer these questions outside of Paul’s epistles.
  3. Could you tell me about church order (qualities of bishops, deacons, et cetera) without using the books of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus?
  4. Can you explain where is the nation Israel today? Are we spiritual Israel? Will God return to dealing with Israel in the future? You can only answer these questions using Paul’s epistles.

Of course not. Without Paul’s epistles, you could not do any of the above. I guess you “make too much of Paul” too!

Also see:
» When did the Dispensation of Grace begin?
» When did the Church the Body of Christ begin?

» Who is Judas’ replacement—Matthias or Paul?
» Did Peter and Paul preach the same Gospel?

Judas’ replacement—Matthias or Paul?

Who is Judas’ replacement—Matthias or Paul?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Strangely, there is a debate in Christendom regarding who replaced Judas Iscariot as the twelfth apostle. Were the eleven apostles wrong in selecting Matthias, as some claim? Should Paul have replaced Judas instead of Matthias, as others claim? Who should have been Judas Iscariot’s replacement? Why do we not look at the Scriptures, instead of relying on idle speculation? In this Bible study, we want to show from God’s Word who replaced Judas Iscariot.


Let us begin by examining Acts chapter 1, where the eleven apostles are seeking Judas’ replacement: “[15] And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) [16] Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.  [17] For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. [18] Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. [19] And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. [20] For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.”

The Old Testament references Peter is quoting in verse 20 are Psalm 69:25 and Psalm 109:8, which prophesied Judas’ deeds. According to Psalm 109:8, another man must fill Judas’ “bishoprick” (office of apostleship).

Let us continue reading in Acts chapter 1: “[21] Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, [22] Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.”

In the above verses, we read the qualifications needed to be Judas’ successor. Firstly, this “twelfth apostle” must have been a follower of Jesus Christ from the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry. Secondly, this man must have personally been with Jesus Christ after His resurrection until His ascension. Does Paul fit either of these qualifications? No, he does not. Paul was not saved until Acts chapter 9, a full year after Christ’s ascension. During Christ’s earthly ministry, Paul (then Saul of Tarsus) was an unsaved man headed for hell! Paul does not fit the qualifications needed to become Judas’ replacement.

By the way, were the eleven apostles wrong in choosing Matthias? In fact, the question itself is flawed. Notice again in Acts chapter 1: “[23] And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. [24] And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, [25] That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. [26] And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”

Of the 120 brethren there (verse 15), only two men fit the qualifications of verses 21 and 22: Matthias and Joseph (Barsabas) Justus. But, notice verse 24—who actually chose Judas’ replacement? It was not Peter and the eleven apostles. It was the Lord Himself!Lord, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen.” Are we so bold as to say God was wrong to appoint Matthias instead of Paul? We had better not be so foolish. The apostles were not wrong in choosing Matthias, for they did not choose Matthias—God chose him! So, why did they cast lots? Proverbs 16:33 KJV tells us: “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.” The casting of lots was simply to reveal whom the Lord had already chosen. Jesus Christ had already chosen Matthias as Judas’ replacement, and the apostles just drew lots to learn what God already decided.


Here is the second reason why Matthias, not Paul, is the “twelfth apostle.” Asserting that Paul is Judas’ replacement is a blatant denial of Paul’s unique ministry as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13); contrariwise, the twelve were Israel’s apostles (Matthew 10:5-7; Galatians 2:9).

Paul was “one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:8). God saved Saul of Tarsus (Paul) apart from Israel’s program—God saving a Jew apart from Israel’s program had never happened up to that point. “[15] But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, [16] To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen” (Galatians 1:15,16).

Jesus Christ told His twelve apostles to go to Jerusalem first, Judaea next, then Samaria, and finally the rest of the world (Luke 24:47-49; Acts 1:8). Jesus Christ commissioned Paul to go to Jew and Gentile, all at the same time (Acts 9:15,16). Obviously, Paul cannot be the “twelfth apostle.” Paul even wrote that Jesus Christ was “seen of the twelve…  and last of all he was seen of me also” (1 Corinthians 15:5,8). Paul did not consider himself to be one of the twelve apostles.

Jesus sent His twelve apostles to “baptize [all nations] in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19), yet Paul wrote, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:17a). Obviously, Peter and the eleven were not preaching the same message as Paul was. Let us compare that to Galatians 2:7-9: “[7] But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; [8] (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles🙂 [9] And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

Paul and Barnabas agreed to go to the Gentiles (which includes lost Jews); James, Peter, and John agreed to minister to believing Israel. Surely, Paul had a unique ministry and a unique gospel committed to his trust (verses 7 and 8). Paul cannot be confused with the twelve apostles.


Our third reason for rejecting Paul as Judas’ replacement is due to what Jesus said in Matthew 12:31,32: “[31] Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. [32] And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come (cf. Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10).

Israel obviously blasphemed against Jesus (“the Son of man”) by demanding His crucifixion, albeit God forgives them (Luke 23:34) because in Acts chapter 2, God pours out His Holy Spirit on the apostles in order to give Israel a renewed opportunity for repentance. If Israel rejects the apostles’ preaching in early Acts, they will blaspheme against the Holy Spirit (who is working in the apostles). In Acts chapter 7, Israel murders her prophet Stephen (who is filled with the Holy Ghost; verses 51,55).

Now, unbelieving Israel has nowhere to go (they have committed the “unpardonable sin” that Jesus predicted). According to the Old Testament, God’s wrath is nearing (cf. Acts 7:55,56; Psalm 110:1; cf. Psalm 68:1,2). One of those Holy Spirit blasphemers was Paul (Saul of Tarsus) (1 Timothy 1:13): Paul encouraged Stephen’s murder (Acts 7:58–8:3).

As a side note, what is the “world to come” of Matthew 12:32? It certainly is not purgatory, as the Roman Catholic Church claims! According to Hebrews 2:3-5 and Hebrews 6:4,5, the “world to come” is Israel’s coming kingdom (the millennial reign of Christ). The miracles that Christ and His apostles were performing were a preview/foretaste of the healing and deliverance during Israel’s kingdom.

Matthew 12:31,32 says the Apostle Paul cannot be forgiven in Israel’s program (dispensation). In order to save Paul, God postponed His wrath and created a new dispensation, our Dispensation of Grace (2 Peter 3:9,15,16). Jesus said the twelve apostles would rule in Israel’s earthly kingdom: “[27] Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? [28] And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel(Matthew 19:27,28).

Yet, according to Matthew 12:31,32, Paul cannot enter Israel’s kingdom. Matthias, not Paul, will reign over Israel in Judas’ stead in Christ’s millennial kingdom (Matthew 19:27,28). God did not make Paul Judas’ replacement, for Paul served as God’s apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11).


We dare not deem Paul as Judas Iscariot’s replacement for three reasons. Firstly, Paul does not qualify for Judas’ replacement (Acts 1:21,22). Secondly, asserting that Paul is Judas’ replacement is a blatant denial of Paul’s unique ministry as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13), while Judas’ replacement is an apostle of Israel (Matthew 10:5-7; Galatians 2:9). Thirdly, Paul cannot enter Israel’s millennial kingdom (Matthew 19:27,28 says the twelve apostles will enter that kingdom).

Also see:
» Do we “make too much of Paul?”
» Where did Matthias go after replacing Judas?
» Did Peter and Paul preach the same Gospel?

Must I confess my sins?

Must I confess my sins to God, a priest, or neither?

by Shawn Brasseaux

In Christendom, there are basically two types of confession: auricular confession to a priest (Roman Catholic) and direct confession to God in prayer (Protestant). Should we confess our sins to a priest to get God’s forgiveness? Should we confess our sins directly to God for forgiveness? Or is neither of these practices necessary?

Religion’s “short account system” of confessing sins is based on 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” What is rarely understood is that this verse has nothing to do with us.

Primarily, we do not practice 1 John 1:9 because John is Israel’s apostle (Galatians 2:9). Paul is our apostle, not John (Romans 11:13); Paul is God’s Word to and about us, and Paul never writes anything like 1 John 1:9. The doctrine found in 1 John belongs in Israel’s prophetic program, not our mystery program (the Dispensation of the Grace of God). Confession of sins was Israel’s doctrine under the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 16:21; Leviticus 26:40; Numbers 5:6,7; Ezra 10:1; Nehemiah 9:16-38; Daniel 9:20; et al.). Furthermore, in Matthew 3:6 and Mark 1:5, John the Baptist water baptized Jews who confessed their sins.

Secondly, 1 John 1:9 is not written to saved people; it is directed to lost Jews. We read in 1 John 2:12, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” Apparently, there are two groups of people in 1 John: some saved (forgiven), and some lost (not forgiven). In 1 John 1:9, John urges lost Jews to confess their sins in order to be saved. In other words, 1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse for lost Jews—it was not for any believers, believing Jews or us!

Before Jesus left the planet, He gave His apostles the power to forgive sins in His absence, for on the day of Pentecost, He would give them the Holy Ghost and they would continue to do what He had done for the last three years. They were to continue with converting Israel. John 20:21-23: “[21] Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. [22] And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: [23] Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” Israel’s apostles loosed themselves from this commission in Galatians 2:7-9, and gave us Gentiles over to the Apostle Paul. (In order words, the Roman Catholic proof text of John 20:21-23 does not authorize their priests to forgive sins in our program, but Israel’s apostles to forgive Israel’s sins in Israel’s program. According to the context, John 20:21-23 has absolutely nothing to do with us in this, the Dispensation of Grace, and it has nothing to do with what God is doing today.)

Lastly, we do not practice confession of sins because our salvation and fellowship with God are independent of our performance. We are forgiven, apart from anything we have done. In Colossians 2:13, our Apostle Paul tells us that we are “forgiven of all trespasses [in Christ].” Ephesians 4:32 says, “God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” And Colossians 3:13, “even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” We are forgiven (past tense), not because we confess our sins, but because of Christ’s finished cross work on Calvary. In Christ, we have unbroken fellowship with God forever and ever. How many times can we be forgiven of all unrighteousness?” Only once. In Christ, now and forever, we are forgiven of all sins—past, present, and future!

Also see:
» What should I do when I sin? (UPCOMING)
» Will God punish me when I sin?
» Do priests today have the authority to forgive sins?

What about hindered prayer and unanswered prayer?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Do unconfessed sins prevent God from hearing our prayers? Why do some prayers go unanswered? These are important questions, and we need to be very careful that we look at what the Bible says, and most importantly, where it says it. We have no desire to appeal to church tradition or other speculation.


For instance, in 1 Peter 3:7, the Apostle Peter writes: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” Are our prayers “hindered” today in the Dispensation of Grace as Peter writes? Remember, Peter is writing to Israel in her program, for Peter is an apostle of Israel (Galatians 2:9).

What about Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me?” Does this mean that God will not hear our prayers if we have unconfessed sin? Isaiah 59:1-2 is another confusing passage for people regarding prayer: “[1] Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: [2] But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

We have continual fellowship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Never does our Apostle, Paul, say our prayers are “hindered” because of our performance (or lack thereof). Isaiah 59:1-2 is an instance of how God dealt with the nation Israel under the performance-based acceptance of the Mosaic Law. According to Deuteronomy chapter 28, God blessed Israel is she obeyed all of His laws, and He cursed Israel if she disobeyed.

As believers in Jesus Christ, the so-called “unconfessed sin” that religion teaches is not the issue because our sins have been dealt with at the cross and we are forgiven in Christ. If our prayers being answered depended on whether or not we confessed all of our sins, we would never get one prayer answered, since it is impossible to remember every sin we have ever committed. Again, all of sins were paid for in full at Calvary’s cross, so they no longer separate us from God. Unconfessed sin is not the issue today; Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork is the issue. Our performance is not the issue; Jesus Christ’s performance at Calvary is the issue.

Remember Ephesians 1:7: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” And Ephesians 4:32: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” And Colossians 1:14: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” And, finally, Colossians 2:13: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”


Do we always get everything for which we ask in prayer? Have you prayed for something and never got it? Why did these verses not work for you? Perhaps you have the following verses quoted in church. “Ask, and it shall be given you,” Jesus Christ said (Matthew 7:7). In 1 John 3:22 we read: “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” In John 14:13-14, Jesus Christ says: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

Remember, when we “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), we understand that these verses belong in Israel’s program. They were spoken to Israel, not to us (Matthew 10:5-7; Matthew 15:24; John 4:22; Romans 15:8; Galatians 2:9). Our Apostle Paul never writes anything like Matthew 7:7, John 24:13-14, or 1 John 3:22. In fact, God never healed and delivered Paul, although Paul prayed for healing and deliverance three times in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

God hears all of our prayers. Sometimes it seems like He does not answer them. If we are praying outside of God’s will, how do we expect God to answer them? We cannot make God do something He is not doing today. Us praying like Israel did is trying to make God do things He is not doing today. For example, why did Elijah pray that it would not rain for three-and-a-half years (1 Kings 17:1-2; James 5:17-18)? Because, in Deuteronomy 11:16-17, God said He would not cause it to rain as part of His righteous judgment against pagan, idolatrous Israel. Prayer is praying in accordance with what God is doing today, and the Four Gospels and the Old Testament is not what God is doing today. Our prayers will always bear fruit as long as they agree with Paul’s epistles: “the effectual prayer of a righteous man [saint] availeth much” (James 5:16)

Also see:
» To whom should I pray?
» How should I pray?
» Should I pray the rosary?