Friday, June 21, 2013
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Pray for the Church, Friend.
Many years ago, as a very young Christian, I was confronted by a fellow who asked the classic question, “If God is so good, why does He allow the little kids in Thailand and Cambodia to suffer so much?” This guy was a Viet Nam vet who had seen much suffering. I had no really good answer ready, but suddenly the Holy Ghost punched me, and out of my mouth came something like, “He didn’t allow it! He put that compassion in your heart for those kids. Why are you standing here complaining about it? Go do something!” It worked. The guy got saved. I don’t know if he ever made it to Thailand, but God did use him to help me understand this: The state of fallen creation is not an indictment of God. The question I have to ask is, “What would the world look like if every child of God fulfilled the plan of God for his life?” I tend to believe the impact would be immense.
Toward the end of his letter to the Colossians, Paul described the prayers of a man named Epaphras: “…always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Col 4:12b)” That little phrase encapsulates most of the prayer teaching in the New Testament. The Apostolic authors revealed in their own prayers and in their requests to the church that our primary focus in prayer should be for other believers and for the ministry, that they would know and fulfil the plan of God. When the Church fulfills the will of God, the Gospel is preached and lives are changed. As we continue to press for a revival in our personal prayer closets, let me encourage you to “labor fervently” for other Christians:
1. For ministers, that they would speak accurately, clearly, and boldly, and that they would be delivered from those who would try to hinder their preaching and their travels. Eph 6:19-20 / Col 4:2-4 / Phil 1:19 / Rom 15:30-33 / 2 Thess 3:1-2 / Heb 13:17-19
2. For other believers, especially the ones you know, that they would know God’s will, have supernatural revelation of the love of God, know who they are in Christ, walk worthy of their calling, and increase in their intimate knowledge of God. Rom 8:26-27 / James 5:16 / Eph 1:15-23 / 3:14-21 / 6:18 / Col 1:9-12 / 4:12 / Phil 1:9-11 / Heb 13:20-21
Visit these passages in your closet and use them as a framework to pray by name for the believers in your life. Let the Church be the Church, and what the world does can’t stop it.
Somebody Said "The history of missions is the history of answered prayer. From Pentecost to the Haystack meeting in New England and from the days when Robert Morrison landed in China to the martyrdom of John and Betty Stam, prayer has been the source of power and the secret of spiritual triumph." Samuel Zwemer
Scripture Reading: He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. (23) The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence. Eph 1:22-23 MSG
We are not called to lament the work of the enemy or lambast the failings of the Church. We are called and equipped to pray for one another until we all stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. We ain’t there yet, so let’s get to prayin’.
The Powerful Prayer class is available online at www.fmtionline.com.