Forty Days of Love & Light: Prayer Pt 2

Pastor Don Prewitt

03-16-14
 
 
IT ALL STARTS WITH PRAYER!
 
Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray - not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. 1 Timothy 2:8 (The Message) 
 
I know that there are times when warning people of hell is the right and godly thing to do, we don’t want anyone to go to hell!  But our message would be much more effective, we would be filled with great wisdom, we would be in close contact with God if we first spent time praying for those we are telling about Jesus!  Why?  Well, I am glad that you asked! 
 
WHAT HAPPEN WHEN WE PRAY?
 
1. Our Hearts Change  
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. -Romans 8:26 
 
When I moved into our first neighborhood in Fremont, I didn’t want to know my neighbors or pray for them.  As you heard in the intro, as I prayed God began to give me His heart for them (which is the same heart that He has for us that believe!).  The more I got His heart, the more I felt a burden for them; a longing for them to know the peace, love, and restoration found in Jesus alone!  This is what praying for the people on your list can do.  It will change you!! 
It will also change the hearts of those on our list.  When we pray for someone that hurt us or is different than us, our preconceived thoughts about them can dictate the way that we pray for them.  God could be asking us to pray for specific things for the 5 people on our list; things that we don’t even know to pray…unless we are listening! 
 
Review: What happens when we pray?  Our hearts are changed.
 
2. God’s Power is Released  
Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10
 
What we all need to remember as we walk though this journey together is that this has very little to do with us and has everything to do with God.
 
We want:
  • HIS kingdom to come
  • HIS will to be accomplished
  • HIS wisdom to be given to us
  • HIS love to be seen and not just our acts of kindness 
When Jesus gave this prototype of prayer to us, He was asking us all to understand something.  God has a plan, for us, for our neighbors, for our city, for our families.  But if we go out in our own power and strength, we are bound to find ourselves discouraged, hurt, and powerless!
 
The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps. Proverbs 14:15 (NIV).  The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him… Psalm 37:23 (NIV).
 
I believe that the presence of God goes with us everywhere we go.  We have the ability to give this earth a touch of Heaven by simply being in the world.  But the manifest presence of God (Evident, Obvious, Plain to see, presence of God) comes through prayer and obedience to Gods voice.
 
Let’s review this verse from last week Matthew 10:16-20.  Jesus told his disciples before sending them out to minister:
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:16-20 NIV
 
IF you and I embrace this challenge to Pray, Care and Share, we WILL have opposition. And we had better be talking to God and hearing His voice and asking for His wisdom and praying in the Spirit! 
 
When Jesus was led into the desert to be tempted for 40 days, the scriptures tell us that He was “Full of the Holy Spirit.” If Jesus needed His Spirit than we do too!  Before we get the revival of souls we need of revival of Gods Spirit upon His people!!
 
My Story - Why am I telling you my personal story? 
1. We are walking this journey out together.  The pastors of Harbor Light are learning and growing along with all of you.  We, along with you will learn both from our success and our failures. 
 
2. Why am I telling you my story?  
• To let you know that we are not preaching AT you, but walking WITH you.
• Not to put fear in you or to evoke sympathy for me.  If anything, you can be highly encouraged that the name of Jesus has great power and authority in it!!
• To remind you through my own experience that you and I MUST be in constant prayer, praying in the Spirit and drawing near to God.  Not only for our own safety physically, spiritually and in every other way, but also for the sake of those on our list.
• I made a mistake the other night that I want us all to learn from.  I naturally have a compassionate bent to me, I love talking to people and I feel comfortable with homeless people.  But I let my compassion get above my prayer. I was caught up in my “Random act of kindness,” so much that my “care” overrode my prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit.  Acts of kindness don’t save the world alone. Those, as Pastor Terry stated, “Intentional acts of kindness” are most effective when empowered not by willpower or compassion alone, but by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
• Let me remind you that even when we ARE listening intently to Gods voice, bad things can happen.  We live in a fallen world and it “rains on the just and the unjust alike.”  But being led by the Spirit of God is a whole lot safer and effective than just being led by an act of kindness alone.
 
Why we Don’t Pray? 
•Prayer is an unseen act- no one gets the credit but God.
•God could actually answer our prayer…then what!?
•It doesn’t seem as effective as “doing” an act of kindness
•We don’t really believe that prayer makes a difference.
  
LETS REVIEW:
 
What happens when we pray?
•Our hearts change
•God’s power is released
 
We want:
•HIS kingdom to come
•HIS will to be accomplished
•HIS wisdom to be given to us
•HIS love to be seen and not just our acts of kindness
 
What we need:
The power of the Holy Spirit directing and enabling us in our caring.
 
Why We Don’t Pray? 
•It’s an unseen act/no one gets the credit but God
•God could actually answer our prayer…then what!?
•It doesn’t seem as effective as “doing” an act of kindness 
•We don’t really believe that prayer makes a difference.