16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
This is where I’m at. I was brought up in a Christian home with great morels and teachings. Wonderful parents with stability. Spent most of my life in church on Sundays and youth group on Wednesday nights. Been on a few missions trips over seas and did a lot of travelling ministering to hundreds of people. Seen lots of young people flood the alters for salvation and recommitments, seen miracles happen in my family that have only made me hungry for more.
All I want is see God in the now. Present Reality.
Our focus in our church these past few months has been on prayer and the importance of it for our church and the our community. It seems to me, from what I have noticed, our church has been praying. It has been great to see what God has been doing through the prayers of His people. Some of you have experienced answered prayer first hand and a lot of you have experienced it through stories you have heard.
God is real and is alive and we have access to His throne through what Jesus did for us on the cross.
I’ve just finished reading book called Fresh Wind Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn NY.
In this book He talks about the importance of prayer in our churches. The importance of coming to God in prayer and worship before anything else.
I believe that we have not even scratched the surface of what God can do in families and individuals in our community. I also believe that until we get what it means to really come together in prayer, we will not see ‘His Kingdom and His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven’.
This is important
‘Without plugging into the source, we will be striving or hungering for good sermons, we will be striving or hungering for more programs, striving or hungering to get people to come into our church building and then striving or hungering even more to keep them here. We can not do it without interrupted, intentional, unselfish, timeless, pride-less, humble prayer. This is what we need to strive for! We cannot continue without it!
As we become a ‘House of Prayer’, we will notice a shift in attitudes and direction. It will become less and less about us and what we need and what we want and more and more about God.
I sense that the church today is in the same situation that it was thousands of years ago starting with Adam and Eve and then the Israelites. God wanting a relationship with His friends but His people not willing to respond to His way. Not willing to spend time with him just wanting to do religious acts.
All God has desired of us for generations has been relationship and most important, intimacy. Oh what plans He has for us.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you.
As God speaks in Jeremiah 29:13–14 and says, “You will find me, if you seek me with all your heart … and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you.” The blessing (the restoration) is directly tied to being in right relationship with God. And being in right relationship flows from seeking “with all your heart.”
What about Deuteronomy 6 – on a another time in History
The Israelites had just been rescued from the hands of Pharaoh and God knew what they were about to face and how they would respond so He had some direction for them.
Deuteronomy 6: 1- 9
1These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates or even on your refrigerators!
How about what Jesus taught in the New Testament.
The Greatest Commandment
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment!!!!
I believe we have the answers that we are looking for. It really is simple and boils down to commitment.
This comes with a Warning!
As we approach this commitment to pray more and as we proceed to more corporate prayer, be warned that we will face many trials. God has made a way – its narrow, but it’s passable. He has gone before us and has given us everything we need.