Summary: This message should be seen as a Biblical call for the need to return to true "Corporate Prayer." Greg Frizzell’s material was used extensively for this.
A Call to God’s People
* I’m troubled! There exists unsettledness in my spirit. I want to ask you to let me share my heart with you tonight. We are in trouble. As a nation, as a society, as a community, and as the church, we are in trouble. Sadly, few people see it because they have a roof over their heads, money in the bank, cars in the garage, and family who love them.
* My ninth grade science teacher taught me that if you drop a frog in a bowl of hot water, he would immediately jump out. However, if you place that frog in water that is room temperature and then gradually raised the heat, he would remain in the water until he boiled to death. It would seem that the American believer and church has found themselves in the water that is room temperature and have lost track of the environment in which we live.
* Consider come truths with me. Let’s begin with;
1. The Spiritual Emergency we face. -
* During the last 50 years, every form of immorality has exploded in an unprecedented manner.
* Since 1960 nearly every category of crime has risen by the alarming rate of 500%.
* An unbelievable combination of cultural forces now exerts strong “anti-Bible and anti-Christian influence on societal attitudes.
* During the 1990’s, a hostility toward Christians and Biblical values grew at alarming rates.
* In the last 36 years, we have been a witness to “Child sacrifice” and genocide with the death of over 55 million unborn babies. These babies were sacrificed on the altar of convenience, choice, and lack of self-control.
* Presently proposed laws could eventually make it a federal crime to preach the Biblical view of homosexuality. In fact, this week I heard Jr. Hill say that he sensed as preachers, we face the real possibility in America of jail time for preaching God’s word.
* During the last quarter of a century, America has experienced an explosion of cults and false religions.
* Despite the biggest expansion of SBC evangelistic programs and strategies, domestic baptisms have basically remained flat lined for almost 50 years.
* Most years, 14,000 SBC churches baptize let than 3 people while close to 8,000 baptize no one at all! (taken in part from Greg Frizzell)
* While some might not see these as an emergency, a historical perspective would tell us that when countries have abandoned their morality and ethics, deterioration took place which was almost unstoppable.
* Tonight I am laying before us this truth; our very way of life is in jeopardy. To stay on the same course which we have been means our country will continue to disintegrate and ultimately dissolve.
* It is sad to say, that while all of these things are going on in and around the local congregations, we have largely gathered silently in our buildings, wishing things would change yet refusing to change ourselves to impact the needy world, and the result is we are now in crisis mode in our culture. We face an emergency of extreme proportions.
2. The Spiritual Essentials we forget – If there is to be a change in this country for God and good, it will start within the hearts of those who are authentic believers. God has given us both the power and authority to become world changers, but we are not world changers by simply attending church or class. There are some essential we must embrace if we are to be HIS people in this world and honestly I submit, we have forgotten some things.
* We have forgotten the power of corporate prayer. I’ll admit that over the last several years, I have forgotten and thus, neglected this essential. Possibly many if not most have forgotten this truth and the result is that “Wednesday Prayer Meetings” have become “Mid-Week” services which really are “mid-weak” services. Consider how we have forgotten this;
* In past generations of great revivals, prayer meetings were focused on praying for lost people, personal repentance, revival, and missions. In other words, they were focused on the key kingdom issues of evangelism, missions, and revival. Today, a long hospital list has totally replaced the key kingdom issues. Yet, we should pray for the “sick and afflicted”, but not to the exclusion of those things with Kingdom Impact.
* In past generations, people spent the majority of time actually praying. Little or limited time we given for devotional and requests. Instead of talking to each other, people came to talk to God.
* In past generations, corporate prayer meetings involved the entire family (including older children and youth). They understood that our young people learn by example.
* In past generations, there was a strong emphasis on personal repentance and confession. There was a deep understanding that Jehovah God would not hear the prayer of someone who harbored unconfessed sin.