Summary: A sermon examining those moments where we cry out to God with intensity.
A Moment Of Intense Prayer
In October of 1871 D.L Moody had reached a place of a deep hunger for God. He was in agony of soul as he prayed and sought the power of God. At times he would roll on the floor in agony and in tears. One day while passing through New York on his way to Britain he knew that God heard his prayer. As he walked the streets the power of the Lord fell upon him, the Lord drew near and revealed Himself to His servant. Moody rushed to a friend’s house and asked for a room and to be left alone. Hour after hour he experienced the awesome presence of God. This experience was so real and strong that he cried out to God to stay His hand lest he die. He was filled with the joy of the Lord. When he left that house it was in the power of the Spirit. So great was the power that attended his work that some called it a “third Great Awakening.” For the next quarter century he traveled the English-speaking world. Without higher education, he founded three schools. Without theological training, he reshaped American Christianity. Without radio or television, he reached 100 million people. At this time in his life, Moody went beyond simple praying and entered into a time of INTENSE PRAYER!
The great reformer Martin Luther was a man of constant prayer. He prayed morning and evening and throughout the day. He repeated memorized prayers again and again, especially the Lord's prayer, and prayed the psalms. But his biographer states that "when he had a prayer burden, his prayer became a storm, a wrestling with God, the power, the greatness, and holy simplicity of which it is difficult to compare with other human emotions,"
Such mighty prevailings in prayer have been described as "battering the gates of heaven with the storms of prayer." Have you ever reached a place where your prayers shifted into high gear so to speak? Through the scriptures we are told to live lives of constant prayer. Jesus said "Men ought always to pray" - Paul said we are to "pray without ceasing"
But there are some times when we cry out to God with a sense of intensity and urgency. This happens in those times of struggle and frustration. This happens in those times of distress and difficulty. This happens in those times of hurt and agony. I have stood at an accident scene where someone was praying intensely for their loved one who was injured. I have seen intense prayer in the hospital emergency room when the doctor comes in and delivers tragic news to a family. There have been several times in my life where I just got alone with God and cried out for Him to move in a mighty way. There are also those times of spiritual struggle when the enemy surrounds you and it seems the walls are closing in when we really get serious with God!
This was seen in the life of our Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. Before Judas and the soldiers arrived to seize Jesus He had been alone with His Father praying intensely! Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.