Summary: As people of faith we need to be people of prayer but even more than that, people of breakthrough prayer, asking God to break through in situations where there is nothing else we can do. We need breakthrough prayer for ourselves
Rao was a Hindu yogi, a mystic who devoted his life to prayer and holy thought. And through his discipline, he was able to do remarkable things, or so people thought. Finally Rao decided to let the people see him put his faith into action. In 1966, he announced he was going to walk on water. He sent out invitations to 600 of the cream of Bombay society. Charging them as much as $100 a ticket, and for those who can remember back that far, $100 was a lot of money in 1966. Still, a lot of money or not, the people came to the show, they were eager to see a miracle with their own eyes.
They weren't disappointed in the least. Rao was the very picture of a mystical vision. He stood on the bank of a five-foot-deep pond, his beard flowing down over his chest, his hems of his robes gathering on the ground at his feet. He lowered his head in silent prayer, and then lifted it. He was ready to step out and walk on water. The crowd leaned forward as walked out on a short pier. When he reached the end of the pier, he stepped off of the pier and then onto the pond. Then he sank.
I can’t help but wonder if Rao’s prayer would be considered breakthrough prayer. Even if it was, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, at least as I understand it, is not the god Hindus seek in prayer. Beyond that, even if Rao was seeking the One True God, at least in my experience God generally doesn’t seem too willing to break the laws of physics. It would take a breakthrough like most of us have never seen before.
This morning we are concluding our series on breakthrough prayer. The inspiration for this series was an address Rev. Sue Nillson Kibbey made at annual conference at the end of May. Rev. Kibbey defined breakthrough prayer as prayer where we ask God to break through in our lives and in the lives of those around us to move beyond human capabilities and do that which only God can do.
We began the series June 1 and we talked about breakthrough prayer with our families. Within all our families there are always situations where we are powerless yet we know something needs to be done. What we can do, what we can always do is pray, asking God to make a way when we simply cannot make a way on our own.
The next Sunday was Pentecost. We celebrated the birthday of the Church, and talked about having breakthrough prayer for our church. Serious times are upon us. Money is tight. Attendance is down from where we were in our glory years. But, I know this, God is good and if God breaks through here, the future is anything but dim. I also know, if we pray for God to break through, God will break through.
Two weeks ago we discussed breakthrough prayer for our friends. Just like those in our families, we all have friends that face difficulty beyond our power to resolve. God can make a breakthrough for them as well.
Last week our topic was breakthrough prayer for Diboll. People are concerned about our future. Since Temple-Inland has sold out there are concerns people in our congregation and beyond have for Diboll in the near future and beyond. None of us know the answer to that question. We do know a God who can lead us to a divinely bright future. All required from us is to pray, to ask God to break through in our city.
Today we finish this series, asking God to break through in me. I saved “Me” for last because theologically, individually, should be last. I would like for you to think about the Lord’s Prayer for a minute. We recite it, “Our Father, which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for every. Amen.” In that entire prayer Jesus gave us to model prayer after, not one time does it say I, me, mine etc. Instead we read our, us, and we. It seems to me, if Jesus’ model prayer grouped us individuals in with others, perhaps we are not quite as important as all too often we like to think we are.
In our lesson we find the psalmist’s song of joy. The psalmist has within him the ability to look back at both the good times and the times of difficulty, and see God’s presence and power to breakthrough even in his most trying times. When the psalmist sees God’s hand he is thankful God is on his side and now sings this song of joy.