Summary: This is a sermon on prayer. Until God’s people are serious about prayer, we will always fall short of what God wants from us.
Building the house of the Lord
We have talked about making an impact in this community. I believe very much that we have done that. Between Bountiful Blessings and other community outreaches, we have come in contact with many people who would not have heard the gospel or see Jesus work through the people of this church.
King Artaxerxes ask Nehemiah in Neh. Chapter 2- “What is your request of me”. Nehemiah responds by telling him that he has a burden to rebuild the city of Jerusalem.
Is that your cry for this community?
Jesus save the city
Let the kingdom come
That is what a lot of us say with our mouths. What does our actions say to the Lord? I recently sat in a restaurant eating lunch and in front of me was a table full of pastors. They greeted me and that whole conversation at lunch was “what comes with the veal parmesian”, “what sides do I get with that”? I sat there praying to myself “Lord, we need a fresh word from you. We need to refocus the people who need to be focused.
I believe we can take this community for Jesus Christ The problem is not with Jesus, the problem is being focused on what is needed to do that.
Oswald Chambers: “Prayer is not what you do before the work, it is the work”
Prayer is the foundation of making an impact. Our role of spreading the gospel is to make opportunity for Jesus to touch people, not to be the whole answer ourselves. We build a foundation of self. We think people need what we have for them.
Have you ever wondered what draws the Lord’s presence? Why He responds more at different times? If we are going to have Jesus inhabit our community, He must dwell within us.
What is God looking for?
V 2- “But on this one I will look, on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word.” God is looking for a place to dwell. And a place to operate from. When the church is in unity , doing what the Lord wants, the community will see Jesus. The harvest won’t come as a result of clever methods, it will come as the church prays and is lead by the Lord. Prayer lies at the very heart of what God is doing and building. That is why we have men praying during the week. That is why women meet for prayer. People try to build skyscraper of ideas on a 2 inch spiritual foundation. It does not work. It is like the skit we did last week of the house being built on sand. You cannot have these big ideas of ministry built on little or not foundation of prayer.
What are we building? In most cases, it is a house of cards and will quickly fall at first sign of resistance. We think because we are always busy that we are building something for the kingdom of God. Let me say that again!
Psalm 127:1- “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who built it. Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
We can spin our wheels trying ever new thing that comes down the pike. We can make our church to look like another church. Or... we can be praying what God has for Rosedale Church of the Nazarene. Then we will see what the Lord is building!
Have you ever heard of George Mueller? One day he looked down the streets of Bristol, England, and saw 100’s of homeless children. He was so moved with concern for them that he decided that something had to be done. He had only two pence in his pocket. That’s two cents. But he decided to start an orphanage. In 60 years, beginning with two pence, George Mueller took care of 10, 000 orphans. He looked out and saw homeless kids. He could have said, but I don’t have any money. But there is no way to care for them, to meet their needs, to buy the food. Instead, he looked at them and said, “therefore , I will reach out and help them.” and God blessed his efforts in a mighty way. He told amazing stories of answered prayers, he kept record of his prayers, and his prayer records filled more than 3000 pages. His notes show that more than 30,000 prayers were answered. One night there was no food in the orphanage to give the children for breakfast. But at 3:00 in the morning a baker called him and said , “I just can’t sleep. I am going down to the bakery to bake some bread. Would it be all right for me to bring some over to you in the morning? One time a milk truck just happen to break down in front of the orphanage on a day when they had no milk. The truck driver came and said, “This milk is all going to spoil. Would you like some of it? And there need was met. Time and again, 30,000 times in 60 years, God answered George Mueller’s prayers.