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Summary: PRAYER AND FASTING BRINGS COMMITMENT TO OUR LIVES AND UNLEASHES THE POWER OF GOD OVER OUR COMMUNITIES!

ENGAGING THE COMMUNTIY: I AM HUNGRY, NOW WHAT?

MARK 9: 14-31

FEBRUARY 13, 2005

INTRODUCTION: Artist: Joe Nichols

If Nobody Believed In You:

I watched him take the two strike call: He hadn’t tried to swing at all. I guess he’d had all that he could take, He walked away, for goodness sake. His father’s voice was loud an’ mean: "You won’t amount to anything." That little boy quit tryin’,

He just walked away. There were teardrops on his face. Tell me, how would you feel?

You’d probably give up too, If nobody believed in you. That old man said: "One more try" "I know I’m not too old to drive, "I promise, son, I’ll do my best, "This time, I’m gonna pass the test." "Give me the keys, Dad, an’ get in." His father never drove again. That old man quit tryin’, He just turned away. An’ there were teardrops on his face. Tell me, how would you feel? You’d probably give up too, If nobody believed in you. We take His name out of schools. The lawyers say it breaks the rules. Pledge of allegiance can’t be writ, An’ under God, should not be said. I wonder how He will take. I just pray it’s not too late. What if God quit tryin’, He just turned away? There were teardrops on his face? Tell me, how would you feel? You’d probably give up too, If nobody believed in you. Tell me, how would you feel? You’d probably give up too, If nobody believed in you.

TRANSITION THOUGHT: Joe Nichols knows a little about life and a little about faith. Maybe, he knows a whole lot. Often, as the commercial says, “Life comes at you hard!” How on earth are we to make it when life gets so difficult? How are we to be over comers and instead of just being overcome? Well, I can answer the last question Joe Nichols posses to us, “What if God quit tryin’, if he just turned away?” I can tell you, not because I am more spiritual than you, or any smarter, but because I have read the book, OUR GOD DIDN’T QUIT TRYIN’ UNTIL HE GOT ER DONE! He did not just turn and walk away, He walked right up Golgotha’s Hill and Hung on an old rugged cross to “ENGAGE HIS COMMUNITY”! HE did what it took to save our souls, BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IN US!! NO ONE ELSE MAY BELIEVE IN YOU, BUT I KNOW BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, HE BELIEVED IN YOU FROM THE BEGINNING, THAT’S WHY HE WENT TO THE CROSS, HE KNEW HE WAS THE ONLY CHANGE YOU HAD, SO HE MADE A WAY FOR YOU.

Well, what does this have to do with our text, EVERYTHING. Life does come at us HARD and often Life seems impossible. Jesus will do HIS part, I can assure you. The other side of the story is that it is a dance, and Jesus wants to dance with you and HIS dance is called PRAYER AND FASTING!

THESIS SENTENCE: PRAYER AND FASTING BRINGS COMMITMENT TO OUR LIVES AND UNLEASHES THE POWER OF GOD OVER OUR COMMUNITIES!

I. PRAYER AND FASTING IS ABOUT REAL NEEDS VV. 14-19

A. REAL NEEDS ARE THE STRUGGLE OF A FATHER AND SON

B. REAL NEEDS ARE THE STRUGGLE OF DISCIPLES

C. REAL NEEDS ARE OUR NEEDS

KEY THOUGHT: COMPLAINING AND ARGUING ABOUT A PROBLEM DOESN’T CHANGE A THING!

TRUTH: WE ALL FACE REAL NEEDS IN OUR LIVES!

QUESTION: ARE WE DENYING OUR REAL NEEDS?

II. PRAYER AND FASTING IS ABOUT A LACK OF RESULTS VV. 14, 18-24

A. A LACK OF RESULTS IS THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY

B. A LACK OF RESULTS IS A MATTER OF DISCIPLES

C. A LACK OF RESULTS IS A CONTINUING PROBLEM

D. A LACK OF RESULTS IS A DESPERATE FATHER

E. A LACK OF RESULTS IS OUR DESPAIR

KEY THOUGHT: BE A PART OF THE SOLLUTION, NOT A PART OF THE PROBLEM!

TRUTH: DESPAIR COMES WHEN THINGS DON’T CHANGE!

QUESTIONS: ARE WE CONSUMMED WITH DESPAIR? HAVE WE GIVEN UP ON THE HOPE OF BETTER RESULTS?

III. PRAYER AND FASTING IS A REAL LIFE CHANGE VV. 25-31

A. A REAL LIFE CHANGE IS THE MASTERS COMMAND

B. A REAL LIFE CHANGE IS A DEFEATED ENEMY

C. A REAL LIFE CHANGE IS RESTORED LIFE

D. A REAL LIFE CHANGE IS A MATTER OF PRAYER AND FASTING

E. A REAL LIFE CHANG IS PREPARATION FOR THE END

KEY THOUGHT: PROBLEMS ARE SOLVED THROUGH PRAYER AND FASTING!

TRUTH: WHEN WE PRAY AND FAST GOD DOES HIS WORK FOR HIS GLORY AND OUR BENEFIT!

QUESTIONS: ARE WE SATISFIED WITH SIMPLY COMPLAINING ABOUT THE PROBLEM? ARE WE SATISFIED WITH TRYING AND SEEING NOTHING HAPPEN? ARE WE READY TO PRAY AND FAST?

CONCLUSION: Christians all over the world are focusing on the season of Lent. Christians all over the world are engaged in prayer and fasting. Imagine the power that is at work as the TRUE body of Christ joins our hearts and minds together to seek the face of God and to pray for HIS will to be done and for HIS Kingdom to come! In so doing, we not only find God’s help for our lives, but we invoke the power of God over our communities! We engage our community by letting loose the power of God in our lives as we yield to the living God. Isn’t it time we saw some real life change? Isn’t it time we get serious with the LIVING GOD? Prayer time:

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