Summary: A Canada Day sermon, looking at our heritage and our potential
It was his custom to start his day with prayer and Scripture reading. And that morning was no exception; he felt that before he attended to the business of his country that first he must attend to the business of his soul. And as he read from God’s word his heart and eyes were drawn to Psalm 72:8 May he reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. Actually he was reading from the King James Version and so the words he read were Psalm 72:8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
The thirty-three Fathers of Confederation had gathered in Charlottetown to discuss and draft the terms of the British North America Act, there were many suggestions on what to call this new "United Canada."
The leading suggestion at that point was John A. McDonald’s preference “The Kingdom of Canada”.
That morning Samuel Leonard Tilley, who by the way was from Saint John, had read from the Bible and became so convinced that Canada should be a nation under God, that when he came down to the conference session, he presented his suggestion based upon his morning Bible reading, and that was the "Dominion of Canada." The other Fathers readily agreed and accepted his inspired concept.
If we look around our fair nation today on her 151st birthday it because painfully obvious that God no longer has dominion over this country. What would it take to change a country? You ever wonder that? Listen to what God tells us in his word.
2 Chronicles 7:14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
That promise was for Israel originally, but it is for all those who are called by God’s name.
But how are we to pray, is it as simple as adding a line to our bedtime prayers, “And God bless our country?”
The 1908 version of Oh Canada written by Robert Stanley Weir
actually ended with a prayer. This is the last verse:
Ruler Supreme, Who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion within Thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in Thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day,
We ever stand on guard.
And for those of you with your knickers in a knot over the most recent change to O’ Canada, here is the first verse from 1908:
O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love thou dost in us command.
We see thee rising fair, dear land,
The True North, strong and free;
And stand on guard, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
The early church was defined by prayer, over and over again we read how they prayed, why they prayed when they prayed. And because of that prayer they were able to change not just a country but eventually the face of the entire world.
In Acts 4 the church faces its first major crisis. The two major leaders of the church, Peter and John have been thrown into Jail for preaching the gospel; they are released after being ordered not to preach again. Although they didn’t quite promise to follow the order instead they asked a question, a question which we should each memorize and ask on a regular basis and it was found in Acts 4:19 But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him?
As soon as our two heroes are released they high tail it back to the other believers and called a prayer meeting. The scripture that was read this morning was an account of that prayer meeting. This morning we are going to take a look at how the early church became a movement through prayer, and eventually went on to change the world.
Acts 4:24 When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God:
1) They Were Agreed in Prayer
The key word here of course is the word “Together” When they started to pray they had obviously thought back to that incredibly powerful promise that Jesus had made to them in Matthew 18:19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.
Now John & Peter must have figured that if two was good then a whole bunch must be better so they rushed back to the entire group and said “Hey guys and girls this is something that we really need to pray about, and we need to all be on the same page.”