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Summary: An explanation of lighthouses of prayer and a call to be one.

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Luke 10:1-9 January 6, 2008

The Sending Out of The Seventy-Two:

Lighthouses of Prayer

I grew up in the evangelical church, and through those years I heard and practiced many different methods of evangelism, or ways to draw the people around you to God through Jesus. Most of those methods or calls to evangelize had some strong points, but many of them had weak points, or even things that seemed missing, although I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that was missing in most.

About 10 years ago, I heard Ed Silvoso speak from this passage and it felt like something clicked – it was biblical, it was relational, and it involved prayer and vulnerability. It was also one model that consciously included the work of the Holy Spirit

I’m going to speak through this passage as a way to reach your neighbourhood

You can do this in any place - it could be apartments instead of houses, school lockers, your teammates, five desks on either side of yours at work, or in school.

I would do this where you most relate to non-Christians. If your primary relationships are in you workplace, school, child’s day-care, start there. I will talk mostly of neighbours, but take the most natural group for you to relate to.

The Luke 10:1-9 The Model

5-6 - Bless Your Neighbours

“When you enter a house, first say, ’Peace to this house.”

7-8 Develop relationships with your neighbours.

“Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you”

9a - Pray for their needs

“Heal the sick who are there”

9b - Share the Gospel

“…and tell them, ’The kingdom of God has come near to you.”

If you look at this Biblical model, you can see that much of our evangelistic methods have turned it on it’s end - we go and bang on some one’s door, we have three minutes of reluctant attention, two and a half of which is spent telling them how we are different from the Jehovah’s Witness that was just there. Not only is this ineffective, it is not God’s way!

5-6 - Bless Your Neighbours

“When you enter a house, first say, ’Peace to this house.”

Often it is not blessing that we shower on our neighbours - we usually curse them. Not necessarily by actually cursing them, but by wishing them ill "I wish his stereo would just blow up!" "Those teens are so wild, one day they’ll come home in a body bag!" "how can she keep having kids when she can’t look after the ones she has?" "I hope one of these days his car actually gets stolen so we don’t have to hear that stupid alarm at all hours!"

If we do pray for them we often pray the problems rather than the promise - "Lord, He’s so lazy, look at his lawn, fix him please."...

If this is our attitude, God might say to us, "I’m glad that you never shared the Gospel with them, because you hate them, while I love them!"

We need to begin to bless our neighbours - this step of faith alone may change our hearts from hatred, annoyance, or indifference to love.

Prayer walk your own neighbourhood, stop in front of every house and proclaim God’s Blessing upon it

- Pray for peace for these houses and the people who live in them.

PEACE: "shalom" - absence of strife, "well being," "welfare" completeness, wholeness, harmony, fulfillment. Safety, good relationships, prosperity

"Implicit in shalom is the idea of unimpaired relationships with others and fulfillment in one’s undertakings"

PRAY FOR THESE THINGS FOR YOUR NEIGHBOURS

If you don’t want to think too hard, just say, as Jesus tells his disciples

“Peace to this house!”

Or, memorize Numbers 6:24-26:

"The LORD bless you

and keep you;

the LORD make his face shine on you

and be gracious to you;

the LORD turn his face toward you

and give you peace."

Bless your neighbours daily - if that is too much for you; you can pray for one neighbour at each meal, and if you eat 3 meals a day, you eat 21 meals in a week, and you have 21 neighbours to pray for! You will pray at least once per week for every neighbour. If you prayer walk once a week, they will be prayed for twice a week, which is most likely a great deal more than they are being prayed for right now.

As you get to know them you can pray more specific prayers of blessing for them.

Your neighbours will most likely feel your prayers for them - when you cut someone off on the highway can you feel their curses: well if you can feel curses from the evil one, how much more do you think that your neighbours will feel your blessings! Ed Silvoso says that one of his neighbours commented that they always felt "good vibrations" from him every time he passed! It was because every time he passed, he was blessing them!

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