Summary: The ultimate outcome of prayer should be the move of God in touching our world
Lord, Touch My World
Tonight concludes this series of messages I am doing on prayer, but it does not conclude our emphasis on being people of prayer. I hope you have utilized the material on prayer and have increased you time in prayer this month.
Turn with me to Matthew 9:35-38 (READ)
History proves, beyond question, that prayer can change the world! A prayer warrior, on his knees, involves himself in a mission capable of altering the very destiny of men and women, of entire nations.
Throughout the Bible we read the examples of nations that had been changed through prayer. When Daniel arrived on the scene in Babylon, little did he realize the future impact his prayers would have. Near the end of his life, it was his prayers and fasting that opened the path for the restoration of Israel. Over a period of almost 70 years the major changes in the destiny of God’s people can be traced to those prayers of Daniel. That is awesome.
Some Christians have misunderstood prayer. They have thought prayers are only a time of fellowship with the Father, the highest goal being personal growth. Now, it is true that prayer is this, but prayer is so much more. To include in our time of prayer, world evangelism, to be in intercession to serve on a Great Commission Fulfillment Committee that meets daily in the courts of heaven takes our prayer time from one of fellowship with God, to a time of action as one of God’s prayer warriors.
What can I intercede in prayer? The daily news is more than enough it seems to provide us with points for prayer intercession. We can pray for things from crime and inner city poverty to such things as wars, famine, and disaster both at home and overseas.
As we conclude this series, I want to encourage you to be a person who prayers for the world, to have a global ministry not just a local one. How many of you are ready to go global for the Lord?
To help us in our global prayers, to help us in all our prayers, we need first the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Acts, they were told to wait until the Holy Spirit had come upon them, then they would be able to go global, Acts 1:8. This verse also is a reminder to us in how we should exercise the prayers of intercession. Let me break this down for you.
1. When we pray, we need to first of all pray for our Jerusalem. This is the local issues in which we deal, the issues of our city. In this time of intercession we should pray for those who are hungry, hurting, or in prison, for those in our sphere of influence who do not know Jesus Christ. Ask God to open your eyes to the needs of those who around you. Understand, compassion is a prerequisite for this type of powerful praying. Remember what it said about Jesus in Matthew 9:36, that as he looked at the multitudes, compassion motivated Him to lovingly reach out to them.
2. When we pray, we need to secondly pray for our Judea and Samaria. This is the regional, cross cultural and national issues. What is the serious issues in Washington? In Pend Oreille County, in the United States? What needs do you see that are racial or cross cultural? You need to lift your voice in prayer for a spiritual awakening in America. To pray for our elected officials as well as our spiritual leaders across this nation. We need to lift our voice in prayer for true reconciliation of the races. We need to understand that God is the only hope for our nation.
3. When we pray, we need to thirdly, pray for the Uttermost Parts of the earth. This is the international issues. What issues of missionary concern are worthy of your prayers today? When praying for world evangelism, here are three simple biblical focuses:
A. Pray for workers for the Harvest Matthew 9:38. "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth laborers into His harvest." And ask yourself, will you make yourself available if He calls?
B. Pray for open doors in harvest nations. "Devote yourself to prayer...that God may open..a door for the word. Colossians 4: 2, 3. Especially pray that God will open a door to the 5,300 still unreached hidden people groups globally.
C. Pray for a fruitful harvest. "Pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified." 2 Thessalonians 3:1. We need to pray daily for ministries that are planting the seed of the Gospel around the world.
The Lord truly desires to use each believer to change his world. Hope MacDonald once observed, "All God wants to do in this world through you can only be done through prayer." It makes it imperative that Christians accept this important challenge because only prayer can reach beyond such barriers as Islam and other false religions of the world. Harold Lindsell explains, "Distance is no bar, space no barrier, to reaching the remotest place on earth. Nor is the power of prayer diminished by the distance between the person who prays and the person who is prayed for. Men and nations can and do have their destinies decided by God’s praying people, who, through intercessory prayer, wield power greater than the armed might of the nations of the earth."