Summary: This sermon underlines the utmost importance of prayer.
Ten Marks of a Prevailing Church
Mark #10: Uncommon Prayer
August 26, 2001
A. [The Giver’s Big Hands, Citation: Brian Harris, Mt. Roskill, Auckland, New Zealand]
A young boy went to the local store with his mother.
The shop owner, a kindly man, passed him a large jar of suckers and invited him to help himself to a handful.
Uncharacteristically, the boy held back.
So the shop owner pulled out a handful for him.
When outside, the boy’s mother asked why he had suddenly been so shy and wouldn’t take a handful of suckers when offered.
The boy replied, "Because his hand is much bigger than mine!"
1. That, my friends is why we pray: Because His hand is much bigger than ours!
2. And an uncommon kind of prayer is another mark of a prevailing church.
B. Today we come to the tenth mark of a prevailing church…
1. Mark#1: Uncommon Faith
2. Mark#2: Uncommon Commitment
3. Mark#3: Uncommon Love
4. Mark#4: Uncommon Unity
5. Mark#5: Uncommon Methods
6. Mark#6: Uncommon Hope
7. Mark#7: Uncommon Worship
8. Mark#8: Uncommon Sacrifice
9. Mark#9: Uncommon Fellowship
10. And today, we come to Mark #10: Uncommon Prayer
C. If Somerset is to be a prevailing church, then we must be a people of prayer!
1. If we are going to prevail against the gates of hell, then we must be a people of prayer: both publicly and privately.
2. Prayer is needed because His hand is much bigger than ours.
3. So today as we conclude this series, I invite you to turn to the first chapter of the book of Colossians where we find seven things that we need to be praying about if we are to storm the gates of hell; first…
I. Prayer for Compelling Faith
Colossians 1:3-4, We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus…
A. Paul says that he always thanked God for the faith of the believers in the city of Colossae.
1. So why do you suppose that was?
2. Why was Paul so thankful for the faith of the Colossians?
3. Because most of the letters that Paul wrote in our NT were letters written to his personal friends or to churches that he had helped start.
4. But Paul did not start the Colossian church.
5. Paul had never been to the city of Colossae.
6. Paul says that he had never stopped praying for them since he had HEARD of their faith.
7. He had never seen them or met them—he’d only HEARD of their faith.
8. Paul had been to the city of Ephesus, which was not too far away from Colossae.
9. Acts 19 tells us that that all those in the province of Asia heard the Word of God through the converts of Paul in Ephesus.
10. That would include the cities of Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colossae.
11. So there we get a little insight into why Paul had given thanks for their faith, because they had been saved indirectly by his preaching in Ephesus.
12. He hadn’t seen them, he’d only heard of them.
B. And what he had heard about was their faith.
1. Paul heard about their faith.
2. Now there are a lot of things that can be said of a church.
3. Some positive; some negative.
4. But if the church is going to have a reputation—what a reputation to have!
5. A church of faith!
6. Oh that Somerset would be known all over that she is a people of faith!
C. Uncommon faith is one of the marks of a prevailing church.
1. We’ve already studied about the importance of great faith in a prevailing church.
2. One of my favorite stories of faith comes from Bob Russell’s book When God Builds a Church, pp 143-145…
"I mentioned earlier that in 1983, a relocation committee reported that a twenty-acre tract of land just down the street had become available and that we could purchase it if we acted immediately. I didn’t tell you the rest of the story. The committee said, ‘In order to purchase those twenty acres, we need $215,000 in two months.’
"After the board voted to purchase the land, we had to decide how to finance it. One of our elders said, ‘Let’s come to next month’s board meeting with a cash offering and pay for it ourselves out of this leadership body. Then we’ll use that offering as an incentive to encourage the congregation to give one million dollars in the fall toward the new building. I’ve done some calculating, and there are fifty-five elders, deacons, and staff members in this room. That boils down to thirty-five hundred dollars per family next month. Are there any questions?’ There were a few timid questions. Then we voted—and the idea passed! We walked out of the meeting saying to one another, ‘What did we just do?"