Summary: Sixth lesson in a series on Revival influenced by Rick Atchley. This lesson shows importance and power of prayer.
PRAYING FOR PRESENCE
INTRODUCTION: There was a your man in his early 30’s who was single and was beginning to get worried about it so he went to a local church and met an attractive young lady. He went up to her and struck up a conversation with her. They chatted about every thing under the sun for a while until he got up the nerve to ask her what kind of men she liked. She replied, "I have always been attracted to native Americans for their survival instincts and Jewish men for their moxie and practicality. But I have really enjoy cowboys for their rugged individualism." Then she said, "By the way what is your name?" Thinking quick he replied, "Well my given name is Geronimo Bernstein but my friends call me Tex." Everyone wants to make a good impression on other people. That’s why we dress nice, and act civilized or at least we do most of the time. You are making an impression right now. (Expound) You life has a great influence on others. How can we have the greatest impact on the lives of others? When we go into the closet to pray. Intercession makes an impression. In the Kingdom of God the least is the greatest because the least can use the greatest tool of all – prayer. Yet all too often we say, "Well I guess all I can do is pray." Like it is the least we can do, like it is the last option when we have run out of all other options. Folks, prayer is the greatest thing we can do! When we get on our knees and we urgently seek the face and presence of God we can move mountains. That is why Isaiah 59:16 says that God was astonished, appalled that no one was praying, that no one was interceding on behalf of the people. They had no regard for His presence and had given up God to chase after things that have absolutely no value. You see, the greatest sin we can ever commit is no immorality in all its various forms, but the sin of irreverence. When we place anything and everything before God in our lives we have then committed the greatest sin man can commit. That is exactly what the people of Israel did in Exodus 32. (Relate and Read Story). This is the context of the 1s Revival in the Bible and I want you to notice that the source of this Revival was the powerful prayers of 1 man – Moses. Moses prayed three prayers in relation to this great sin and from them we find three steps to praying for God’s Presence to return.
I. PRAYING FOR APPEASEMENT – Exodus 32:11-13 (14)
A. When the wrath of God is kindled it is always man’s fault. God never brings judgment and punishment because He feels like it but because it us deserved.
1. The Israelites deserved to be struck by God. They had violated His nature, His will and His word with irreverence and immorality.
2. They had profaned His Name, profaned the Act of Worship, profaned the Camp with their debauchery and slandered and vilified His servant Moses.
B. Look at verses 9 & 10. This is as angry as God gets and Moses knew it. So Moses stepped forward in prayer to appease God’s wrath. Look at verse 11ff.
1. Recap prayer with emphasis on various points.
2. Now, verse 14. Moses’s prayer worked! Even though God would inflict punishment upon Israel, He did not destroy them
3. God is looking for people to pray this way – to seek to appease His wrath caused my man’s sins so He will not have to destroy.
4. Jonah 3:8-10
5. Psalm 106:19-23, 42-45
II. PRAYING SELFLESSLY AND SACRIFICALLY – Exodus 32:31-32
A. Even though Moses thru his prayer of appeasement was able to dissuade God’s wrath, their sin still had to be dealt with. There was still a debt to be settled.
1. This is the single overriding principle in the nature of God. He being Holy must exact satisfaction when His holiness is violated.
2. This is why God would send His one and only Son to die on cross – to be the sacrifice and satisfaction for our sins.
B. Moses took it upon himself thru his faith to go to God on behalf of the people to make atonement for their sins. Look at what he says to God in verses 32-33.
1. In essence Moses tells God, "God, I will sacrifice my life for them. I will bear their punishment." Why would he do such a thing? Romans 5 tells is it is the rarest of things that someone would sacrifice their life for someone else, especially when that someone else was sinful.