Summary: Here is my challenge to you this week. It is 2 part. Part 1 — When you pray, don’t skip the details. Express to God your heart and your mind. Express your concerns and your joys. Express you compassion and love. He wants to hear the details.

Back to the Basics - Prayer


Today is supposed to be devoted to talking about prayer and I promise that I will get to that but I cannot just come back from Haiti and not talk about that at least a little bit. I do plan to put together a presentation to talk about it more at a latter date.

As pretty much everyone here knows I have been to Brazil several times. When I went to Brazil my life was changed, my world view changed and really I began to understand more of the vastness of God and His love. I saw a poor country with a lot of problems. I think as much as that first trip to Brazil changed me this trip to Haiti has again changed my perspective of things and this world.

First off we are bless beyond belief in this country. Even the poorest people here are well off compared to most people in Haiti. Most people there are just trying to get a meal a day and if they get that meal they have had a successful day. I would assume that many go without a meal for days.

In Haiti the unemployment rate is 73%. There are very very few jobs. The economy is better than it has been in the past. Paul made comment several times about how things are better. For me it is hard imagine worse at least in some of the areas we visited.

I haven’t figured out yet how to fully describe all that I saw and experienced. Honestly I don’t know that I could every have the word to express the full experience. This is why it is important for more to go to places like Haiti and other parts of the world to see they way many people live and the extremely poverty that is there.

Before I went on this trip I knew that Salonique and the ministry of Living Water was doing great things, but until you see it you can’t full grasp it. And even if you see it you would need to spend more time there and get involved in the ministry to fully grasp all that is going on.

The ministry that Sal began there back in the early 2,000’s has grown vastly over the years. The church in Gonavies I understand is about 1,200 people, the school there is around 700. Then there is the Bible College which is training future church leaders. They have a medical clinic. There are plans in the works in a new location in the city for a new Bible College building, a vocational school and tech school and more. And this is just in Gonavies.

Then there is White Mountain where they have a church up and going and plans to build a elementary school. But they are being held up by a couple women who are in opposition to them. There is Marmelade to which we traveled the 30 mile trip to that took us over 2 hours which in the mountains. This place is in the middle of the mountains and in what we would probably say is the jungle. There is a church there and a elementary school which has close to 300 hundred students in.

There is another place called Highland, which isn’t in the high land at all but on very flat ground that they have been building a church and school. Sal said when he first came into that area he was considered the plague. In all the areas Voodoo is practiced a lot but for me at Highland it was the most prominent. The property right next to the new school and church is where they do big Voodoo ceremonies. Matter of fact the property we were on to take pictures of the building was this property.

At one point I asked Sal why educating these children was so important. I asked this question because here we get an education so we will be equipped to get a job. Since there are essentially not jobs there I was wondering about way the need to educate them. Sal said it was very important. The society and the economy will never get better without education. And there education is not just in general studies but they get an excellent Christian education as well.

I took away from that a conclusion of something that is world wide. These people need Jesus. That is not new to me by any means, but for the longest time while there I was trying to think of ways the country could be better off. I know Kortney was too. And she would say if they could do this the country would be better off. I know I was thinking that way too.

But the only way the country will ever be better physically is if they are right with God spiritually. The devil is fighting hard in the lives of the people there to keep them from making progress. As I was standing there at Highland looking at the kids running around. Some of which didn’t have any clothes to wear I was praying that these kids would come to know Jesus.

That they would know Jesus and take Him with them out of their small village into the government and spread Jesus among the politicians because without Jesus there is no hope.

Sal said he talked to the village chief of Highland and told him what they wanted to do with the school and the church and at the end of the conversation the village chief said, “now we have hope.” And this came from a man who is not a Christian.

Before I left for Haiti I went to Dr. Hinojosa and he told me, “You are not going to like it, you will cry.” He was right. I did not like it and I have cried, but I’m glad I went and saw. I don’t feel I could go there and be the help they need. I don’t feel at all called by God right now to ever go back. I am convicted the help I can be here will be the most effective I could give.

Before we went when Sal was here one time I asked him why he wanted us to go see what is going on there. He said because once people have been there they will want to give more both financially (and they need it desperately) and prayerfully (which they need even more). I can say he was right because I want to give more financially and I know now how better to pray for the ministry and people there.


This is something I wish of all of us to go and see. To give more and to pray more. Why? Because the more we can give financially the more ministry they will be able to do. And the more we pray for them all the more doors will be opened to them by God so they can spread Jesus to more and more people.

Don’t we see that of the people when the church first started? By now with as many times as we’ve read it you should know Acts 2:42-47 but lets read it again. Actually let’s just read Acts 2:42.


They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

I looked up this verse in several other versions of the Bible and in regards to prayer it says, “and to the prayers”, or “and to prayers”, or “to praying together.” And we see through this that the early church prayed many prayers and they prayed together. I would also assume that took on the practice of Jesus as well and at times went off to pray alone. But they were devoted to prayer.

We have such a tendency here to pray very briefly and not completely. As we were sitting in worship last Sunday something I took note of was the length and the detail of the prayers. I must admit that understanding the detail of the prayers was very hard since I don’t know their language. But I did understand that they were praying for people by name.

I knew this for sure when I heard our names in the prayer. I asked Sal about this latter if he was praying for everyone on their prayer list by name and he said, “oh yeah, we pray for everyone by name.

How many times here do we give the prayer list and instead of praying for each individual by name we just ask that God be with everyone on mentioned or everyone list on the prayer list. I know I have done that many, many times. I wonder in that, is that a reflection on the rest of our lives.

What I mean by that is are we paying attention to the little details in our lives spiritually. I think many times we don’t and when we pay little to no attention to the little details we will never be able to move on to grow more spiritually. God wants to know you personally and deeply.

Most of us know that God sees into our hearts, He knows what we are thinking, He knows us so well that He know how many hairs we have on our heads and whole body for that matter. So many times when we pray we skip the details and just assume that if God already knows them we don’t need to share them.

But I know this, God wants us to share the details with Him because He wants that conversation with us. He wants us to talk to Him about everything. He wants to hear our hearts, to hear our desires, to hear about our wants and our needs, He wants to hear about our compassion and love as well.

Consider Jesus in the garden before His arrest and crucifixion. Let’s read this account in Luke 22:39-46

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Luke 22:39-46

One thing we know about Jesus praying in the garden and that is all of what Jesus prayed is not recorded for us. The scripture indicated Jesus prayed for several hours. (Look at the account in Mt. 26:36ff.)

Matter of fact Jesus found the disciples sleeping after 1 hour then He went away and prayed some more and found them sleeping again then went to pray more and came back and found them sleeping again.

There was much more to Jesus’ prayer than we read. While I have to make this assumption because the details are not revealed but the assumption is that Jesus shared the details of what He as feeling in His heart.

I believe one of the reasons that God wants us to pray for others and give Him the details about what we are going through in our lives is because He wants us to hear us express our hearts to Him. He wants to hear us express our compassion for those who are sick, in need, and in trouble. He want us to express our hearts to Him of how we want to break our habits of sin and to become more like Jesus.

I believe God is looking for our hearts and minds, our compassion and love, our mercy and grace, our forgiveness to match His and He wants us to express those things to Him in prayer.

Let me express to you several things we know from the scripture about prayer. Firstly we know Jesus was devoted to prayer.

Luke 6:12 — One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

Luke 5:16 —But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Mt. 14:23 — After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone

Secondly — we know the early church was devoted to prayer. We already know Acts 2:42. But Acts 1:14 — They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Acts 6:4 concerning the church leaders — and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.

Thirdly — we know through prayer God hears us — 1 Peter 3:12 — For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

James 5:16 — Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Fourthly — prayer is a channel from which blessing flow — Mt. 21:22 — If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

John 16:24 — Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

Fifthly — Prayer is a way to express thanksgiving to God — Phil 4:6 — Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Sixthly - People that we do not get along with need our prayers — Mt. 5:44 — But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

Luke 6:28 — bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Seventhly — the sick need our prayers

James 5:14-16 - Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.

If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Eighthly — Government and church leaders need our prayers

Heb. 13:17-18 — Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. 18 Pray for us.

Ninthly — The lost need our prayers — Romans 10:1 — Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 — I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.


As you can see prayer was a very important part of the early church. They were devoted to it and prayed over things like I listed above and much more. Likewise prayer is still very important to us, the church of today. Martin Luther said this about prayer. This is from Martin Luther — The Early Years.

ILLUS: When we don’t pray, it’s primarily because we don’t sense our need for God. No man should be alone when he opposes Satan. The church and the ministry of the Word were instituted for this purpose, that hands may be joined together and one may help another. If the prayer of one doesn’t help, the prayer of another will. - Martin Luther

I’m so glad that I went to Haiti. I did pray before about and for Haiti before and for what Sal’s ministry is doing there, but now I can pray in more detail and from the heart after seeing first hand the ministry, the culture, and the economic extreme poverty.


Here is my challenge to you this week. It is 2 part. Part 1 — When you pray, don’t skip the details. Express to God your heart and your mind. Express your concerns and your joys. Express you compassion and love. He wants to hear of he details of your life.

Part 2 — Be involved in the prayer vigil going on this Saturday through Sunday. If there is an open spot on the list put your name there. Take the suggested list of what to pray for or make one of your own. But spend your half hour in earnest prayer as I hope this whole church body is praying all the time, but especially during the prayer vigil.