Summary: The challenge is coming judgment.
A. THE CHALLENGE IS COMING JUDGMENT
“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” (Ez. 22:30-31).
1. The prophet saw judgment coming, what do you see?
2. God warns His people and leaders what He will do.
3. God has always used His anointed messenger to warn the lost.
4. God has always used His anointed person to make a difference.
5. An intercessor can make a difference. “But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the Lord and His people. He begged God to turn from his anger and not destroy them” (Ps. 106:23, NLT).
6. Who will stand in the gap to intercede for the lost? I will!
B. WORLD REVIVAL BEGINS WITH YOU
1. Down south we “build a fire” not “start a fire.” Need three things, paper, kindling and wood. Why these? Each level of “starter” has a different level of combustibility. Is this an illustration of three kinds of prayer?
2. Because population is growing, the results of people being saved are growing.
70% saved since 1900
70% saved since 1945
70% saved since 2000
3. Will you stand in the middle between God and destruction (hell)?
Will you stand in the middle between God and the lost?
Will you stand in the middle between God and your family?
4. God put me in a circle of prayer and begin the fire of revival in the circle.
5. Prayer can’t be taught, it must be caught. Prayer can’t be delegated, you must build a fire!
6. Jesus taught prayer by example. “Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1).
7. Moses’ intercessory prayer for his people. Moses was angry. “In terrible anger he threw the stone tables to the ground, smashing them” (Ex. 32:19). Not a place to begin intercession. But Moses was moved by the prospect of their destruction.
8. Intercessory prayer is life-sacrificing. “And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, ‘Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written’” (Ex. 32:31-32, KJV).
9. Samuel prayed for his people. “Don’t stop pleading with the Lord our God to save us from the Philistines!’ they begged Samuel. So Samuel took a young lamb and offered it to the Lord as a whole burnt offering. He pleaded with the Lord to help Israel, and the Lord answered him” (1 Sam. 7:8-9).
10. Abraham prayed for the lost in Sodom and his relatives. “Abraham approached him and said, ‘Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes?’ And the Lord replied, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake’ . . . Finally, Abraham said, ‘Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?’ . . . And the Lord replied, ‘Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten’” (Gen. 18: 23-24, 26, 32).
C. WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE MIDDLE?
1. You must have your sins forgiven before you pray about the sins of others.
2. You must be yielded to God’s will, not yours.
3. It is a dangerous place, “Blot me out of your book.”
4. It is an uncomfortable place, pray because of burdens. Give God permission to break your heart.
5. It is a strategic place, pray to make a difference.
6. It is a responsible place, pray because God calls and commissions you to pray. “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields’” (Matt. 9:36-38).
7. Feel the frustration of the disciples who couldn’t cast out a demon. “Why could not we cast him out?” (Matt. 17:19, KJV). Jesus answered, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed . . . remove” (Matt. 17:20). And “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21).