Summary: God's power rests in community prayer as the catalyst that sparks the supernatural movement of God.
Ever since moving to the valley, my eyes have been drawn to the mountains and the river. There’s days in the summer months when I ride my bike to Elizabeth Park, and gaze at the river’s powerful flow. It’s fascinating for me to watch the river at different stages. Sometimes it looks shallow enough to cross without danger. Yet, other times — like now — if we try to step into the river’s endless surge; we’d be swept away to distant shores.
We all know, this spring, we’re witnessing the blessings of God’s abundance from his storehouses above. The rains keep coming, and coming, and coming; and the melt of the snow upon our mountain peaks has been slowed by the cooler temperatures. As a result, the river has been flowing high—bringing rich life to all the communities in its path.
There’s a few of us who believe God is about to melt the hearts of our valley with his grace, and send an abundance with the likes of which Northern Idaho has never seen. With this, we believe God is calling the church to pray in the power of his Spirit for the river of God to surge through our lives.
The other day as I was meditating upon the scripture, a couple of things filled me senses with the freshness of pine nettles in the cool, evening breeze. I was reading Acts:1-2, and it hit me — the early church, on the day Jesus ascended into heaven, went back to the Upper Room and prayed continuously for ten days. Like a rush to my spirit, I felt a strong urge to call the area pastors into ten days of community prayer. And it’s happening! I’m not saying this to brag; but with humility, God’s calling us to a time or prayerful action.
Thursday morning, a bunch of us gathered and prayed for God to bond the church in prayer, and to unite us in spirit and truth. We believe God is going to come supernaturally; still, we believe that God’s not going to flow in supernatural ways, unless we first pray as a community. Let me to ya why this is so important.
It’s important because there’s power in prayer when brothers and sisters stand together for the will of God to be done on earth — as it is in heaven. For what we’re seeing now in the natural, will happen as well in the supernatural, if we unite — like at no other time in our past. 1 Corinthians 15:46 says what comes first in the natural, will come later in the supernatural.
I have to tell ya, these prayer times have been amazing and refreshing. Yesterday, as we prayed, God gave one pastor a picture of a riverbed being filled by a bubbling brook from below. God said these words to him, “Your prayers are filling the riverbed.” As we prayed, the pastor continued to see the riverbed filling with water, and life coming alive on its banks.
Dear friends, community prayer is a powerful thing —more powerful than our minds can comprehend. God says, “…where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” This morning, we are gathered together with far more than three. Let us be united in spirit, and hear why community prayer is such a powerful thing, and how God is calling us at American Lutheran to time of public prayer. Okay let’s move along and dig in. Please turn to Acts chapter one. Let’s start out by reading VV 1-5. READ ACTS 1:1-5.
In verse four, Luke records Jesus words, telling his disciples to stay at “home base” until the Holy Spirit comes. He said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait….” You know, I don’t know what it was like for them, but I know our culture hates waiting. We want to put our kayaks into the water and go down river, and get to where we want to go, even if the river is low.
The analogy is true in our personal lives, as well as in the church. But God doesn’t want us to “put in” and push ahead of him — for we might get caught up on the rocks and miss the blessings he has for us and others. If we only wait in the riverbed and stand ready with our canoes, God’s Holy Spirit’s will flow down from above, and fill the riverbed, so we float upon his stream safely, speedily, and to go where he wants us to go.
Ironically though, if we’re not standing in the river when it does rise, then we’ll miss being a part of God’s flow. God is not only saying “wait; “but he’s saying, “Wait and be ready in — or right by —the river.” Funny thing is about waiting in the river — waiting requires doing. We just can’t stand around daydreaming, picking our proverbial noses, and looking around. Waiting requires praying and preparing. Let’s keep reading Acts 1:9–11 to see what I mean. READ ACTS 1:9–11.