Summary: Overcoming things that block prayer
Does your religion lead others to Christ? Do your life and the way in which you treat others influence them for good? One morning a little clock in a shop window in a small town stopped for a half hour. Children on their way to school stopped to play and others talked because they all believed they were early. They were all late because they had been lead astray by the clock they depended on. You and I may think we have little or no influence, but we need to remember “none of us lives to himself.” Any small act we do could possible lead another person astray. The spread of early Christianity was not as
much due to great preaching as it was to the personal testimony of plain ordinary men and women who went out to tell others the story of the difference that personal knowledge of Jesus Christ made in their lives. A school bus driver noticed a child without a coat one frosty morning while she was waiting for the bus. The bus driver asked the child what color coat she would like to have. Then after school that day, the bus driver handed the child the coat of her dreams. That bus driver saw beyond one child. She started a nonprofit organization which provides many school children with school supplies, coats, haircuts and food. That bus driver had to be willing to give up something. We each need to be willing to sacrifice something in order to give a warm hug, a kind word or a compliment to someone. Eric Liddell was the star of the 1924 Olympics. He became a missionary to China and later died in a Japanese prison camp during W. W. II. Eric Liddell doesn’t fit the image of the modern athlete with fame and fortune. He put his medals aside and took on sacrificial service. Dave Thomas died in 2002. He was a hard working man who was respected for his down-to-earth values. Dave Thomas was influenced greatly by his grandmother. Your influence affects many whom you may never know about!
Drop a pebble in the water, and its ripples reach out far; and the sunbeams dancing on them may reflect them to a star. Give a smile to someone passing, thereby making his morning glad; it may greet you in the evening when your own heart may be sad. Do a deed of simple kindness; through its end you may not see, it may reach, like widening ripples, down a long eternity.
There is wonder working power in prayer
Have you given much thought to the power of your prayers? I would like for us to draw from a modern day work of the power of prayer from a church in New York City and then also visit an example of prayer that was mighty in the N. T.
We need to first to look at JN 15:5 “For apart from me you can do nothing. “ Does this verse really mean that we are so spiritually hopeless that nothing can be accomplished lacking God? Can you say “YES?”
I have read about a church that started back in 1971 in New York and it was so small they were having trouble paying the bills. The pastor, Jim, and his wife declared to each other that unless God broke through they were doomed to be a failure. They knew there was no way they could refine, organize market or program their way to being what a church should be. He was so embarrassed that he did not want to show up for the church service. They had a Tuesday night prayer meeting that hardly anyone attended. They told each other that unless they had a visitation of the Holy Spirit they could not continue. His prayer at that time went something like this: “Lord, I have no idea on how to be a successful pastor. I have not received proper training. I and my wife are working in the inner city with people dying on all sides, overdosing from heroin, consumed by materialism. If the Gospel is so powerful………..”
God spoke to him in these words: “If you and your wife will lead my people to pray and call on my name, you will never lack for something to fresh to preach. I will supply all the money that is needed, both for the church and your family and you will never have a building large enough to contain the crowds I will send in response.” There was no vision or sensational touch. God was just focusing on the answer to that situation or anyone else’s. The next Sunday he went to the church and told his small crowd; “I really feel that I’ve heard from God about our church’s future. It is from this day forward that the barometer for our church is going to be in our praying. If we will call on the Lord, He has promised to bring the unsaved to Himself, to pour out His Spirit among us. If we don’t call on the Lord He has promised us nothing. No matter what I preach or what we claim to believe in our heads, the future will depend upon our times of prayer.” The church started praying in weeks ahead answers started coming. Unsaved relatives and total strangers began coming to this church. Junkies, prostitutes and homosexuals started coming and there were also lawyers, business people and bus drivers who turned to the Lord. The church became a “Holy Ghost emergency room” where people in spiritual suffering would be rescued. There a lot churches you and I know about who give lip service to the idea that God can do anything. What we need is to have a real faith that anyone who walks into this church will become a reward of God’s amazing grace. This is a true example of how God will use praying believers to draw lost people to Himself. As we grow in Christ we see our need of a deeper prayer life. Yet there are many who attend churches who say they are evangelist or trying to reach the lost who are failing to count on the Holy Spirit to be their source of power. Do you really believe that God can save any one from sin?