Summary: Prayer is the greatest weapon we have in the spiritual battles we fight
THE WARFARE OF PRAYER
In a small Kentucky town there were 2 churches and 1 whiskey distillery which was owned by the town atheist.
Church members complained that the distillery gave the community a bad image so they unsuccessfully tried to shut it down.
One Saturday night they held a joint prayer meeting during which a terrible storm raged for hours. Lightning struck the distillery and it burned to the ground.
The next morning both pastors preached on the ‘POWER OF PRAYER’.
The insurance company decided to not pay for the damages due to the ‘act of God’ clause in the policy so the distillery owner sued both churches for conspiring with God to destroy his building.
In court both churches denied any involvement in causing the fire.
A CONFUSED JUDGE said, ‘I find one thing about this case very complexing:
The plaintiff(an atheist) is professing belief in the power of prayer and the defendants(church members) are denying that same power.
1) Undoubtedly there is power in prayer. The pages of this Bible are filled with the proof. There is proof in the biographies of many great Christians, there should be proof in your life and in the life of this church and any other that names the name of JESUS CHRIST!
2) Prayer is not meant to be one of many activities we engage in as a church of one of many ministries you as a Christian can become involved in. PRAYER IS LIKE BREATHING! It is apart of every activity we do, without it we could not continue with any success for the kingdom of God.
3) Prayer is the very power of the Christian life. It was not given to be a start or an end to our meetings.
Many people have dropped prayer from their life because it is too cumbersome an activity, demands too much time or energy.
A SOLDIER MIGHT AS WELL DROP HIS RIFLE AND AMMUNITION BECAUSE IT IS TOO BURDENSOME!
• Term Christian is an athletic term. Paul often described the Christian life as an athletic event: Runner-Boxer-Fighter-Worker. Prayer is demanding but our involvement in true, dynamic, faith-filled prayer will make or break our Christian life.
Health club near seminary in California: Muscle bound attendant. Someone asked him, ‘How much time do you spend working out?’ ‘5 hours a day’.
WoW What people will do for physical life and not for the spiritual.
What they will do for time and not for eternity.
RON DUNN: The world does not fear the church, it barely tolerates it. It considers the church no longer a player in the world affairs and only an observer.
The church is a quaint old relic of the past that lends a certain charm to a neighborhood, a holdover from bygone days, big but harmless, like a beached whale.
CHURCH IN GERMANY:
3 full-time pastors, 1,000’s of members, average daily attendance: . 30! Mandatory tithe law.
If you have ever gone to see the Harlem Globetrotters you get two teams for the price of one. The second is called the Washington Generals. They have one purpose: Be doormats for the Globetrotters. The passively get stomped in basketball. It is their job to lose.
God did not call he church to be sparing partners for the devil to bang around at his pleasure as if spiritual defeat was our job.
God called the body of Christ to be more than conquers, to tread upon snakes and scorpions, and to storm the gates of hell and to wreak the same havic in mass that Jesus and Paul did individually.
Mary Queen of Scots: ‘I fear the prayers of John Knox more than I fear all the armies on the face of the earth’.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places….Praying always and with all pray and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for the saints.(Ephesians 6:10-18
FOUR WORDS THIS MORNING: Calling Conflict Challenge Command
CALLING: We have a calling that is in crisis: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
1. We have a calling to pray because without prayer we have no strength.
In the year 1857 America was in both an economic and a spiritual crisis. Attendance in church had dwindled.
It was during this time that God put a vision in the heart of a man named Jeremiah Lanphier. It was a vision of starting a noontime prayer meeting at a mission on Fulton Street in New York City.