Summary: If we are every going to change our condition, situation, predicament, that we will need people who can pray prayers for which God will say Amen.
Reading of Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:1-3
Scripture Text: 2 Chronicles 7:1 “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifice, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”
Revelations 1:17:18 “Fear not: I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and Behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen.”
Sermon Title: “When God says Amen!”
Three books I recommend for your supplemental reading:
The Prayer Tradition of Black People by Harold A. Carter
Essentials of Prayer by E. M. Bounds
Conversations with God by Dr. James Melvin Washington
When God says Amen or in other words when does God say Amen to our prayers.
The term Amen is used biblically to acknowledge the validity of a saying and its reliability – so be it.
Let the church say Amen. Therein lies the problem. We have so used the term that it has become a colloquialism – a common expression.
Let me explain: have you ever sat down to a meal and was so hungry and the food so sumptuous and delectable, its that home cooking that only mama can cook. Its you turn to say the grace; you bow your head, think about the good food, and say amen and grab your fork.
That symbolizes the problem. Our prayers are too shallow, too short, and too simplistic.
Prayers that are too shallow focus upon our own needs and not the needs of others. Jesus says to us “take no thought for your live, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; not yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than rainment? Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap … Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. O ye of little faith? … But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Prayers that are too short fail to connect you to the historical move of God and your role in God plan. If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and we look only at today and our needs for tomorrow, we forget that God has made a way out of no way. That God is and was an ever-present help in a time of trouble. That we are connected to a rich history and tradition that is spirit led, that has been spirit fed, and was spirit bred.
“We have come this far by faith, leaning on the everlasting arms. Trusting in his holy word, he has never failed me yet, Oh! Oh! Oh! can’t turn around.
Prayers that are too simplistic fail to recognize the awesomeness of God. A simple prayer doesn’t dry up the red sea, a simple prayer doesn’t deliver you from a fiery furnace, a simple prayer doesn’t deliver your from the lion’s den. A simple prayer doesn’t get you freedom when the constitution has deemed that you are only three fifths human. A simple prayer doesn’t get you voting rights, equal accommodations, and civil rights. A simple prayer doesn’t raise your children in a single headed household and send those children off to college when you don’t have any money, but you say to your children go to college anyhow. Simple prayers fail to recognize the awesomeness of God.
The reason why are prayers are too shallow, too short, and too simple is that we fail to recognize the situation we are in.
The written bible record culturally hinges on one fact. The temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. The City of David, The Temple of God, The City built on a hill. The place where the Ark of the Covenant was placed was destroyed in 70 A.D. The visible sign of the presence of God was no more. This created a problem for the people of God.
What do we do when the temple has been destroyed? Why was the temple destroyed? How was the temple destroyed?
Essentially, the people of God failed to protect their faith from the enemy. They got so caught up in their religious differences, religious jealousies, religious rituals, religious perks and privileges that they failed to protect their symbol of faith from the enemy.
That’s what happened to us. We are caught up in religiosity, but not spirituality. We are so focused on the things of this earth that we are missing Him who created the earth. “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof and they that dwellth therein.”