Summary: The Lord loves it when His children are on their knees in prayer.
Why Revival Tarries Series, Part 1
Series based on Leonard Ravenhill’s work Why Revival Tarries
You Cannot Function Without Unction
May 11, 2011
A Why is it when we have a prayer meeting or a call to prayer, people feel as if that is a pass to stay home or stay away?
1 What could be more dear to the Lord than His children on their knees in prayer?
a Not as loud as worship, not as philosophical as preaching...doesn’t wear an evening gown or pearls.
b Plain, humble, non-glamorous
2 You don’t have to plan a prayer service, prepare for a guest speaker to come in & do a prayer service.
a Not a lazy or slothful service
b Prayer & prayer services are spiritual
3 You don’t need to be “spiritual” to preach, that is, to deliver sermons.
a Study, good skill set, know hermeneutics, know how to exegete a text, good memory, smarts, ambition, charisma/personality, have a good library, self-confidence...you can get in the pulpit nowadays somewhere.
b Preaching affects people; prayer affects God.
aa Tragedy in the church is there are too many dead preachers in dead pulpits preaching dead sermons to dead people.
bb No unction!
c Maybe structurally sound, doctrinally accurate...I think we get away with being half as intellectual if we were twice as spiritual (phony spirituality).
d What’s unction? When someone is anointed with oil or ointment as a religious rite, or when someone is instilled as king.
aa Fervor, covering with the Holy Spirit
bb Excited, passionate about Him
e I would rather hear a preacher excited, full of unction, passion rather than a dead, polished & poised orator.
4 Unction doesn’t just land on the windowsill.
a Unction is personal, won, gained, earned-by prayer.
aa For preachers & for laity
bb Dynamite is dynamite no matter whether it’s in a cave, canyon, car, in the dark or the light...it has power!
cc Unction is the same way...it isn’t affected by how you feel, if you’re cast in prison, preacher hits a homer, the music isn’t to your liking...unction prevails wherever & whenever logic fails.
b We need unction to truly function.
B We live in a time when there are more churches than at any other time in history (altars empty, pews half-full, baptistry never used). These things won’t happen without unction.
1 Churches have multi-million dollar facilities, first-class audio/visual systems, lighting that would make Pink Floyd drool.
a No one comes to the altar! Incredible smart pastors as communicators-stop offering invitations. (IL) boat with new depth finders, rods, & reels...always comes back to the dock empty. No excuses for empty live wells.
b Misapply “My Word...shall not return to me void.”
c Ugly truth is altar fires are cut or burning low.
aa Prayer meeting are dead or dying.
bb If I announced on Sunday morning that there would be a prayer meeting that night, I can guarantee you two things:
• Attendance would be down
• I’d hear, “I guess the preacher wanted a night off.”
2 Our attitude toward prayer tells God what was begun in the Spirit we can finish in the flesh.
a I’ve never been asked as a potential pastor candidate how much time I spend in prayer daily.
aa Preachers who don’t spend an hour or two in prayer daily are not worth a dime a dozen, regardless of their degrees.
bb The church is on the sidewalk watching the world cartwheel itself to hell, & we act like we’re helpless to counter the tide-can’t protest!
cc Roman Catholic Church doesn’t even call us Protestants anymore-we’re referred to as non-Catholics.
b Churches/pulpits who should be fishing for men are now fishing for compliments from men.
3 We can preach & perish, but we cannot pray & perish.
a The church could do with a little less preaching & a little more praying.
b But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit...Jude 1:20 (NASB)
4 No man is greater than his prayer life, no church is greater than their prayer meetings.
a The pastor who is not praying is playing.
b The people who are not praying are straying.
aa If people are sinning, they stop praying.
bb If people are praying, they stop sinning.
5 The church needs fewer interferers & more intercessors...fewer organizers & more agonizers...fewer payers/players & more prayers.
a Less fashion-more passion
b Less fear-more tears
C The ministry of prayer/intercession is open to all.
1 The ministry of preaching is open to few; not everyone can preach/not everyone can pastor...but everybody & anybody can pray.
2 Most Christians know little of binding/loosing.
a "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Matt 16:19 (NASB)