Friday, November 5, 2010

Getting The Power To Pursue Christ's Mission

This past week our church experienced a much needed time of extended and extensive time of prayer.  We started out on a Sunday night and had what we called a "Solemn Assembly".  This was a time of Confession of Sin and Consecration of our lives to God.  Then from Monday through Friday we had a three a day prayer meeting.  People could come at 6:00 a.m., 12:00 noon and 6:30 p.m.  On Saturday we held a 24 Hour Prayer Vigil starting from 9 a.m. Saturday til 9 a.m. Sunday.  We were praying for God to fill us with his Holy Spirit and to provide us with his power and presence.

It was amazing time!  The church really came together and as the week moved on the church noticed something about themselves.  We noticed that as we began to drink of the Living Water of God's Spirit we realized how thirsty we really had become.  Without even knowing it our church had become Spiritually Dehydrated and while we were still functioning we were not functioning effectively.  By the end of the week we God's Spirit was overflowing through us and all of the different functions of the church were flowing quite naturally.  One of those functions that we have seen a noticeable improvement was in the area of being a witness of Christ.

Acts 1:8 says, "And when the Holy Spirit comes you will receive power to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the to uttermost parts of the world."  A clear benefit of experiencing the Filling of the Holy Spirit is the power to be an effective witness.  It was on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them and 3000 people were saved and baptized.  Now that's what I call pretty powerful.  The Holy Spirit came as the disciples were in the upper room praying and waiting.  A very dear old pastoral mentor of mine, Dr. C.B. Hogue used to say,

"When the prayers go up the power comes down.  When the power comes down the church goes out.  When the church goes out the people get saved.  When the people get saved the saints give praise. And as the saints give praise the prayers go up."

How true that was for us at Valley Baptist Church.  As we prayed God began to open up opportunities for us to share our faith to others who needed to hear.  One of our church members, Henry, receive a clear word from the Lord to go visit a fellow worker of his who was in the county jail for attempted murder.  Another one of our church members while having a prayer time at the beach got an opportunity to share a word of testimony with a person who approached him.  One thing is for certain when God's people pray God provides power to share your faith.

How is your prayer life?  How much time do you spend in the presence of our Lord and Savior?  I have been challenged by a guy in the Old Testament named Daniel who had a daily practice of praying three times a day, every day.  What would happen in the church of North America if every person who claims to be a follower of Christ had that kind of prayer life?  How about if only half had that kind of prayer life?  I know lots and lots of power.  COME ON CHURCH LET'S GET ON OUR KNEES AND PRAYER.