“Morning & Evening” prayer this past month has been wonderful for me in so many ways. Once I get over the shock of being awake at 6am, God takes over, and the Holy Spirit initiates worship in my heart. I sense His presence and feel Him working in the inner recesses of my heart, poking around the ashes of a dull heart and stirring up a flame of desire, passion, and zeal for Him. There is also a oneness that we feel as we cry out to God together in one voice as His body. I listen to the requests of my brothers and sisters and my heart overflows with agreement and expectation. As a shepherd of the sheep it does my heart good to watch the sheep drinking from the living water that flows from the very throne of God and feasting on Him.
I tell you, God has initiated a gracious gift to the church by calling us to pray. He has begun to draw this body unto Himself in a very intimate way, and I believe we are on the horizon of something wonderful in the life of First Baptist Church.Before every great move of God’s hand, He has consistently called on His people to pray. We find Jesus fasting (feeding on His Father in intimate fellowship) and communing with Him in prayer for 40 days prior to the inauguration of His earthly ministry. We find Jesus praying all night long before He chose His disciples. We find the church praying and waiting on the Lord when the Holy Spirit came upon them in Acts 1 & 2. In Acts 4, we find a church desperate for God to give them boldness to preach the gospel in the face of persecution. The place where they prayed was shaken and they went out in the power of the Spirit of God. Many of the great moves of God even in recent history can be traced back to a small band of believers burdened to seek God’s face and to know the works of His hand in might.I tell you this because I believe God has something in store for us, but I do not know what, and I do not know when. But I do know that He has called this church to pray.
Faith is essential to the life that seeks to please God. Prayer, you see, is the language of faith. Prayer puts legs (if you will) to our faith. Seeking the Lord in fervent and consistent prayer does 3 things in which God absolutely delights.
God said to wayward Israel, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you declares the LORD…” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
He promises in the Psalms, “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalms 145:18)
2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
It is clear; the Lord is calling us to pray. But what do we pray for? Read the verses again. Notice what God’s desire is. He invites us to seek Him – to seek His face. What God most delights in is the people called by His name seeking God Himself. When He is the object of the request, God is greatly glorified. When our souls cry out for God, the object of our desire is being demonstrated and God’s worth is displayed.
Listen to the Psalmist’s heart as He prays. This is the heart we need as we pray.
O Church Arise! 6am and 6pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. Come and seek the Lord’s face with us. He waits to be gracious to us.
I love you all!