The Power of Prayer and the Ministry of the Word.
When the Roman Empire ruled the world (with an iron fist), it used all of its political and military power to try and stop Christianity from spreading. Meanwhile, the Apostles dedicated themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. Armed with the Gospel, inflamed with the love of Christ, and undaunted by the power of Rome, they turned the world upside down!
So, what made the first-century church willing to be burned at the stake, boiled in oil, fed to the lions, and crucified rather than deny Christ? They knew God’s master plan of salvation − personally!
Washington, D.C., is where the political power game is played on a scale that most of us cannot even begin to fathom. In Washington, it’s not what you know but who you know that counts. The ultimate power in the universe of Washington is access to the Oval Office and the President of the United States.
As Christians, we have unlimited access to an infinitely greater and more powerful resource than the Oval Office. We have a personal relationship with the Supreme Commander who has jurisdiction over every atom of the Universe!
By virtue of what Christ did on the cross, we have an open invitation to approach the Throne of God with confidence to find grace and mercy to help us in our times of need.
Grace occurs when you get something you don’t deserve (like heaven) and mercy occurs when you don’t get something you do deserve (like hell). You have to remember, God is so holy and so pure, He dwells in unapproachable light. To Him, sin is sin, and murder carries the same sentence as lying. If you break one of His commandments you have broken them all. Fortunately for us, God is full of grace and rich in mercy!
WITH CHRIST IN THE SCHOOL OF PRAYER
In Luke 11, the disciples of Jesus said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They could have asked for anything. They were eyewitnesses of His power. They saw Him heal the lame, give sight to the blind and even raise the dead; so, why a lesson on prayer? Because they saw Him pray before He did His miracles—that had to be the source of His power. And of course, it was!
The ability to commune with God is not only an unspeakable privilege, but prayer is the great responsibility of the Christian. The implication of the following verse boggles the mind:
And I sought for a man among them that should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Therefore have I poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought upon their heads, saith the Lord God (Ezek. 22:31).
God was looking for someone who would intercede for the nation but, the people either did not care or did not believe in the efficacy of prayer. Whatever the cause of their prayerlessness, from God’s viewpoint, there was no longer any reason to withhold His judgment. Just the opposite was true when Abraham prayed for Sodom. If ten righteous had been found, God would have spared the city, in part because one man cared enough to pray and believed God was willing and able to answer.
Stay tuned to this blog for part 2 of the Power of Prayer