Prayer Demands Action
For many years now we have prayed together, and it has been wonderful. But recently, I’ve found myself drawn to the idea that we are supposed to be the answers to these prayers. God must do it by his power, certainly, but we are not to be idle in the realization of the things we ask for.
Be like Jesus
We’ve been asking the Lord to bring revival on campus. This is a good thing. However, I heard the word of the Lord tonight say to me, “If you’re going to ask me for fruit, you better be willing to go and harvest it. For when I soften hearts, they are made vulnerable not only to the gospel but also to the lies of the enemy. If you are not there to show them my love, what will stand in the way of his attacks? It would be better that you had not prayed at all.”
We should not be able to pray from the comfort of our Christian meetings without being stirred to act as the answers to our prayers. We must go by faith, trusting the power of God to help us along the way, but we are the ones who must choose to go in obedience to his call.
Jesus did not seek believers. He did not seek followers. He invited us to be made like him. Isaiah 53:2 says that he had nothing in his form that we would desire him. He was despised by mankind and we gladly heaped our troubles upon him. He bore our pain and took up our suffering. Every sin from everyone who has ever lived was put on him, though he himself was without any. He poured his life out to death and gave up everything for his friends. This is the Jesus of the Bible. Is this the Jesus you know?
His invitation stands unchanged from the day it was given. “Come, leave everything, take up your cross, and follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Instead of coming to prayer this weekend, spend time before the Lord. Ask him to reveal the status of your heart. I believe the Spirit is working to raise up young people to proclaim what is coming in the days leading up to the Lord’s return. However, we must first be made like him.
I love to join with you all in prayer, and our times together have been incredible, but I do not believe we can go forward until we have rent our hearts and surrendered ourselves to Jesus. All is for his glory, and all is to his fame.
Lord, make our hearts right before you. Meet each of us where we are and love us to the cross. Thank you for giving us your spirit and empowering us to finish the race. Rip every idol from our hands, tear down every high place in our lives, remove everything that gets in the way. Jesus, make us like you. We repent of our sin, both in action and inaction. Do not hold it against us any longer, but remember your promise to us. Write your law upon our hearts and teach us your ways. Holy Spirit, be our help and our counselor. Jesus, make us like you. Amen.
When baptism is talked about in the new testament, the word is literally “to immerse.” Jesus commands us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” We often consider this to mean that as people decide to follow Christ, they should be baptized. This is a good thing. However, I believe there is far more at work than this. The book of Acts is full of accounts where the disciples would lay hands on new believers so that they would receive the Spirit of God. When we have received the Spirit upon us, we are called to immerse others in this presence. The gospel is not a message of mere human words, but of the transformational power of God. He is a living and personal presence.
The Impact of Our Prayers
In the middle of 40 days of prayer for unity on campus, I felt like the Lord was calling us to pray for peace in Syria. I don’t know if we understood the impact those prayers could have.
If not for your sake, then for mine
If you will not be free for your sake, then do it for mine. What treachery is this that you would go back having seen what you’ve seen and felt what you’ve felt. You know the way that is good and true. I want to be with you, and I want you to be with me. Will you then, for my sake, leave this way of slavery behind and come with me?