PRAYER SEMINAR

"Revitalizing Your Prayer Life"


Advocates

In Prayer


 

 

 

Session 2:  "Profiles of Intercession:  Snapshots of Effective Prayer"

Introduction

A.  We have a high calling to pray.

1.  Prayer is the key to spiritual power. (Mt. 26:41; Acts 4:31)

a.  We are totally dependent on God as our source of power.

b.  Spiritual power is proportionate to effective prayer.

2.  Prayerlessness is a sin. (1 Sam. 12:23; 1 Thess. 5:17)

a.  Illustration: Two presbyters challenged Dutch Reformed clergy.

b.  Many today view prayer as boring, escapist, and ineffectual.

3.  Our challenge is to establish an effective prayer life.

a.  Motivation: I believe in the power of prayer.

b.  Decision: I will be faithful in prayer.

c.  Commitment: I will move from desire to discipline to delight. (Larry Lea)

B.  Prayer is the key to lifeís highest calling.

1.  It invites us into partnership with God, placing us on the cutting edge of action.

2.  It solidifies our relationship with God, bringing us into the crucible of change.

3.  NOTE: The focus is partnership this teaching and relationship in the next.

C.  Our partnership with God in prayer is captured in four snapshots.

1.  Prayer makes you a mover and a shaker.

2.  Prayer puts you on the high road to adventure.

3.  Prayer turns you into a doorway of divine visitation.

4.  Prayer positions you as an advocate for others.

Body of Teaching

I.  Prayer makes you a mover and a shaker.

A.  Merriam Websterís Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition) gives these definitions:

1.  Mover: "One that moves or sets something in motion."

2.  Shaker: "One that incites, promotes, or directs action."

3.  Mover and Shaker: One who "is active or influential in some field or endeavor."

B.  Prayer is partnership with God in the making of history.

1.  John Wesley: "God does nothing but in answer to prayer."

2.  Walter Wink: "History belongs to the intercessor."

3.  These statements have a basis in Scripture.

a.  Jehoshaphat prays, Jahaziel prophesies, and Jehovah wins. (2 Chron. 20:1-29)

b.  Moses intercedes and Joshua wins. (Exod. 17:8-16)

c.  Prayer moves God to move the king. (Prov. 21:1)

C.  Illustrations from History: Prayer brings military and ideological victory!

1.  Prayer assured British victory over the Naziís in 1940.

-- Katherine Pollard Carter, Hand on the Helm (Springdale, Pa.: Whitaker House, 1977), pp. 4-5.

a.  The British Air Force was outnumbered by the Nazi Luftwaffe by 200 plus to 26 bombers.

b.  Unexplainably, the Nazi Lufwaffe retreated before two British planes with 185 Nazi bombers downed in flames.

c.  Interogation of downed Luftwaffe pilots reveals two clues.

(1)  Two British planes were attacking, but hundreds were seen.

(2)  One Luftwaffe pilot stated: "With the striking of your Big Ben clock each evening at nine, you used a secred weapon which we did not understand. It was very powerful, and we could find no counter- measure against it."

(3)  Nine oíclock was for the English Commonwealth the daily Silent Moment of Prayer.

2.  Prayer shakes Russia and produces Glastnost in 1986.

-- Dick Eastman, Love on Its Knees (Global Christian Publishers, 1978), pp. 13-17.

a.  Mark Geppart, a pastor from Pittsburgh, has a prayer assignment.

(1)  He was to visit and pray at several locations in Russia.

(2)  He was to ask God to shake Russia, open the door for the gospel, and provide openness for freedom of worship.

b.  Mark experienced a prayer breakthrough.

(1)  His last prayer point was in Kiev, at the statue of Lenin, near the gigantic clock in town square.

(2)  Assurance of victory came just before twelve on April 25, 1986.

(3)  He asked for a sign, and the clock struck twelve with no gongs!

c.  The world witnessed the beginning of victory the next day.

(1)  The Chernobyl meltdown took place on April 26.

(2)  The first mistake facilitating the meltdown was the previous day just minutes after twelve oíclock noon.

(3)  This disaster led to glastnost, which brought openness to other nations and to the gospel.

II. Prayer puts you in the high road to adventure.

A.  Merriam Websterís Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition) gives these definitions of adventure:

1.  "An undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks."

2.  "An exciting or remarkable experience."

B.  We might define adventure here as risk-taking with God.

1.  John Wimber says that faith is spelled R-I-S-K.

2.  Jonathon and his armor-bearer took a faith risk and won! (1 Sam. 13:23- 14:15)

a.  Jonathon made a decision to attack the Philistine outpost.

b.  He made a faith/risk statement: "Perhaps God will -- I know God can!"

c.  He set a sign and asked for guidance.

d.  He followed through and advanced to victory.

e.  "The ground shook . . . a panic sent by God." (vs. 15)

3.  God desires that we take the faith/risk challenge.

a.  Pray until you know His will, and then go and do it!

b.  Danette Crawford: "What if I fail? What if you succeed?!!"

C.  Prayer is an adventure that facilitates revival.

1.  J. Edwin Orr: "Whenever God gets ready to do a great work, He always sets His people a-prayiní."

-- C. Peter Wagner, The Rising Revival (Ventura, California: Renew Books, 1998), p. 3.

a.  Orr was a historian of revival.

b.  The great work he meant was revival.

c.  Revival brings shaking and social transformation.

2.  Illustration: A Risk-taking sustained prayer adventure brought a shaking and lasting revival to Kiambu, Kenya.

-- C. Peter Wagner, Praying With Power: How to Pray Effectively and Hear Clearly From God (Ventura, California: Regal Books, 1997), pp. 16-28.

a.  Thomas Muthee was commissioned by God to plant a church in Kiambu.

b.  Thomas and his wife prepared with sustained prayer and several months of varied fasts.

c.  They advanced into Kiambu with initial evangelistic success.

d.  They experienced spiritual counter-attack from a local witch, Mama Jane.

e.  God directed them into corporate intercession to assure the breakthrough.

f.  They issued a challenge to Mama Jane for a power encounter.

g.  Victory is granted, and great social transformation takes place.

III. Prayer turns you into a doorway of divine visitation.

A.  God awaits our invitation to enter our lives and our world.

1.  In creation, He delegated authority over the earth to humankind. (Psalm 115:16)

2.  In redemption, He restored authority in the earth to the church. (Matt. 18:18,19)

3.  He knocks at our door and awaits our invitation to come in. (Rev. 3:20)

B.  Prayer extends the invitation for God to enter our lives and our world.

1.  Worship rolls out the red carpet of invitation. (Matt. 6:9-10)

2.  Thanksgiving prepares the way for Him to minister grace. (Psa. 50:23)

3.  Petition and intercession invites Him to intervene and act. (Ezek. 22:30)

C.  God uses our prayers to provide Him with inroads into the lives of others.

1.  Some need our prayers because they are spiritually unregenerate.

2.  Some need our prayers because they have a distorted view of God.

3.  Some need our prayers because they are helpless to pray for themselves.

4.  Our prayers lift the veil so they CAN encounter God.

D.  Illustration: An adoptive motherís prayers bring a helpless child from death to his destiny in life.

-- www.prayerlinksministries.org/Testimonies.htm

1.  Justinís life hung in the balance.

2.  Mary learns of Justinís condition and is led by God to adopt him.

3.  Mary initiated prayer partnerships for Godís plan to be fulfilled.

4.  God entered the door opened through prayer and provided a divine appointment with the person who would facilitate the answer to prayer.

5.  God answered prayer in healing Justin and bringing him to his destiny.

IV. Prayer positions you as an advocate for others.

A.  Merriam Websterís Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition) gives these definitions:

1.  Advocate: "One who pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court."

2.  Intercede: "To intervene between parties with a view to reconciling differences."

3.  NOTE: Advocacy implies defense, never prosecution, and tempers justice with mercy.

B.  Jesus is our advocate before the Father. (1 Jn. 2:1, 2)

1.  Who He is: "propitiation . . ." (KJV) or "atoning sacrifice . . ." (NIV) for our sins.

a.  PROPITIATE: "To gain or regain the favor or goodwill of"

b.  ATONEMENT: "Reparation for an offense or injury: SATISFACTION"

2.  What He does: An "advocate" (KJV); "speaks to the Father in our defense." (NIV)

a.  Jesus is the source of "grace and truth." (Jn. 1:17)

b.  Jesus is not the prosecution but the defense. (Rom. 8:33, 34)

C.  We are advocates for those for whom we pray.

1.  Stated theologically . . .

a.  We are a "royal priesthood." (1 Pet. 2:9)

b.  A priest . . . is an intercessor . . . is an advocate.

c.  We DECLARE His praises and WITNESS TO His saving grace.

2.  Stated practially . . .

a.  We wear on our hearts the names of those we pray for. (Exod. 28:29)

b.  We prepare our case based on the covenant of grace and mercy.

c.  We defend the person weíre praying for based on Christís atonement.

d.  We mediate by turning Godís judgment seat into a mercy seat.

Conclusion

A.  Prayer is a key to lifeís highest calling.

B.  Prayer is not a dull activity but makes life exciting.

C.  Prayer enables us to partner with God is His redemptive work.

D.  Prayer is the means by which intercessors turn judgment to mercy.

 

 

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