Archive

Posts Tagged ‘praying church’

Pray without Ceasing! Necessary Qualities

Key Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)   Pray without ceasing.

SUMMARY

Praying without Ceasing is an experience that comes from a heart always connected to God and His word. These three words are easy to read  but the most difficult to practise. When we pray without ceasing, we subdue the powers of darkness and conquer lives for the Lord Jesus. Praying without ceasing is an experience that springs from the deep parts of our hearts as a result of a vibrant walk with the Lord. A prayerless christian is a lifeless christian.

SERMON POINTS

A Life of Prayer.

1 Thessalonians 3:1,2 (KJV) Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:

In the Second Missionary journey of St Paul, we see him facing hurdles one after the other. Barnabas is no more with him.About A.D. 50, he arrived in Greece for the first time. In making converts in Philippi and, soon afterwards, in Thessalonica, he was beset by persecution from Jews and Gentiles alike. Moving on to Berea, he was again harassed by enemies from Thessalonica and hurriedly left for Athens (Acts 16:1117:15). Silvanus and Timothy remained behind for a while. Paul soon sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to strengthen that community in its trials (1 Thes 3:15). Timothy and Silvanus finally returned to Paul when he reached Corinth (Acts 18:118), probably in the early summer of A.D. 51. Timothy’s return with a report on conditions at Thessalonica served as the occasion for Paul’s first letter (1 Thes 3:68).

 

How can we pray without ceasing?

  1. Connected with men of God- Healthy Church life.

 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13 (KJV) And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

The Lord uses His Servants to shape our spiritual life. A culture of honor is required to receive the things of God. When there is a servant of God among you ministering the word of God and leading the church in His ways, honor them and be faithful to your calling.  The precious word of God in our hearts will help us to cultivate an atmosphere of prayer. The Word gets rooted in our hearts when we honor the men of God and when we are at peace among ourselves. When we are connected with those who are connected with God,much grace and power would be imparted into our lives.

Our reception of God’s word depends on our perception of God’s servants. We must always remember that grace is transferable from their lives. It is through their ministry that God can lead you out of the wilderness of you life. (Hosea 12:13).

Let us heed to, honor and love the people, God has allowed to advice and lead us, that in itself is where our prayer life begins.

  1. Caring for others-Healthy character

 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (KJV)  Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

 A continuous prayer life becomes operational when we start caring for others. We need to encourage one another. The Bible teaches us to be patient with everyone and support the weak. This is the very reason that God has called us for, to overcome evil with love. Let us do the same by finding a need and filing it. This will help us in being consistent in our prayer life. We cannot have a consistent prayer life without praying for others and carrying the burdens of one another.

  1. Rejoice in the Lord- Healthy Condition of your relationship with Christ.

 Habakkuk 3:17,18 (KJV)  Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

 For a consistent prayer life, we need to have a healthy relationship with the Lord. The Bible tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. Being happy always no matter what the situation comes only if we experience the joy of salvation in Christ Jesus.

This is how we will pray without ceasing even when you cannot see the Lord at work but would persevere till His will is done. Delighting in His presence would cause your heart to rise heavenward. We would keep praising and trusting His name.

 

CONCLUSION.

Prayer is the oxygen of a spiritual man. But sadly, these days many of us think that there is no need to pray. When we cultivate the habit of honoring the servants of God and care for one another, we would go into a deeper spiritual lifestyle.

We need to pray and more so without ceasing! Let us introspect the condition of our spiritual lives and push ourselves to pray more and more till we see the Name of Jesus lifted high.

Advertisements

The Power of a Praying Church!

September 19, 2017 Leave a comment

Key Scripture: Isaiah 56:7(KJV)Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

SUMMARY

Prayer is a mighty behavioural tool that can move the hand of God in our lives. Through out the scripture we read about prayers made by an individual, the priests, a corporate prayer and a prayer made our Saviour Himself. These prayers were powerful to have exemplified in our personal relationship with God, to attain the unattainable and impossible through a human ability. Prayer is also very important in the functionality of a church, when we pray together in the house of God, we don’t fall prey to sin and that’s the power of a praying church!

SERMON POINTS

Matthew 16:17,18 (KJV) And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

As Simon Peter had a revelation that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, Jesus says that He will build His church upon the rock. Here we get a glimpse of the Lord’s love for the church when He says, “My church” therefore, we ought to behave in reverence to the Lord and His servants.

The word ‘church’ comes from the Greek word “Ekklesia” which means an Assembly of God. We are called out from the world separated unto God, set apart for a particular purpose. We come to the church for various reasons; it could be for healing or peace and sometimes also for a selfish gain. However, the prime most reason for us to come to the local church should be to increase in our prayer life!

The Lord has commanded us to go into the ends of the world preaching the Gospel, here we see two things: first is going out and then working for the kingdom of God. However, both are not achievable without staying rooted to a praying church. When the church prays, it has its own power to equip us to face the enemy.

 The Holy Mountain: A House of Prayer

Isaiah 56:7 (KJV) Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

The Lord calls the church the Holy Mountain from where our sacrifices go to God to give us joy. We are made joyful in the house of prayer; Jesus is the House of Joy. The question is do the people see joy in us when everything that surrounds them is sinking and diminishing? Do they see something different in our life because of our kneeling down in prayer?

As believers we need our souls to thirst for joy in prayer. We need to inhale and exhale prayer; it should pierce through the catastrophe. A whole lot and much depend on our prayer therefore, let us be a prayerful person so that our praises will be accepted in the altar.

Remember without praying there is no healing, no breakthroughs, no revelation and presence of God but for a praying church all these adds to the beauty of the church. Therefore, let us be in our knees today to find our joy!

A Panorama of the House of Prayer

John 2:14–16 (KJV) And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

We read in the gospel of John that when Jesus sees a business outside the temple, He makes a whip and drives out people from the temple. Our God is a Holy God who is pleased with the sacrifices of an upright heart at His service but He admonishes trade of the wicked in His temple. We should never come with the business mentality in the church but rather come with the service mentality which is pleasing to the Lord. Have a zeal for the church; be zealous and passionate in praising and worshipping God and we will see His hand move in our lives.

Five hands that we see in Prayer:

1) Evil hand of Herod

Acts 12:1,2 (KJV) Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

When we pray, the evil hand of Herod will be active to stop our ministry, to destroy the anointed and weaken the believers. Don’t forget that at certain times the evil hand of the authorities will be against the gospel and the men of God. We see that though James was in the inner circle of Jesus, he was killed by Herod. Therefore, remember there is always something that moves in the environment to annihilate us and confuse the acts of prayer in our life, but stay strong and rooted in prayer and the hands of the evil will be cut off!

2) Hand of the Church

Acts 12:5 (KJV)Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

‘Ektenes’ is a Greek word which means stretched out, without ceasing an earnest and a constant prayer. We read in Acts that when Peter is put in prison, the hand of church is stretched out to God in prayer. The church didn’t give up and succumb to the evil for one more loss which could have happened as Peter was next in line. As the church passionately prays, a stretched out , unwavering prayer the plans of the enemy will be foiled.

1 Timothy 2:8 (NIV) Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

St. Paul mentions that we should pray everywhere. We could pray in our offices, business or even when we are cooking, there is no time and no place on earth that we cannot pray. As we lift our hands in prayer the spirit of anger, ego and dispute will leave us and God will lift us up, it will be a life lifted in His grace. Remember there is no prison so dark where the hands of God and His light cannot reach us.

Psalms 141:2 (KJV)Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

The lifting up of hands is a sweet sacrifice in the eyes of the Lord.

Exodus 17:11, 12 (KJV)And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

Even when Moses’ hands were lifted up, the Israelites were winning but whenever he lowered his hands the Amalekites were winning. The significance of spiritual authority and leadership is much important. When the blessed men of God and their ministry is over our lives , we are victorious. The scripture further says that when Moses’ hands were heavy ,Aaron and Hur supported up his hand which signifies the life of a church.We lift and encourage each other. The enemy doesn’t like when the hands of the church are lifted up for one another, yet when we lift our hands and pray ,we will not fall prey to the enemy.

3) Hand of the Angel

Acts 12:6,7 (KJV) And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.

We read that as Peter was sleeping, the hands of the angel came upon him and the light of God shined in the Prison. Today God says its time to get up and rise up from our sleep. God is striking us to wake up so that we see the angel visiting our prison of diseases, anxieties, spiritual disabilities and spiritual stagnation. The light of God will fall on our future, family, ministry, children, husband and wives and on these prison diseases so that the chains fall off.  Remember nobody can go beyond the power of a praying church; it can shake the prison gates, the chains to fall off and doors to be  opened for us to understand the hand of angels through our prayer.

4) Hand of the Miracle

Acts 12:8-10 (KJV)And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.

As the chains fell off, the angel said unto Peter to gird himself and follow. When God’s presence come in our life we might think it as a dream but we will be instructed to put on everything as we are lead out, the iron gates will be opened for us to experience a hand of miracle.

Acts 12:13 (KJV)And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.

As Peter stood knocking at the door of the gate likewise the miracle of the Lord will come knocking at our door. God will instruct us to gird ourselves and follow Him; He will lead us from the enemy’s Iron Gate to the door of the gate where we will experience the hand of miracle. Therefore, will we open when hear the knocking on the door? This moment let us comeback from our sleep to a real self into walking through the iron gates and experience the hands of the miracle!

5) Hand of God

Acts 12:23 (KJV)And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

When the hand of God moves in our life, there are only two things that can happen the first is the deliverance and the second is the destruction of the enemy. If the enemy plays against the hand of God, His mighty hand will be revealed to smite and struck the enemy and he will be eaten by the worms before he is dead.

Acts 11:21 (KJV)And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.

However, as we believe in the Lord and turn out hearts unto Him, He will bless us, increase our number and above everything His hand will be upon us.

CONCLUSION

Church is the house of the Lord where the pillar and the ground are of truth. We get His precious teachings through the house of the Lord through His servants as we pray. The power of a praying church is revealed when we lift one another in prayer seeking deliverance and destruction of the enemy. However, if we do not know the prayer request of a person sitting next to us then sadly we are not in a prayerful and a powerful church.

Be a part of a powerful praying church today so that we can experience the hand of church, hand of the angels, hand of the miracles and hand of God to crush the hand of the devil; and as we participate in a powerful prayer in the church our every problem will be filled with His presence in our life.