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Synopsis of What is the Good of Prayer
Good and joyful day today to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day the Lord has made. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite, we’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slice comes from: three verse to consider the title of today’s message: “What is the Good of Prayer?”
First, we need prayer because: Luke 11:1 Once when Jesus had been out praying, one of his disciples came to him as he finished and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name ………
Second, we must do it because of : Luke 18:11 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up. 12 “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who was a godless man with great contempt for everyone. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, appealing for justice against someone who had harmed her. 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but eventually she wore him out. ‘I fear neither God nor man,’ he said to himself, 5 ‘ but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’ ” 6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this evil judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end, so don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who plead with him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly!”
Then, the Ureason is because: we can do it; in two ways:
* By asking – as Jesus said in John 5:16 JOH 15:7 But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! * By seeking – according to Matthew 7:7 Jesus tells us: “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.
In other words, prayer alters circumstances through Christ. Is God that willing? Yes…. only if we are willing to spend time with God. Well let’s look at the beginning of our nation. Long-time American history professor and award-winning author, Rod Gragg, has documented how faith and public, as he called itA: “Days of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer” actually prepared, sustained, and enabled Colonial Americans to win the War for Independence. He wrote:
In Virginia, the House of Burgesses… the first American legislature to denounce the Stamp Act… took the lead, in opposition to the Intolerable Acts. The Virginia legislators declared that the day on which the port of Boston would be forcibly closed — June 1, 1774 — should be observed throughout Virginia as a day of “fasting, humiliation and prayer.” Crafted by a gifted young wordsmith named Thomas Jefferson, the resolution urged Virginia’s colonists to “implore the Divine Interposition for averting the heavy Calamity, which threatens Destruction to our civil Rights, and the Evils of civil War; to give us one Heart and one Mind firmly to oppose, by all just and proper Means, every Injury to American Rights….” Virginia’s royal governor responded by ordering the legislators to disband and go home. Instead they passed another resolution, this one calling for the creation of a continental congress that would represent “the united interests of America.” …The Continental Congress, which would prove critical to the birth of the American nation, was triggered by an act of faith- the vote by the Virginia House of Burgesses to declare a day of prayer and fasting. Despite the objections of the colony’s royal governor, the legislators publicized their prayer and fasting resolution in the colony’s newspapers so that the people of Virginia could participate. On June 1, 1774, countless did, dropping all other duties to attend church and engage in “fasting, humiliation and prayer.” Among them was George Washington, who penned in his diary: “Went to church and fasted all day.” (By the Hand of Providence, How Faith shaped the American Revolution, Ch.2, “For Such a Time as This.”)
A year later, June 12th 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress called for July 20th 1775, to be a day of “Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer” throughout the colonies. Massachusetts Representative John Adams later wrote his wife, Abigail, “We have appointed a Continental fast. Millions will be upon their knees at once before their great Creator, imploring his forgiveness and blessing; his smiles on America’s councils and arms.”
The use of the term “humiliation” is strange to the modern ear. But in earlier days biblically literate Christians understood the fundamental truth: “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6; & 1 Pet 5:5). Fast days were meant for people to humble themselves thoroughly before the Lord. God’s promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 requires us first to humble ourselves.
The prophet Joel wrote: Joel 2:12-13 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. This is a profound call to men, women, boys and girls, young and old, to humble ourselves — spirit, mind and body — and wholeheartedly to turn to the Lord. Nothing less will satisfy God’s desire and open wide the door for Him to forgive, heal, bless and restore.
The Lord calls to His people, through humility, prayer, and repentance, tolead our nation back to God.
Call2Fall – this is where Call2Fall (Sunday, July 30th) comes into focus. We have no illusion that Call2Fall is anything more than what it is: an effort to equip and encourage America’s churches in taking a small step toward cultivating a culture of humility, prayer, and repentance for our own sins and for those of our nation.
• May believers who know about Call2Fall, get wholeheartedly involved. May they urge their Christian friends to visit Call2Fall.com, understand it, and click “I’m in!” May pastors and Christian leaders rush to unite with us and motivate their churches and networks to spend at least five minutes on their knees on Sunday, June 30th! (Ps 110:3; 133: 1ll; 145: all, esp.v.19; Mt 4:28:30; 22:2 ff; 28:18-20; Eph 4:16)
• May thousands of churches devote their entire service(s) to the Call2Fall and may this year’s Call2Fall, like those in the revolution and founding era, impact our nation powerfully for good, today! May this movement blend with other prayer and repentance movements of God until our nation’s pulpits flame with righteousness, our homes are filled with all the goodness of God and every neighborhood in America is ablaze with the love and holiness of Christ. May our beloved nation be set back on God’s course! May the world yet be blessed by Awakening in America!
Falling on our knees in united prayer before the Lord is meaningful, given the “humiliation, prayer and fasting days” that preceded, enabled, sustained, and helped win our liberty at the founding of our nation.
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