Go back to normal view
The Bible teaches us that God keeps the best wine until the end and that the Glory of the latter House will be greater than the Former. Because of this,along with many others in our Nation and elsewhere,we are believing God for a Greater outpouring of His Spirit to complete the Church than was experienced at it's commencement. And so,having come to the Way Church in October 2018 we are making Prayer our first priority. The followiing message was preached on Sunday January 20th 2019 and gives some indication of our current heart for Revival.. We intend to ensure that the Basement Level remains fully closed and,at the moment,most of our activity is on the First Floor. However we are believing God that,by the end of this year,the Ground Floor and the Second Foor will be fully open.
It is always good to focus on the theme of Prayer in January but in 2019 we are believing for a “Year of Ever Increasing Prayer”. We note that the disciples did not ask Jesus to “teach them to preach” or to “teach them to heal the sick” or to “teach them to walk on water” but just to” teach them to pray” the implication being that all other ministries stem from a healthy prayer life. Today I want to picture our prayer life as being like shopping in a multi-storey shop. (As an aside we note that many such shops are closing on our High Streets today and also, sadly, many church prayer meetings are closing. People say “they can pray at home” but surely ,if they do, they will also want to pray with others whenever there is opportunity). The shop we are thinking of today has 4 floors.
1 Basement Level Floor of Prayerlessness
As we enter the shop we see some stairs going down to a lower level but these are roped off, the area seems only dimly lit, and there are “No Entry” signs. Strange sounds of quarrels and fights emerge from this area and yet, despite this, some people still go down there. James 4v1,2 describes this floor “You do not have because you do not ask God”( v2). Sad to confess I myself have visited this floor recently, spent a lot of money there, and received nothing in return. But then better men than I have been here also. When Joshua was conquering land in Canaan with great anointing he was met by a group of leaders from a nearby country who asked him to make peace with them. They deceived Joshua and his leaders by saying they were from a distant country and showed them stale bread and other items which they said were fresh when they left home. Amazingly Joshua and his leaders sampled the stale bread but did not enquire of the Lord Joshua 9v14. Also on this floor we find prayer with fleshly motives which, at best, is futile and unanswered. James 4v3. But note Psalm 106 v13-15. Take heed then beware this floor! – never allow apparent urgency of decision and action to supplant the priority of Prayer.
2 Ground Floor Floor of Asking
As we enter this store we arrive on the Asking Floor described in Luke 11 v9,10. We immediately see a vast range of luxury items, clearly precious and of great price. In fact no amount of any currency can purchase any of them but the good news is that we are all eligible to use the store Credit Card. This is called the Blood of Jesus and we can obtain any item “in His Name”. We do find, however that each card has a credit limit. This is the level of our faith. Everyone has faith for salvation (Ephesians 2v8) but after this our faith should grow through exercise and the Word of God (2 Corinthians 5v7;Romans 10v17). When a new credit card is received many will be eager to use it straightaway without reading the “small print” that comes with it. This works fine but it’s good to read the “small print”also. This is many pages long but, to begin with, we can read John 14v13,14;John 15v7,16; John 16v24. Let’s start looking now around this floor. What treasures are here First and foremost we find Salvation Acts 2v21; next to this the Baptism in the Holy Spirit John 7v37,38; and close beside Healing James 5v14-16 and then, foremost amongst so many others Wisdom James 1v5,6. No wonder this floor is filled with joy, praises and thanksgiving. No wonder so many spend all their lives on this floor and never venture to the 2 floors above. And yet there are so many more treasures on these floors that cannot be obtained anywhere else.
3 First Floor Floor of Travailing John 16v20,21a
The first problem that we might encounter is that there is a frequent escalater fault so we will have to use the stairs. Thus it can be a struggle just to get here and that, alone, can put some people off. The floor is dimly lit, only just enough to find our way around but late-night shopping seems to be the common practice-sometimes all night! But perhaps what is most unsettling is the strange people we meet here. There’s a man in the corner and he’s bent down and swaying around almost like he’s in a wrestling match but we can’t see his opponent. And he’s been doing this for hours. Genesis 32 v24-26. Then in another corner is an elderly man with his hands in the air holding a sheperd’s staff. He’s been here a long time too – suddenly his hands become weary and the staff is about to fall but, out of nowhere two men run and stand alongside him to help. Exodus 17v10-13. And then, in a third corner as if this wasn’t strange enough, we see a drunken woman. This is almost enough to make us want to leave this floor and return to the ground floor again–and sadly some people do-but we stay and look closer and see her lips are moving but no sound is emerging. 1 Samuel 1v12,13. Lastly-and we almost stumble over him-we find a man kneeling down with his head between his knees. And alongside him is a servant whom he sends at hourly intervals to look out the windows to see if it’s raining. Ridiculous it hasn’t rained here for years 1 Kings 18v41,42. Such examples are all, of course, from the Old Testament but we can readily find similar ones in the New. Such as when Paul said “he was again in the pains of childbirth.” Galatians 4v19. Literally? Yes I think so. But let us spend some more time with the first man we saw. He said His name was Jacob. He had a large family and many pressing issues, not least his brother Esau but he took radical measures to be alone with God. Genesis 32v24-26. We are what we are when we are “alone with God” The health of the church in the UK is determined by the quality of the private devotional life of it’s members. Jesus spoke of private Prayer which is always rewarded but we must “shut the door” (and leave mobile phones outside and whatever else could hinder) Matthew 6v6,7. Then Jacob was persistent - he refused to stop praying until he had received his desired object .Genesis 32v26 The word “until”is crucial to prayer on this floor. Hosea 10v12;Luke 24v49. Recently upgrading the church website I began with the Calendar Sunday Family Worship Start Time 1030am Finish Time 1230pm Prayer Start Time 6pm Finish Time…. Beware!!!! We may generally finish around 7pm or 730pm but if we are going to see God move in power this year there will be at least one meeting which finishes much later than usual and we always need to be open to that as the Spirit leads us. Lastly Jacob struggled with God. God called his name Israel “because he had struggled with God and with man and had overcome” Genesis 32v28. This struggling in Prayer is often mentioned in the New Testament Colossians 2v1;Colossians 4v12 We wrestle not against flesh and blood… Ephesians 6v12 KJV. I believe that it is almost, if not totally, impossible to describe or explain in human language how we engage in this kind of Prayer. Luke’s parables on Prayer use the word “importunity” Luke11v8 KJV or “shameless persistence and insistence” Amp. In the parable of the Unjust Judge we read that the judge protected the widow because “ she might assault me or strangle me” Luke 18v5. So we pray like this! We are encouraged to emulate Elijah’s prayer life who “prayed earnestly…” (KJV Margin He prayed in his prayer) James 5v17. So we say Lord Teach us to Pray Luke 11v1 and open our hearts to the Teacher Romans 8v26,27. And we thank God that we shall surely reach the top floor soon.
4 Second Floor Floor of Prevailing John 16v21,22
What a contrast to the one below. This floor is filled with the Joy and the Presence of God. Weeping may last for a night but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30v5. We meet the same people here who we met on the first floor but now totally changed. Here is Jacob, but his name has now been changed to Israel. He has obviously seen the face of God and his whole being radiates God’s Glory. Somehow he knows as never before that as he prays for his children he is laying the foundation of a new Nation – Israel. And then there is Hannah now pregnant and leading worship “My heart rejoices in the Lord;in the Lord my horn is lifted high… 1 Samuel 2v1,2. But the biggest change must be in Elijah- no longer kneeling he has run to the window and is excitedly looking out. What are you looking at Elijah-is it the great rain-storm? – for this had started just 30 minutes ago.” No” he replies,”I knew that was coming and I expected that – but look downstairs, crowds of people are running into the shop from all directions and they are going on the Ground Floor, getting Saved; baptised in the Holy Spirit; many getting healed and.. Praise God, some are even coming up the stairs!
So this Year Let us say with a fresh expectancy Lord Teach us to Pray. Let us make ourselves available to the Holy Spirt to teach us. Let us believe God for a Year of Impossibility, of Overcoming and increase in Breakthrough as God's Promises are fullfilled tied to an increase in Prayer.
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Please join us for Worship Sundays 10.30am.
Please join us for Prayer: Sundays 6.00pm and Wednesdays 7.00pm
All services at The Way Church, The Green, Werrington. Peterborough PE4 6RT