Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

The Worth of Christ and the House of Prayer

Posted on: June 13th, 2013 by Andrew Miller 1 Comment

One of the most common thoughts about a house of prayer is that many don’t understand why a community of people would think that this is a wise use of their time. In a day with a thousand options of what we could be doing, why on earth would someone choose to sit in a room and pray. Why spend hours a week in the prayer room instead of making money at work, enjoying a hobby or spending time with your family? To many it the house of prayer doesn’t seem like a legitimate idea and therefore they struggle to jump into the prayer room. There are many reasons that we could talk about that the bible clearly lays out that makes the house of prayer a legitimate entity, but the main driving force, the center of what we believe is simple, Jesus is worth it.

Above all else we simply believe that Jesus is worth our time, our energy and worship and therefore we continue to labor in the place of prayer. If this was the only biblical reason for the existence of the house of prayer, there are many other biblical reasons, it would be enough. The beauty of Christ is far above what we can think or imagine. We see over and over again, whether in Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1 or Revelation 4-5 that worship and adoration of Christ is at the center of heaven. The only place where He is seen perfectly and rightly, away from the distortions of sin, incessant worship is taking place.

This is the model and the pattern that the house of prayer desires to emulate. Our heart is to exalt the worth of Christ just as it is in heaven. That we could create a place in our midst that He could dwell.

Lord of the Harvest (Ekballo)

Posted on: February 5th, 2013 by Ali Wilkinson 1 Comment

There is an everlasting missional problem in the world and in the Church of Jesus Christ. This problem has always been and will always be to some varying degree. However this problem can grow through the church’s lethargy or it can shrink due to her actions. This problem has everlasting consequences, both for the positive and negative. On the positive it is this problem that, when identified, stirs up believers into action. On the flip side of that coin however is the very real fact that this problem directly sends millions around the world 70-305 into the outer darkness of hell. The most terrifying facet of this issue is that it falls on man’s shoulder, not God’s. This is our burden to carry not His. This takes the gravity of this current enigma even more alarming. Yet as we will see humanity’s only chance at bringing a resolution to this dilemma is by the grace of God.

By now you may be asking, “What is this problem? And how can we fix it?”

The problem is a simple problem of mathematics. The dilemma is that the number of lost souls ghastly outnumbers the number of laborers to bring in the harvest. Therefore millions upon millions are dying daily without any knowledge of Christ, the gospel, or the atoning sacrifice that was provided for them on Calvary. Romans 1 tells us that creation declares the glory of God so that all are without excuse, yet by creation’s witness alone man rejects God and is condemned to eternal fire and judgment (Romans 1:20-21). Essentially God has given enough revelation
P2090-095 of Himself in creation so that we know He exists but not enough to save us.

The good news of the Gospel is simply that God has given us more revelation. He has displayed more of Himself to us. He has told us what He is like. He has told us His desires and plans. And God has told us who we are to Him and how we can eternally fellowship with Him. This is the Gospel. Jesus came to show us what the Father was like, to reveal Him to us, and to reconcile us back unto Himself.

This is the love of God displayed. This story, the story of the cross, is what has enraptured the hearts of believers all over the globe all throughout history. No matter a person’s culture, ethnicity, language, economic status, or political stance, sinner’s hearts are won over by this story. It pierces every heart and tears every soul asunder the exact same way. That God would die for man, that God would die for me.

Yet currently more than 2 billion people are oblivious to this revelation. They have not heard this story. And chances are that will live their entire life not even having the opportunity to hear this story. These 2 billion will not blatantly reject Christ like the atheist of America, no these 2 billion will never even hear His glorious name.

Here inlays the problem. This is the eternal issue. It is the issue of the cross and the issue of the resurrection alike. It is the issue, the plague, and the dilemma of lost souls. It was this very issue that sent Christ to earth and eventually to the cross. His greatest desire, His greatest longing, and His greatest prayer is that sinful humanity would be reconciled back Him and glorify Him as their Father, Maker, and Redeemer. God desires souls to be saved. He came to save souls.

The interesting thing about this quandary is that we have already been given the answer. The real question is whether or not we will follow the program Christ has laid out for us. The answer is the Church, the answer is us, the answer is you. God’s plan for reaching the lost is through partnership with His Church. God uses and anoints laborers, nothing more, nothing less. He does not use machines, plans, or methods. He uses and anoints laborers to accomplish His will on the earth.

Paul points towards the same issue in Romans 10:14-15 as he asks, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?”

The eternal problem of the Gospel is not the lack of hearers, it is the lack of preachers.

Jesus Himself forewarned us of this problem in Matthew 9:37, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”

Just to prove that this is a long-standing, never ending, issue lets examine the question the Godhead posed in the Old Testament.

“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” – Isaiah 6:8

God is looking for preachers. He is scanning the earth for laborers, men and women who will lay down everything so that Christ may have glory and worship in the earth. God, in His divine providence, has left the task of proclamation to us.

However bleak the situation looks Christ has not left us alone or wandering. He has given us the remedy. All is not lost and we are not in this alone. Although the task of proclamation and preaching is our responsibility God has not left alone in it. He has given us His strategy to raise up more laborers in order that more souls may be saved. He details it for us in the very next verse that we looked at in Matthew.

“The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” – Matthew 9:37-38

What is God’s answer to problem of laborers? Pray! If we want to see souls saved how do we start? Pray! We see an area of injustice and want to turn the tables? Pray! The divine remedy to the issue of no laborers is pray. Pray to the Lord of the harvest. Ask Him. Cry out to Him. Entreat Him. Lift up you voice to the sovereign God and implore Him that He would raise up, equip, and send out laborers into the harvest fields of the earth. We do not need to be left wondering what to do. We have very clear instructions on how to release salvation and the will of God on the earth. Pray! God doesn’t need your ideas, your methods, or plans. He needs your prayers. He needs your voice ascending before the throne.

Andrew Murray says that the number of missionaries on the field depends entirely on the extent to which someone obeys that command and prays out the laborers.

The House of Prayer is God’s solution for evangelism. The House of Prayer is step 1 in God’s end time program to see salvation sweep across the entire earth like a wild fire. Prayer is what fuels the mission and the mission is what fuels our prayer. You cannot separate the two. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is missional in it’s purpose and prayerful in it’s origin.

In order so souls to be saved there must be preachers. And in order for there to be preachers there must be someone praying them out. Without the prayer you cannot get the preacher. Laborers are not raised up or sent out on accident. They are thrust into the harvest in answer to prayer. The House of Prayer is the furnace of world evangelism.

“Lord of the Harvest send forth (ekballo) laborers into this region. We implore before Your throne today that you would release salvation all over this region. That you would amplify the voice of your saints and that you would endue them with power from on high. Raise up a witness we ask! And send for laborers into your harvest fields. May we be like a sickle in your mighty right hand.”

The House of Jesus

Posted on: January 22nd, 2013 by Ali Wilkinson 1 Comment

“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'” – Matthew 21:12-13

Jesus, in Matthew 21:13, gives us the identity of His house. He leaves no doubt or grey area for us to wonder. His house is to be called a house of prayer.
His house, the one He is building, is not the American version of church that is full of church “attendees” who are simply looking to fulfill their moral religious obligation for the week. His house is certainly not the westernized “prosperity” church that is centered on our comfort and our love for luxury and ease. God, in this generation, is not building the Sunday-to-Sunday church that lives disconnected from His heart 6 days out of the week.

God is instead, in this generation, exposing the futility of that system and calling His church, His bride, and His people into a deep covenantal relationship of love and communion. God is building an entire generation not on Sunday sermons but on the voice of the Holy Spirit being heard in the secret place of prayer and fasting. He is calling and entire generation into the wilderness of prayer and fasting in order to, in the decades to come, put them on display to the whole earth for the praise of His glory. God is in a global building project. He is changing the expression of Christianity all over the world. He is removing every false label and identity from His church and He is bestowing on her the noblest calling. He is calling His church back to relationship. He is calling His people back to prayer.

There are so many churches around the nations that pride themselves on something they do well or on something they are known for. Some churches are known for their worship, others for being encouraging, some for having a great outreach program, or for helping the poor. I am in no way against any of these things, in fact Jesus commanded us to do all of these things, but none of these things are suppose to be the identity of the Church. Outreach, serving others, encouraging, is all meant to flow out of the place of prayer.

We cannot replace the role of prayer with other religious activities however good and necessary those religious activities are. Everything we do is to flow out of the place of prayer and communion with God. John Wesley put it this way, “Its seems man can do nothing outside of prayer.” Jesus clearly outlines this for us in Matthew 22:37-39:

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.

We all know this passage as the great commandment and the “golden rule”. But we must notice the order in which these were presented to us. Loving God is called the first commandment and loving others is called the second commandment. This is because our service to others is always meant to flow out of our love and communion with God.

I have heard it argued a few times by some people that they aren’t a big “prayer person” because they want to go out and evangelize, serve, and love people. They argue that while others may be called to prayer, they are called to serve people and love on people; therefore they don’t have time to have a deep prayer life. Let me make this very clear, you cannot fully serve or love others unless your first love God and receive His love for you, and both of those things primarily happen in the place of prayer. Having a heart to serve others and love them is great, but you can only successfully do that if you have the love of God in you, which we receive in prayer as we commune with the Holy Spirit.

This is why Jesus calls loving Him the FIRST and the GREAT commandment. Loving Him is the number one priority on His heart for your life. It is what Christ died for. His deepest desire is that you would love Him wholeheartedly. This is also the avenue to greatness in His kingdom. Not only is loving Christ the first thing you should do, it is the greatest thing you could do. A life wasted loving Christ is a life well spent. Greatness in the eyes of eternity is not measured by ministry impact; it is measured by heart connection with Christ. There are many in the body of Christ today with almost no ministry impact but they are great in God’s eyes because their hearts have been faithfully burning with love for Christ for decades.
It is this type of people, this type of church, which Christ is building. His house is one full of a lovesick bride sitting at His feet listening to His word. And it is from this place that He will launch the greatest witness of power and outreach the world has ever seen. The first commandment will launch a generation into the second commandment.

Everything in our lives is meant to flow out of prayer, especially other religious or spiritual activities. Evangelism will not be successful without prayer. Every great move of God in history whether it be the Welsh revival, Azusa Street, or the Great Awakenings were birthed out of a people of prayer, not out of some new evangelism strategy. Their outreach and soul winning was birthed out of the place of labor in intercession. John Hyde, called the “Apostle of Prayer”, a key figure in the church of the early 1900’s, used to pray, “God give me souls lest I die!” This is where revival is birthed and souls are won. Maybe the greatest crusade evangelist to ever walk the earth, Reinhard Bonnke, echoed the cries of Hyde when he would cry out to the Lord, “Father where are the results of your gospel? Where are the souls? Give me souls!”

Unfortunately most of the church in the west has moved away from this identity and calling of prayer. We fill our weeks and years with services and programs but we lack the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and we lack the presence of God in our services. Could it be that our lack of power and presence is in direct relation to our lack of prayer? I believe that is precisely the issue.

This is the house that Jesus is building.  This is the house that will overcome the gates of hell; the House of Prayer.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes on the role of prayer to transform a society.

“Men are God’s method.  The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.  What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.  The Holy Ghost does not come on machinery, but on men.  He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer.” – E.M. Bounds