National Day of Prayer May 3, 2012

Posted on May 1, 2012

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National Day of Prayer

How bad does America have to hurt to be driven to their knees in prayer?  On September 11, 2001 when America was attacked by Islamic Terrorist, fear came over America and church attendance went up for a brief period of time. Now America is and has been in a terrible economic down turn with very little signs of recovery after several years of decline.  People are losing their jobs and homes like hasn’t happened before in the present generations yet church attendance is down overall. So what does this say when people go to church for fear of death but economic troubles they stay away from church? People are going to church when they think it offers what they need. Obviously the Lord assists us with all our needs, but the American believer appears to have been programmed that church is great for present threats against our lives, but useless in economic woes.  So what is the root of this thinking?

Success and blessing from God is often counterproductive. When our lives, both individually and corporately line up with God’s plans and purposes, He blesses abundantly.  America is such a land, providing freedom and a hub of Christianity to the world.  More blessings in resources and prayer have originated here in America, more missionaries sent, more orphanages created; the list goes on and on. Even the American government is one of the best governments that helps out in times of disaster in other parts of the world.  Two very interesting scriptures, especially when set side by side are;

Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

If God’s word is true, and of course it is, America is blessed for helping the needy within its borders and those around the world.  America has made itself a lender to the Lord, the borrower is servant to the lender. God is promising, if you bless others, He will serve your needs and bless you back. So America’s heart to bless others and the freedom it was founded on, has brought great blessing to this nation.

So many people, both individually and as a nation, when living in the blessing forget it came from God and begin thinking it is all about them. King David through great endurance and obedience to God did what Joshua and King Saul never came close to; he possessed the land and subdued all his enemies.  Solomon stepped into that blessing with tremendous wealth and power and in one generation, all that David did was nearly destroyed, because people forget where the blessing came from.  Much of America has forgotten where the blessing came from.

As exampled in recent city wide prayer meetings here in Stockton, there are 267 churches listed on Yellow Pages online that name Stockton as there address yet there were never more than seven or eight ministers at any of the weekly prayer meetings and mostly only about three or four.  So why the poor turn out? Was it weak promotion or weak perception? I know the promotion was to pastors was done very well, personally I believe pastor don’t promote it to their congregations, and I believe that most ministers put these meetings as very low priority in their schedules.

If this is true, ministers deem corporate city wide prayer as very low priority, where did they get this position? Most likely this position came from the social conditioning of the modern church. So much of our Christian faith and teaching is words with no action, prayer is action. We often give verbal agreement that we believe in lot of things such as healing but do most pray first or call the doctor first; sadly the doctor gets the first call.  If our actions speak louder than our words, then the church in general does not believe in prayer, especially corporate prayer. Another reason many pastors do not promote joint church events is for fear of losing people. It is so difficult to grow and retain a ministry that taking a risk that one or more of your congregants might see another ministry or friends in another ministry and they are lead away is not worth the risk, it becomes about self-preservation, not about building the kingdom.  As a victim of ministers and others coming into The Father’s House and proselytizing people almost in my presence, I understand the fear.  In most cases if a person can be stolen or drawn away, you really didn’t have them to begin with, they too were about self not the kingdom in many cases. We have to remember promotion comes from God, we have to seek His ways first and trust that the local church will have the right people it needs to complete it job as a church of Stockton.

We always must fall back on the Word of God for the answers. So what is the Biblical example of corporate, city wide, and group prayer? Here are a few examples;

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

God promised the outpouring on the day of Pentecost, yet they were obedient, at least twelve apostolic leaders gathered, maybe more, not challenging for the best position but seeking and waiting for the promise of God and it arrived as promised.

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Have you been in prayer meetings where an earthquake took place lately? God showed up as the people came together believing.

Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him 6 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. 7  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.

Corporate prayer beckons an angel to set Peter free. Even Rhoda and the others praying were shocked at the results of their prayer.

Should the churches of Stockton come together and give God an opportunity to shake our city and shock us with His miracles?

Please be encouraged to participate in every prayer event you can, even if it seems like you are the only one.  God will bless us as we are obedient for this great city of Stockton and its churches!Image

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