Prayer and the Church (from the book of Acts)

I am a minister for a small, make that micro sized church. We are now running 15. That’s after months of averaging 10. we are growing slowing. We have had group of believers join us and that is what we need right now, Christians. In order to function, we need believers who will exercise their gifts for the Lord in the church.

ford_model_tWe looking for the Lord’s way, but it has been slow and that may be a good thing. Most of our folks are seniors and limited by health and energy. It’s like the difference between a Model T Ford and a Shelby Mustang. The Model and Shelby are both cars that offer transportation, but just try to make a Model T go fast and it will probably shake apart. A Model T cannot go anywhere near as fast as a Shelby Mustang. Our congregation has been a Model T and God is taking us along as fast as we are capable of moving.

We have been praying and being patient and waiting on the Lord at times is hard. Cruising images (1)along at 28 mph can be frustrating when you want to reach people with Jesus. But we are running as fast as the Lord allows at the moment. But how do we proceed. What plan of action do we need to move forward?

We need to pray. Oh, wait, we have been. We have been praying. But are we asking for the right things? How should we pray? It struck me this morning that the prayers in the book of Acts may be the Biblical source to inform our prayers. I am going to study this out. I intend to share what I learn and how our church goes.

We are the Linn Creek Christian Church of Linn Creek, Missouri. Please join us by praying for our congregation.

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Gut Wrenching Prayer (Jesus Praying in the Garden)

When Jesus was praying in the Garden, “My Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from me,” (@Mt. 26:39, NASB) he was asking the Father for another way. Jesus knew the extent of the horror he was going to experience. He knew how he would die and what it would cost him to go through that experience.

I’ve heard it said that Jesus wasn’t afraid of the physical pain. I can’t believe that to be true. But I do believe the physical pain was minor compared to the pain of feeling forsaken and separated from God when he would become sin for us.

Jesus comes to the Father, alone, with his friends a short distance away and he pleads with God, with his sweat becoming like drops of blood. He knows what is about to happen. He knows the terror his soul and his flesh will feel. He does not want to be separated in his loving, unified fellowship with God the Father. That separation will tear at his heart and soul. It will be the worst thing that can happen.

Jesus will know what it is like for people to be far away from God. What kind of hell their souls are in and will be in if they continue in sin with the consequence of punishment in hell.

Is there another way? Can we accomplish this in a different way some way where we will not be separated by sin?

Jesus never once wanted to abandon humanity to sin. He wasn’t betraying our faith and trust. He knew what was coming and what it meant and asked for something different.

But, because his relationship with the Father was one of love and unity and obedience, Jesus willingly submitted himself to the will and vision of God the Father. His words, “Yet not as I will, but as you will,” (Mt. 26:39, NASB) tell of his love for the Father and his love for humanity which bears the image of God.

This was a huge sacrifice for Jesus. He would be beaten and ripped to pieces and then crucified until he died, but his sacrifice was his fellowship with God is so pure and holy, he cannot associate with sin.  And if Jesus was experiencing pain from separation anxiety, consider what God the Father would experience.

Because Jesus willingly died for our sin, through our faith in him, our sins are forgiven. When Jesus died with our sins placed on him, the eternal power of sin was put to death. When Jesus rose from the dead, he came to life without sin because sin was defeated. Sin, the power of sin, and sin’s leader the devil were all done in.

To deal with sin, it gut wrenching. It is for us now, it was for Jesus then. But that is what he came to do, deal with sin by putting sin to death. And the Father’s will was accomplished when Jesus died on the cross for me and for you.

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Pray

I want to make a special request of you.  About a week ago (Dec. 29, 2009) I posted a tribute to a man of God, a man full of faith and eternal life and shared about his faith as cancer is taking his life  https://blogthechurch.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/dying-mans-faith/

Jim is about to experience life.  Hospice called me this afternoon to inform me that Jim may only have a couple of days left here on this planet.

My little church is making preparations to care for Jim and his wife in the coming days.  I have a special request of you.  Please pray for Jim and his family.

Life is precious, that is why so many of stand up against abortion and it’s supporters.  Life is precious, but eternal life is extraordinary.  Jim is ready to meet the Almighty God of creation and his Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

His life is in God’s hands and always has been.  His soul will leave the tent which is his body, very soon, and take up residence in the richest neighborhood there, where God’s house has had a room added on for hiim.

There is going to mourning and crying as well as laughter and rejoicing.  Pray for Jim as he goes through these last days and for his wife and family as they continue to trust in God the way they have learned from this extraordinary man of fatih.