Thursday, June 18, 2009

The virtual power of prayer

Today’s Reading: Acts 2:46-47 (NIV)

46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Good morning!

I’ve been rereading portions of Billy Graham’s autobiography, “Just as I Am.” It impresses me to know that Graham knew there was nothing he could achieve apart from the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through daily prayer. While many hold him in great esteem as one of the finest preachers of our day, I personally believe Billy Graham is one of the greatest prayer warriors of the 20th century. He takes praying without ceasing to a level that we have a hard time wrapping our minds around. Graham prayed without ceasing in all things, and it is interwoven throughout his life’s story.

I wonder what would happen to our churches if we became wholly devoted to daily prayer like the early church did, every day, when they met at the temple courts. New Christians came together to share the bread and wine, eating and enjoying each other’s company in the presence of Christ every day. Their hearts were genuinely glad and sincere. There was no animosity between them, only His joy, which made their joy complete. Praying was not just something you did just before a meal; it is the virtual life breath of every believer. You can’t help but feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving in and through every conversation, each thought and word focused completely upon the Lord, while looking for His imminent return. Wouldn’t it be awesome if every time we gathered in our churches that we might feel and know the same holy fire that the early church experienced? The excitement and enthusiasm would be so great that we would not be able to hold all that joy inside our walls. There would be such an outpouring of Christ’s joy that folks would be standing in the streets, feeling the outpouring of His love, from the inside out.

There is great joy kneeling before the presence of Almighty God in prayer. This is His gift of holy communication given and taught to us by Jesus himself. Through His blood covering, we can come before the Lord, moving past the bonds of sin and breaking free into His perfect and holy presence; where we see His face and hear Him breathing His breath into our hearts. This is the place where God plants in us His hope for the people of the world, it is a joy indescribable, and gives us our heart’s desire to serve and love Him forever. Power to move comes in His holy presence. His strength helps us see what seems impossible in the human realm. When Billy and Ruth Graham prayed together before a meeting, they would envision the whole world praying for people to be saved. This helped them tremendously as they stepped into the tent meeting where God would have him speak. It is no wonder that new Christians were being added to the flock every day. Just like the early church did so long ago. It can happen again, right now.

Are you ready to see Christ lifted up in your community? Do you long for the breath of His Holy Spirit lighting a fire in your local church, with your friends at school, and with your coworkers? Is it possible to know the joy of your salvation? Yes, He makes it all possible, and it begins with a simple prayer offered up in faith.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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