July 28, 2019
Fr. Phil Eberhart
Having just come back last night from a time of prayer and spiritual warfare in Ft Collins, where the church was on the offensive, I'm absolutely undone by our readings this morning.
How much clearer can the Lord be?
I think it was A.W.Tozer who said, "Prayer isn't preparation for the battle, IT IS the battle."
I was at a meeting last week at Colorado Christian University where Lee Strobel author of The Case for Christ, said something that shook me up...
The reason God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was that he couldn't find 10 righteous people. "For the sake of 10,
I will not destroy the city!" Think of it.
Abraham was the archetypal intercessor here. He embodied our task in prayer for the city, as we stand and look over this city and pray and read scripture, whaaaaaaat arrrrre we doing? We're entering into the work of Abraham... even into the work of Jesus himself!
Look with me at two quick verses:
Isaiah 53:12 ESV — Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Hebrews 7:25 ESV — Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Both of these passages speak of Jesus as our Intercessor. Our go-between, representing us to God and God to us.
Friends, our particular calling... and I believe the big C church's calling is to this ministry of prayer and intercession. We are called to enter into the work that Abraham did for the city and the work that Jesus continually does for us all.
So how do we do this? Do we have to join the Intercessors? Do we need to pray for hours each day? I think we suffer under a burden of false expectation. The accuser loves to remind us that we're not 'all that! ' If we fall short in prayer, he's quick to tell us it's too hard, give up, It's an undue burden!
Although prayer certainly is a WORK, a Labor that we enter into with Jesus, I believe that this is a particular place where the manifestation of "my yoke is easy and my burden is light" can be true. We enter into this work yoked with Jesus in His work of intercession!
It is no respecter of title, position, age, education or ability...
Everyone can do it.
You can do it at a moment's notice.
You can do it anywhere you are.
You can do it touching someone or around the world from them!
It is not bound by time or space! It is powerful because of Who we're praying to, not because of who is praying! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! We enter into that reality when we enter into prayer.
It puts us in touch with the very personality, the character, the power and the attributes of the all powerful Lord of the Angel armies!
Listen to Paul's prayers for the church we're going to be studying in the coming weeks on Wed nights.
17 I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation[u] to know him through your deepening intimacy with him.
18 I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination,[v]flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling[w]—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones!
19 I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you!
And again in Eph 3...16...
And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.
17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.
18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude[f] of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
What if we prayed those prayers for each other and for the church in this way?
And you can do it wirelessly! Prayer is the first form of wireless communication! It is instant on! No boot-up time! No log on required, he knows who you are instantly! No credentials. Just be his child!
Maybe that's why we're invited into this "work" unceasingly!??
Paul invites us again in Ephesians 6...
Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers.
Again to Timothy, Paul instructs...
2 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
Friends, I believe that God has given us a special place and a special calling and prayer assignment... here.
So let's pray...
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the efectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen