Does God ever wake you up in the middle of the night? I don't mean you had too much pizza or some other spicy food and wake up with indigestion. Has He woke you up and work on you? Well, He did me this past Saturday. I woke up at 12:45 am and could not go back to sleep. This is rare for me. Finally, I got up and began to read and pray. I took a brief nap and at 4:45 went into my study and began to work on a message that God was working on me. I have found out that when He is working me over with a Word from Him it is also meant for others. I did share it in the worship service and the subject was "Dealing With Adversity." I think I will share some of it with you this week.
When the Church Prays is seen in Acts 4:23-33. " The place was shaken where they were assembled together" (Acts 4:310. This symbolizes God's presence and activity. You find a similar phrase in Acts 16:26. While Paul and Silas were conducting a midnight prayer and praise service,"suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken". This is the manifestation of the presence of God, manifesting Himself , ;letting His people know that He is present and has the situation under control. Oh, for a shaken of the foundations today by the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel 22:30 says," So I sought for a man among them who would make up a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none." God has always sought intercessors, someone to stand in the gap before Him for the sake of the land, but He has a hard time finding them. In Ezekiel's day God looked for a man to stand in the breech of the wall that sin had made between God and Israel. He found no one. Isaiah tells us that God looked for a man, but found no and "wondered that there was no intercessor"( Isaiah 59:16).
God is still looking, and when Jesus returns He will still be looking for an intercessor.
I have discovered that prayer is the secret weapon of the kingdom of God. It is like a missile that can be fired toward any spot on earth, travel undetected at the speed of thought , and hit its target every time. In His prayer in John 17, Jesus said," I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word( John 17:20). His prayer spans the centuries and embraces all who have believed, or who ever will believe. Every tine someone turns to Christ, the prayer of Jesus is answered again- two thousand years old and still being answered.
Its seriousness makes prayer one of the most intimidating words in the Christian vocabulary. We have been intimidated by the great prayer warriors of the past like Martin Luther, who said," I have so much to do today that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer," and the stories of prayer warriors like Praying Hyde of India or David Brainerd who prayed in knee-deep snow so long and so vigorously the snow around him melted, and he caught pneumonia and died. And don't forget the old "Camel-Knees," James, the half-brother of Jesus, who according to tradition, spent some much time praying his knees resembled the calloused knees of a camel.
I have discovered that prayer is not a religious exercise - it is a human necessity.