40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #30

Revival Opposition

As we have seen in our recent study, Nehemiah faced opposition from without (Chapter 4) and from within (Chapter 5).  God had called Nehemiah to do a work for Him and for His glory!  Whenever you move forward for God, expect opposition to come!

The saddest kind of opposition is that which comes from within.  How could anyone oppose the work of God?  I have.  How often He has spoken to me about witnessing to someone, bearing someone else’s burden, stepping out in faith, facing the conflict, etc., and I have argued, refused, and rejected to do what He had nudged me to do.  As a result, I miss out on seeing what God planned and missed out on the blessing of giving Him praise.

In another context, Sunday morning a dear saint of God went out the door after the service and remarked about how God had spoken to them.  They said, “I just wanted to raise my hand and praise the Lord, but nobody else around me was, and I was afraid.”  Yes, we should not let the fear of man be a snare to us (Proverbs 29:25) in worship, but we do.  But, what comes to my mind in that scenario is, would the way I live my life, the way I worship be such that I am in opposition to my brother or sister in Christ?  Am I hindering the work of God?

When God is at work and moving forward, I must not oppose it.  I must join Him in His work regardless of what man may think or how I feel.  Satan is always opposing us, the flesh is unprofitable, and the world needs to see genuine Christianity that brings glory to God!

This morning, as we are seeking the Lord in prayer and fasting for Him to do His work so we can give Him praise, ask yourself, “Am I any way opposing the work of God?”

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!

Passage to Read:  Ephesians 6:11-24

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #29

Behold Your God

As a follow up to yesterday’s music and message from Nehemiah 5, I ask that you watch this brief video from A. W. Tozer.  If we are to have revival, we must “see God again!”

Praying Church

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #27

27 Spiritual Inventory

After 27 days of prayer and fasting, how has your life changed?  What is different about your relationship with Christ?  What will be different this weekend about how you will prepare to worship God on Sunday? Therefore, what will be excitedly different about your attitude of worship this Sunday?  May I encourage you to go back and review two earlier blog posts from this 40 day journey.  They give tips on how to prepare today for Sunday and then how to begin the day on Sunday.  After all, the Lord is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).  Will you be one of those?

Saturday Preparation Tips

Sunday Morning Preparation Tips

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!   

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #26

As Todd walked out of the library on the University of Kentucky campus last evening, he was met by a man who greeted him and simply said, “Can I pray for you right now?”  This was the encouraging ministry of a few men standing on a secular college campus waiting for folks to pass by. All they wanted to do was to pray for them.  What boldness!  What compassion!  What zeal!

Where did Nehemiah pray?  He prayed at home (1:4-11), in the presence of the king (2:4), before his enemies (4:4) and with his people (4:9).  He prayed in private and in public.  He prayed in safety and in uncomfortable situations. He prayed with his friends and before his enemies. What boldness!  What compassion!  What zeal!

Something tells these men on the UK campus, along with Nehemiah, believe in the power of prayer through an awesome God Who answers the prayers of men who pray with boldness, compassion and zeal!  (Luke 18:1; John 15:7; James 5:16b)

Is that how you pray?  Are you that bold?  Do you have such compassion?  Are you zealous, fervent in prayer?  That answer will be seen in how you meet with the Lord this morning and how you respond to those the Lord sends your way today.  Suffice it to say, Jesus Christ made the way possible to be bold in prayer by His death before all men on the cross (Hebrews 4:14-16).  Therefore, I must be bold, compassionate and zealous in prayer for and with men today no matter where I am—home, work, church, school, golf course, gym floor, Bible study, grocery store, restaurant, family gatherings, hospital, coffee shop, etc.

“Can I pray for you right now?”

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #25

Urgent Prayer!!

Yesterday, there were several urgent prayer requests posted on Facebook throughout the day.  How easy it is to just click “Like” and move on.  But these are urgent requests!  We are urged to pray because prayer is urgent—there are souls one breath away from hell; there are believer’s who are involved in great trials; we live in a sin-cursed world that needs to see grace abounding over sin; there’s the need to join with others at the Throne of Grace; there’s the need to obey and fulfill Scripture; and there’s the urgency that all we do glorifies our God!!

1 Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

1.  What two words in verse one describe the priority of prayer?

2.  What kinds of prayer are described in verse one?  Define them.

3.  Who are we to pray for? (vv. 1-2a)

4.  Why are we to pray for these people? (v. 2b)

5.  What is greatest motivation to pray? (v. 3)

6.  Why should we pray for lost souls and for revival? (v. 4)

7.  If we are “urged” to pray, shouldn’t there be an urgency to pray? (v.1)

Application:

Compare your time in prayer at home with how you pray in a corporate setting at church.  Would this passage describe your prayer life?  Is there a true urgency to pray because it is made a top priority by God?  Are you motivated to get down to the serious business of prayer in both locations?  Which song would describe your prayer life at home and at church:  “Sound the Battle Cry” or “Silent Night”?  From the picture above, would you describe this prayer meeting as sleepy or urgent?

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #24

Revival Prayer

What has stood out to you about Nehemiah as you have read this book and studied his life?  Is it his leadership or his dependability as cupbearer to the king or his burden for his people and city or his courage to face the opposition or his devotion to God?  All of these are qualities of godliness, but I believe that none would be as they were without his personal prayer life (1:4-11; 2:4; 4:9; 5:10-11).  Time in the “prayer closet” with God births trust, power, conviction, security, wisdom, peace, direction, fellowship, relationship, joy, victory and an understanding of the mind/heart of God!  Time in the “prayer closet” will birth revival!

Yesterday, I heard an individual pray, “Thank You, Lord, for waking me up in the middle of the night to pray, to commune with you.”  Are you walking in such a prayer relationship with the Lord that He would wake you in the middle of the night to have fellowship with you?  (And if He does, He will take care of your needed rest.  He’s able.)

Over 150 years ago, C. H. Spurgeon became aware of revival in America and desired the same for his congregation. So, he challenged his people to invest in fervent, intense prayer:

To your knees, you believers, to your knees. Will you lose the opportunity, Christians? Will you let men be lost for want of effort? Let us spend this week in special prayer. Let us meet together as often as we can, and plead the throne; and each of you in private be mighty with your God, and in public be diligent in your efforts.

Be honest:

1.  What do your actions say about your attitude toward prayer?

2.  Do you long to commune with your Heavenly Father?

3.  Are you casual or fervent in prayer?

4.  Are you really satisfied with your prayer life?  Is God?

5.  Do you need to repent and confess of prayerlessness?

Scripture:  Read Isaiah 63:15 – 64:12 and use it as a guide to pray for revival.

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #23

Idols & Revival

As you watch this video, I want you make connections between what these coaches are saying and your life.  You may not like sports or understand it, but you can still make the necessary application.   In answering these questions, you will see why we need revival; why we need to pray; why we need to remove the distractions in our life.

Coach Alan Baker

1.  What “stuff” has gotten in your way that you have made an idol?

2.  What idols are hindering you from faithfully serving the Lord?

3.  How did Coach Baker discipline himself in regards to idols?

4.  Since he dedicated his life to prayer and the removal of idols in his life, what is he able to do with his ball players even though he is coaching in a public school?  Do you suppose this would happen to you if you followed Coach Baker’s example?

Coach Kevin Eagan

1.  At the end of the day, what will be the final score for you? Which one matters; the scores here or at the Bema?  Which one are you really practicing and playing for?

2.  What are your children learning from you about how to “play the game of life” and to be prepared for the Judgment Seat/Bema?

Coach Devin Robinson

1.  How are you known among your peers?

2.  What drives you to win?

3.  At the end of the day, what do you want to see developed in you and in your children?

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!

Scripture Passage for Today: Read Nehemiah 5 in preparation for Sunday’s lesson.  Write in your journal one truth that has impacted you.  Do you see any correlation between what these coaches are talking about and Nehemiah 5?

Quote: “When God enters our lives by His grace, He isn’t working to make our kingdom work so much as He is calling us to an excitement with, and dedication to, a much greater kingdom.”  (Paul David Tripp)

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #22

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Why Do We Need Revival?

Please take six minutes and watch this video from David Platt, author of Radical.  There is so much in this video that explains why we need revival.  Think about how you worshipped yesterday.  Think about your preparation to attend Sunday School and church.  Think about your heart attitude.    Think about what your children learn from you as to your top priorities in life. After watching the video, I beg you to read 2 Timothy 3:1-17.  (By the way, I love sports, too, but I should never give more effort and allegiance to it or anything else than I do for my Lord!—Matthew 22:37-39.)

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #21

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Do This In Remembrance of Me

One of the means that God has given us as believers to stay fresh in our relationship with Him and to keep our hearts right and true is The Lord’s Supper.  Today, we will gather as a church family in the morning service to partake in communion.  As we have set out to pray and fast that God would revive and change us for His glory, will you prepare your heart this morning before coming to church?

Here are some helps to guide you in your preparation to meet with the Lord today:

1.  Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-34 and let the Holy Spirit truly examine you.

2.  Sing through the songs in worship in your quiet place that we will be singing later on today:

  • Jesus, What a Friend (Our Great Savior)
  • All I Have Is Christ
  • When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
  • In Christ Alone

3.  Sit still and meditate on Christ, His work on the cross, and His resurrection from the tomb by reading Romans 5:1-11 that we will read as a congregation.

Having used the prompts from last weekend’s blogs to help you prepare for Sunday, I trust that you will come to church today to worship from the overflow!  Will you be able to say when you enter the doors because you have genuinely met with the Lord this morning, “I’ve just seen Jesus!”

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!

40 Days of Prayer & Fasting: Day #20

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Prayer Advance!

Recently, I read of an evangelist’s account of ministry that took place in northwestern Romania in 1980 in spite of intense government persecution.  Revival was breaking out in churches of that area and the government couldn’t stop it.  As I read, my heart was deeply challenged by the following:

1.  The believers became burdened for other Romanians who had not heard the Gospel.  They travelled over the mountains to remote areas to reach people for Christ.  When they arrived at these remote churches, they did not preach evangelistic sermons; they simply taught the believers how to pray for their unsaved families, friends, neighbors and co-workers.  Can you imagine coming to church for one solid year to hear preaching about prayer and then you really prayed?  Can you imagine not just praying for 10 minutes with weak, silent, going-through-the-motions prayer, but heart-rending prayer for hours?   Makes me think of some pertinent passages of Scripture:

  • Matthew 21:12-13 –   And Jesus entered the templeand drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
  • Acts 12:5 –  Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.
  • 1 Timothy 2:8 – I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.

2.  The evangelist went on to say that a huge difference between preaching in Romania as opposed to America was when the Romanians were taught something from Scripture, they obeyed, and they did it.  In America, it’s just written in a notebook and never done!  I’m guilty.  Are you?  What has God convicted you about in recent days through the reading or preaching of His Word?  Have you just written it down in your notebook or are you doing it?

3.  When the evangelist went back after a year to those churches in Romania where prayer was made without ceasing (Acts 12:5),  they would hold evangelistic meetings and many people would come to Christ!  In one church in a small place called Gallots, the church was packed and people were standing outside in below zero temperatures. Revival had broken out!!

When I read about how these people prayed and shared the Gospel, I said to myself, “That’s advancement!”  Folks, we are twenty days into our 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting.  Let’s keep advancing!! What will be different about how you worship this Sunday?  What will be different about how you sing, pray, testify, observe communion, fellowship, listening, etc.  Will it be prayer advance, sing advance, testify advance, —advancing for Christ!!  As Romans 12:11 says, Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord!!

Reminder:  Our goal for these 40 days of prayer and fasting is that God would so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!