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Archive for June 19th, 2017

Pray For Others

from JO’s sermon tonight:

it’s good to pray for yourself, for your dreams, for wisdom, ask God to help you overcome difficulties, but don’t stop there; you have the ability to help someone else reach their destiny. there are people that God has put in your life that won’t become who they were created to be without you praying. they don’t have the faith to accomplish their dreams, break the addiction; they won’t overcome the challenge without you stepping up and asking God on their behalf.

James 5:16 (KJV)
16 … pray one for another

take time every day to pray for others. look around at who’s in your life: the neighbor that seems down, the coworker that’s struggling, that person you heard about that has cancer, that didn’t come up by accident, God brought them across your path. He’s counting on you to lift them up.

“but I need somebody to pray for me”; when you pray for others, you are sowing a seed for God to help you. when Job was overcome with difficulties, he prayed for his friends:

Job 42:10 (NIV)
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.

could it be that if you would take time to pray for others, then what you’re struggling with would turn around, your health, dreams, breakthroughs would show up?

Galatians 6:2 (ESV)
2 Bear one another’s burdens

we weren’t meant to carry the load on our own; we need each other. people are lonely, they’ve been through disappointments, they’re dealing with illnesses, they have stress and pressure that we know nothing about; when you pray for them, it helps lighten the load. your prayers cause the angels to go to work; chains that are holding them back begin to loosen, the forces of darkness begin to lose their grip. it may not happen overnight, but your prayer is making a difference; it might be what’s keeping them going, even if they don’t know you’re praying. you may not get any credit, but:

Matthew 6:6 (NASB)
6 … your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

prayer moves the hands that rule the world, causes the God who created the universe to make things happen that we could never make happen.

Revelation 8:1-3 (NIV)
8 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour… 3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God

here’s how powerful prayer is; all of Heaven stopped to hear the prayers coming up from God’s people. you may think nobody’s listening, voices whisper, “God’s not concerned about you, you’re wasting your time,” no, when you pray, the angels get quiet, powerful things happen, the Creator of the universe comes to attention; that’s when supernatural things take place. use this power to help somebody else reach their highest potential

in Acts 12, King Herod was against the church:

Acts 12:1-4 (NIV)
1 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also.. 4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each… 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

while they were praying:

Acts 12:7 (NIV)
7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up.

Peter wasn’t praying, he was sleeping, but he had friends who were praying.

Acts 12:7-10 (NIV)
7 … “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
8 … “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison… 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it.

Peter’s life was spared. what’s interesting is that the Bible specifies that people were praying for Peter, but it doesn’t say that anybody was praying for James; they were in the same circumstances, but had totally different results. maybe James would’ve been saved if people had been praying.

don’t let there be a James in your life. let all of your family, friends, coworkers be Peters, covered in prayer; ask God to strengthen, help, protect them, that they’ll accomplish their dreams, leave their mark on this generation. your prayer can make the difference, cause the angel to show up. when you go to God on somebody else’s behalf, Heaven comes to attention; God is concerned about what concerns you.

some people don’t have the faith to believe on their own; they may not be living right, they don’t think they deserve it, but because you’re honoring God, took the time to pray, God will bless them for your sake. you have a gift; you can help someone else succeed. the addiction will be broken, the right people will show up. are you using your gift? life is too short to live only thinking about your own dreams, goals, needs; that’s a shallow way to live. you’ll never be truly fulfilled that way, because you need other people to stand in faith with you. when you develop this habit of praying for others, God will make sure that there will always be plenty of people praying for you.

Deuteronomy 32:30 (NIV)
30 How could one man chase a thousand,
or two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
unless the Lord had given them up?

you are 10 times more powerful when you have somebody praying for you. you don’t meet people by accident, God puts people in our lives, causes us to notice certain people; if you even see a stranger in the grocery store who looks lonely or downhearted, take a minute to pray for them. it may look like nothing is changing, but when you pray, God is hard at work behind the scenes. your faith may be what causes somebody to change their life. instead of talking about people, judging them, focusing on what they’ve done wrong, take time to pray for them; maybe nobody else is praying for them.

Ezekiel 22:30 (NLT)
30 … I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land

some people are too far off course to ever get back on their own; they’re too discouraged, have too many obstacles. it’s going to take you and me praying for them. people all around us have broken-down walls; they’ve gotten off course, a relationship didn’t work out, they’re fighting an illness, depression, loneliness. God is asking you; will you stand in the gap, cover them while they’re down, not let the enemy overtake them? when you see somebody in need, fighting a battle, don’t be passive; don’t think, “that’s too bad, I feel sorry for them,” be that warrior that stands in the gap. speak victory over their life; remind the forces of darkness that they cannot have them. the right attitude is, “if you’re messing with them, you’re messing with me, and no weapon formed against me or them is going to prosper.” lift them up in prayer, let them know that they’re not alone, take time to encourage them. you’ve had people stand in the gap for you; what’s been given to us, we have a responsibility to give to others.

one time, the Israelites got off course; after all God had done for them, delivering them from slavery, parting the Red Sea, giving them food in the desert, at one point they started worshiping a golden calf:

Exodus 32:8-14 (NIV)
8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’… 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them…. 12 … Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people… 14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

the Israelites were saved because Moses beseeched God on their behalf.

Psalm 106:23 (WYC)
23 …And God said, that he would destroy them; and he would have, if Moses, his chosen man, had not stood in the gap, or the breach, before him; so that he would turn away his anger, lest it destroy the people.

God was ready to destroy these 2 million people, but because ONE man stood in the gap, God changed his mind. will you do like Moses, and stand in the gap for the people around you who are not doing right? it’s easy to criticize, find fault; you can be the one that makes a difference. if you’re not standing in the gap, most likely, you’ll be standing in judgment.

Matthew 8:5-6 (NIV)
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

he’d traveled a great distance, not to ask for something for himself, but for his servant; he was standing in the gap for someone that most people back in those days would’ve written off.

Matthew 8:10 (NIV)
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

Jesus healed the centurion’s servant, even though the centurion wasn’t even a Jew. this shows that God isn’t looking at what family you come from, how you were raised, how religious you are; what gets God’s attention is when you’re concerned about the least of these. when you stand in the gap for the less fortunate, people that have been dealt an unfair hand, God calls that great faith; that’s when He’ll show up and do amazing things.

in the scripture, Joseph was falsely accused and put in prison for many years, and then:

Genesis 40:9-14 (NIV)
9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream… 12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him… 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison… 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position… 23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.

all of us have been where the cupbearer was; someone helped us, gave us a good break, prayed for us when we were down, stood in the gap for us. let’s don’t be like the cupbearer; stand in the gap for somebody else. you’re blessed, now be a blessing. God answered your prayers, now pray for somebody else. none of us got where we are on our own; in the same way that your ancestors prayed for you, pray for your descendants, even the ones who aren’t born yet, so that they will be covered in prayer.

after David died, his son Solomon was making poor choices:

1 Kings 11:11-12 (NIV)
11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 12 Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime.

that’s how powerful it is when you not only live a life that honors God, but you pray for your seed, your children. look around at the people in your life; make it your mission to stand in the gap, pray for them, ask God to bless them. if you’ll do this, the seed you sow is going to come back to you. like Job, as you pray for others, you’re going to see your prayers answered, your healing come, the fullness of your destiny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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