One of the things that really confuses me about the western church is in the area of prayer. Why is it that Christians don't pray? When Jesus was on our planet He constantly spent time in prayer. He often turned to His Father for refreshing and restoration. Throughout the gospels we see Jesus regularly in prayer, why? Jesus understood that on His own everything that He did was useless unless he was firstly under the protection of prayer, and secondly that He was empowered by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 14:22-24, Luke 4:1)
As we look around our world today we could be forgiven for thinking that our world is in chaos. The truth however, is that Jesus as well as many other prophets in the bible; prophesied that these things would happen as we got closer to the second coming of Jesus. You see the battle and challenges we face in our world today are not " against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (NKJV)
Friends as the world slowly begins to fulfill scripture we (the church) need more than ever to be standing up (or should I say, kneeling down) in prayer. As the devil rises up the church seems to be backing down. As Christians and as the church we are losing our authority in this world and we are becoming weak. No longer does the world turn to the church for answers, no longer are we seeing growth in our churches and sadly, we are seeing very few people being saved in the western world. Some will argue that this is because we are in an era of the church known as post-Christedom. Yes of course we are post Christ, we have been since he was resurrected and ascended into heaven. We are NOT post Holy Spirit. though This sort of argument does nothing less than show how small we believe our God is. As I spend time with God and read the scriptures I sense God saying that the reason for this is that prayer is no longer a priority in the lives of His people. No longer do we turn to God first when things happen in our lives and communities, no longer are we hungry to be Spirit filled. Rather we turn to human effort and resources to solve our issues. No longer is God given first place in our lives and no longer is He worshipped and lifted up in majesty and authority (Romans 10:3.) In Romans 10:9 Paul writes: " that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Paul is very clear that Jesus MUST be Lord in our lives. That means that He must have authority over every part of us, every thought and every action. Sadly the western church stops at Jesus is Saviour. Now before you attackme for this statement let me clarify that yes Jesus is Saviour, but sadly we will not experience the fullness and power of Christ until He becomes Lord.
If then Jesus really is Lord and He is Lord of the church, why are we not praying and seeking his authority and power in our churches? Friends the modern church is in serious trouble. We need to be a people on our knees crying out for God to intervene and fight this battle on our behalf. If we don't then nothing will change. The church needs a move of the Holy Spirit, God needs and wants His Church to be Spirit filled; fully empowered to fight the battle that continues to lie ahead. The churches that are in true revival today are those in countries like Africa and India. Why? The answer is simple. They pray and they have a true heart for God. God is all they have and as such they trust in Him for all things. Revival is in these places, people are healed, miracles occur regularly and people are being saved each and every day.
Why is the church no longer growing in Australia and the western world? We know longer hunger for God and the power of the Spirit. We no longer get on our knees and pray for a move of God. Rather we like to congregate in our clicky groups and chase after our own desires. Programs won't see the church grow. More committies won't fix the problem in finding the answer. The type of worship music we play or a particular version of the bible we use won't fix it either. Only a hunger after God's own heart through prayer and a filling of the Spirit will do it. Until this happens, until revival comes in the heart of the individual we will continue to be powerless and see decline.
Just a thought...
"if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin
and heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14