As I prepared to lead a study on the Holy Spirit this week, I came across the following statements concerning the fruit of the Spirit. This deeply convicted me, brought about repentance in my life, and renewed my desire to live daily filled with the Holy Spirit. "The Christian life is the life of Christ reproduced in the believer by the power of God. The Holy Spirit will not reproduce the life of Christ in the child of God unless that child is walking in conscious dependence upon Him. A constant warfare is going on in the heart and mind and will of every child of God, every moment of every day; unrelenting, unceasing warfare. The flesh is seeking to manifest itself and its fruits through you, and unless you are consciously and positively controlled by the Holy Spirit, the flesh is manifesting itself. There is no such thing as a neutral act, or a neutral thought, or a neutral word in the life of the child of God. That which is not produced by the Holy Spirit, is produced by the flesh. Every step you take, every word you speak, every action of your life not consciously controlled by the Holy Spirit is being produced in the flesh" (J. Dwight Pentecost, The Divine Comforter, pp. 204-205).
"Let's not trade reverence for relevance... In our attept to crossover many times we forget to bring the cross over!" - Greg Laurie @ SBC Pastor's Conference
My heart resonates with the following statement by A. W. Tozer: "For myself, I would rather be among those who are unknown, unsung and unheralded doing something through the Spirit of God that will count even a tiny little bit in the kingdom of God, than to be involved in some highly-recognized expression of religious activity across which God will ultimately write the judgment: 'This too shall pass!'" (Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts, p. 40).
We would like to assume that much prayer goes into the preparation of sermons. How tragic it is when men stand in the pulpit to speak for God having briefly consulted Him during the week. However, it is possible that even less prayer comes from the lips of those who preach after they have delivered the sermon. We should be just as urgent in prayer after we have preached! Consider the following prayer focuses for praying following your preaching:
- Release all glory to the Father (Eph. 3:20-21).
- Praise the Father as the God of the Word (2 Tim. 3:16).
- Magnify His Word as the source of power in the pulpit (Eph. 6:17).
- Magnify His omniscience and providence in the lives of your hearers, rather than basking in your eloquence (Heb. 4:12).
- Rejoice in the presence of God that His Word does not return void or empty (Is. 55:11).
- Thank the Father for revealing His strength in your weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
- Ask the Father to enable your people to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (Jas. 1:22); not forgetful hearers, but doers of the work (Jas. 1:25).
- Intercede intensely that the enemy will not snatch the Word away (Matt. 13:19).
- Pray that difficulties will not cause hearers to stumble and forget the Word (Matt. 13:20-21).
- Pray that the Word will not be choked out by the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches (Matt. 13:22).
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will captivate the minds of hearers with the Scripture text from Sunday, guiding them into meditation and obedience (Ps. 1:1-3).
Our churches are the battlefields in which Satan will muster all his power to prevent us from becoming people of prayer. - Andrew Murray
How Will You Contribute to the Prayerfulness of Your Church Tomorrow?
In Scripture, times of testing were rarely known by those being tested and that is a sobering thought... There comes a time when we have heard enough truth and had sufficient opportunity and the Holy Spirit says, "Today this man is going to have a test." - A. W. Tozer
It's Monday, but Sunday is coming! I refer to Monday as the day for my "holy hangover" from Sunday. However, it has also become a special time for prayer. I begin each Monday by gathering for prayer with fellow pastors at 7:00 am. This gives me an opportunity to be still before the Lord and give Him glory for what He has done on Sunday. It also begins the journey toward entering the pulpit next week. The following quote from E. M. Bounds inspired me as I began that journey today:
Latexo Baptist Church
FBC Crockett was so blessed to worship with Latexo Baptist Church @ their revival tonight. God is moving in a fresh and powerful way!
"The Word of God must be utilized. Prayer is fed by promise. The Bible is at once the fuel and the food of prayer. Holy Scripture is the warrant of prayer, is full of examples of prayer, encouragements to prayer, instructions on prayer, and assurances about prayer. If in prayer we speak to God, in the Bible God speaks to us, and the connexion between the two is close, intimate, essential, and inextricable. No one will pray long without feeling the need of His Bible, because he must know the character of 'Him with Whom we have to do'" (W. H. Griffith Thomas, The Work of the Ministry, p. 279).
"Intercession must be prominent... We may well ask ourselves what place intercession has in our present devotions. Does it come last or first? Is it summarized or detailed? May we not say that a clergy man’s spiritual life may be gauged by the place occupied in it by intercessory prayer? Intercession then must not only be definite but predominant in our life, it must occupy not a small but a prominent part of our daily prayer-life; and as we enter more fully into the possibilities of prayer, our life of priestly intercession will be a life of ever-extending influence and power for God" (W. H. Griffith Thomas, The Work of the Ministry, p. 279).
Please pray for our concluding services @ Latexo Baptist Church tomorrow: 10:45am and 5:30pm. We have experienced the presence of God in a profound way. Thank you for your prayers.