Thursday, December 31, 2009
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Since Jim was a boy, it's always been a custom in his family to usher in the new year with fireworks. It's legal where they live. Recently, he told me about the New Year's Eve celebration he remembers more than any other. The church was having a traditional watch night service where everyone prayed in the new year. In fact, the pastor was praying right at the stroke of midnight. At the same time, not far from the church, Jim's dad was taking time out to bring in the new year a little differently. Not with fireworks - with dynamite! He had some dynamite left from a construction project and he thought it would be a great idea to set it off at the stroke of midnight - which he did! Suddenly, everybody in the church was startled by this thunderous explosion outside. The pastor never missed a beat in his prayer.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Dynamite Praying."
A prayer meeting and an explosion; maybe those things should always go together. Consider the model prayer meeting in Acts 4, beginning with verse 24, our word for today from the Word of God. The powerful council that had arranged for Jesus' crucifixion has now ordered Jesus' disciples to shut up about Jesus or else. Peter and John reported this to the believers a very volatile situation. Here was their response.
"When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. 'Sovereign Lord,' they said, 'You made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through Your servant David: 'Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?' Indeed, Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against Your holy servant Jesus. They did what Your power and will had decided beforehand. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable Your servants to speak Your word with great boldness. Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs...'"
Now, here's the result of their prayer: "After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the Word of God boldly." Here you go: powerful prayer - explosive results. Let's pray like that if you want to get results like that. We can learn some of the secrets of dynamite prayer from how these early believers prayed under life-threatening pressure. First, you focus on the greatness of God rather than the greatness of the problem. This prayer is actually more about who God is than anything else. Great prayers always are.
Secondly, pray God's words back to Him. The early believers actually prayed God's promises and God's words right back to Him. We should pray on His promises, too. Thirdly, pray specifically for your response to the situation. They prayed for boldness. The situation isn't what will decide this. It will be how you choose to respond to the situation. Finally, pray for things only God could do - boldness when you feel like running - miracles to show people God's glory.
Frankly, our prayers are often so small, so predictable, so unworthy of the great God with whom we're talking. When you pray to a very big God for very big things, beginning with big things to happen in you, prepare for something explosive to happen. That will be the sound of your God blowing the lid off things!