Monday, March 28, 2011
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Okay, I don't remember a lot of the content from my science classes in school, but I remember some of the experiments. Remember the one with the hand generator? They connect it to this light bulb, and the harder you crank, the brighter the light gets. If you're gonna try and run your stove, your lights, your air conditioner, your TV with a little hand crank generator, you've got a power shortage.
Now, we have just outside our window on the street on this pole, a big transformer. And fortunately, that's the power we have plugged into to run all the things we need to run. I'm glad we've got that transformer voltage to depend on. Depending on the power that I could crank, it would never do the job.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When Cranking isn't Enough."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Acts chapter 12 and I'll begin reading in verse 4. The scene is that King Herod has just arrested Peter, feeling that by arresting the key leader of the church in Jerusalem, he will break the back of the Christian movement. The scripture says, "After arresting Peter, Herod put him in prison; handed him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each." This is only one guy, huh! "Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. So Peter was kept in prison," - there's not a period there, there is a comma. Listen to this: "but, the church was earnestly praying to God for him."
You probably remember that during the night an angel came and took care of the guards, took care of the soldiers, took care of the chains, took care of the locked gates, and delivered Peter much to his amazement and the amazement of the very people who were praying for him.
I think this prison situation goes beyond just Peter's own incident here. It's one of those situations where an answer is totally beyond your reach. I mean, that's where Peter was. He was totally beyond the reach of the church. They could not in any way affect this situation. They had no power to reach where he was. But they had a prayer meeting.
Maybe you're in one of those "beyond your reach" situations, and you're still cranking your little hand generator saying, "I've got to come up with more power! I've got to come up with an answer." The Bible says their response was to be earnestly praying. And earnest praying reached where no man could, did what no man could do, opened doors no man could open. God is still in the business of opening doors on prisons around people the same way.
Now, when we have unmoving mountains, we tend to have all kinds of meetings. "We need to have a planning meeting." "We need to have a committee meeting." "We need to have a finance meeting." "We need to have an emergency meeting." The power is in the prayer meeting, and usually that's the shortest meeting we have. We have a four-hour committee meeting. We're lucky if we have a half-hour prayer meeting. Guess what will do more.
The great Christian leader of another generation, Dr. Bob Cook taught me this. He said, "Prayer is a method of getting things done. It's not something that helps your methods; it's the way to get it done." We usually open our meetings; close our meetings with prayer, right? But do we stake everything on prayer? And when we pray, do we pray expecting the supernatural?
D. L. Moody said when he was asked the secret of his power, "For 50 years I have had access to the Throne of Grace." A person, or a situation, or a need that's beyond your reach. Well, don't keep trying to crank out a man-powered answer. Plug into the awesome generator of God's power.
Make the prayer meeting your first stop.