Friday, November 16, 2012
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If you'd seen the front lawn of our office, you wouldn't have been able to tell that there had been a change inside. The only evidence of that was that there was an uncustomary pile of shattered sheetrock in this big lump in the yard. The changes were on the second floor immediately above that pile where two small offices had just become one large office. A man from our staff went in, and went after that temporary wall that divided the people in that room, and ripped it out in no time. I'll tell you, it feels pretty different in there with that wall gone! Wish they were all that easy to tear down.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Great Wall Destroyer."
Let's go to another upstairs room with a lot of walls in it. This room is an upper room in Acts 2, where we find our word for today from the Word of God. In a sense, there were a lot of walls there. It tells us when the disciples arrived they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. And then it lists some of the people who were there. It mentions Peter. Of course, Peter was very different from somebody else listed there, like Thomas. Peter was sort of a walking gland; he's like all emotions. Thomas - not his type. Thomas - cerebral, the thinker - always got an intellectual question.
And then it talks about Matthew. Well, he had worked for the government as a tax collector. And then it mentions Simon the Zealot. He'd been a revolutionary; trying to overthrow the very same government that Matthew worked for. In fact, only a few weeks before, all of these guys who were in this upper room together, had been arguing over who was going to be the greatest. They were each one trying to win "king of the hill" against each other.
Listen to what happens. "They all joined constantly in prayer." Chapter 2, verse 1, "On the Day of Pentecost they were all together in one place." Chapter 2, verse 42 says, "The new Christians had devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." That word fellowship is koinonia; it means intimate closeness. Verse 44, "After they prayed together, all the believers were together and had everything in common." The book of Acts goes on talking about times when the people will pray together and it literally brings them together.
Listen, if you want to tear down a wall between rooms, use a crow bar. If you want to tear down walls between people, you use prayer. You can't get really, really close until you really, really pray together. Oh, sure, sometimes prayer can be a time when people still keep their masks on, keep it superficial, stick to the general praying kind of stuff. But real prayer is where people come together and express how they really need the Lord. You know, worship Him with specific thanks for specific things He's done recently. You fight together on your knees for the lives of people you care about. You come against Satan. You come against the stronghold of darkness that you both know is there. You admit your struggle, you passionately seek His strength, His answers, and walls start coming down.
Every married couple needs to pray together daily. It is the ultimate glue between people: Christian coworkers, parents and their children, Christian friends, even if it starts out feeling awkward. Go to your Father together. In fact, the person you're having the most difficulty with is probably the one you most need to be praying with.
When we go into the Father's presence sort of distant from each other, we almost always come out of His presence closer. Prayer softens hearts; prayer helps us see people and situations through God's eyes. And prayer is the great wall destroyer.