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Prayer: The Lifeline of Revival

David Shin


Pastor David continues in his second installment in his three part series on revival - how seemingly small things can make a big difference.


David Shin

Dr. David Shin is the President of Ouachita Hills College.



  • November 12, 2016
    11:30 AM
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Good morning happy Sabbath. And thank you so much for that wonderful book care of flowers and. Your appreciation absolutely thrilled to be with you and Eric could you give me a little bit more in the fold there we go thank you. Well did you make it through this week thank you well it's not applause just in case someone voted a different way all right. Well regardless of how you voted I think everyone can agree that or think well this is only once every 4 years a man praise the Lord for that and I want to read before we get into our message proper Paul's admonition of. Who we are to pray for 1st Timothy Chapter 2 verse one into 1st of all then I urge that petitions prayers intercessions and thinks giving be offered on behalf of all men for kings and all those in authority so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all goodness and dignity this is good and pleasing in this sight of our God and savior so we can do that pray for those in authority pray for this country in our leadership and we know that ultimately the Lord is in control and we know the end of the story Amen so let's our heads together Father in heaven we thank you for this opportunity to come into your presence we thank you that we can check in any time throughout the day. We think you that you're a god that hears and answers our prayers we pray for this country and the new leadership we pray that you would bless this country we thank you for the privileges and the religious liberty that we now experience we pray that you would be with us now as we open your word and you speak to us we ask these things in Jesus name Amen in his book Malcolm Gladwell well imagine that you see his book on the screen. In his book Malcolm Gladwell describes A little things that can make a big difference it's in his book called The Tipping Point and he gives this interesting illustration of using a piece of paper to describe something called geometric progression. It would help if I turn this on we're just on a wonderful time today or we are here we go he describes is called geometric progression you get a piece of paper and when you fold it in half the thickness of that piece of paper doubles you fold it in half again it doubles again and a physically it's only possible to fold the piece of paper 7 times you can't do any more than 7 maybe 8 but it gets very difficult and virtually impossible but according to the laws of geometric progression if you were physically able to fold that sheet of paper let's say 43 times the mathematicians have come to the conclusion that the thickness of that sheet of paper would be the distance from the earth to the moon. And I didn't believe it either when I 1st read this I thought of this. Science fiction I got to make sure I'm reading The right John I hear all right. 3 times and I double check this 43 times it reaches the moon and if you were able to folded 50 times it would reach almost to the sun. You fold it one more time 51 and it's to the sun and back now Malcolm Gladwell goes on in his descriptions saying that as human beings we have a hard time with this kind of progression because the end resolved the effect seems far out of proportion to the cause in other words when we have something of a such a great effect like reaching the sun with just 50 folds of a simple sheet of paper we naturally assume that it must have some huge cause great effects must have proportionally great causes and vice versa this is the way that we think and this is not only true for the physical world this is true for the spiritual world as well and today I'd like to talk about something that seems so basic yet has exponentially profound results and I want to invite you to open your Bibles with me this morning to the book of Mark Chapter one Verse 35 as we look at the life of Jesus at the private life of Jesus. And we see a glimpse as to what that inner sanctum of his private life was like and this is at the beginning of his ministry in March after one verse 35 the Bible says now in the morning having risen a long while before daylight he went out and departed to a solitary place and there he prayed matter of fact there's other times when the Bible actually tells us that Jesus went off to the mountain to pray and he spent the whole night in prayer the Bible says in Luke Chapter 5 or 16 but Jesus himself would often swept away so it's a slip away to the wilderness and pray so this was something that Jesus did on a regular basis he would pull away from the multitude and he would go apart and spend significant time in prayer now as I reflected on this notion of Jesus spending significant time in prayer were not just talking about praying before a meal which we often forget or we often forget that we've prayed Have you ever done that before you pray and become so ritualistic and then you like it did we pray all right or have you ever been praying and you get lost in thought going on off and so forth I remember when I was single I would be like Lord I pray for Mary please be with Mary and then I would doze off and then wake up and I'd be like a lord I need to get married you know and you go off in your thoughts and and so forth but this is talking about significant intense time in prayer that Jesus spent with his Lord now I asked this question why did Jesus need to pray. I mean the very posture of prayer implies that you have a need but Jesus prayed and he prayed often he prayed before the most important events in and I think of this puzzling verse where in John Chapter 5 Verse 30 Jesus said I myself I can do nothing this is unusual because Jesus said I can do nothing except through the father now the mystery of the Incarnation is this that is that when Jesus came to this earth he set aside his divinity he was always God but he chose not to tap into his divinity and he depended on the father for everything everything that he did he depended on the father for I read this incredible statement in desire of ages page 64 Jesus revealed no qualities and exercised no powers that men may not have through faith in Him His perfect humanity is that which all his followers may possess if they will be in subjection to God as he was. In other words Jesus was so dependent on the father in everything that he did on this earth he did through the father's power he is an example. Of how we are to depend upon him amen and that's why he says in John Chapter 15 verse 5 I am the vine you are the branches if you remain in me and you you will bear much fruit apart from me you can do nothing in other words the way that Jesus overcame by depending on the father is a same way that we can overcome by told old dependence upon Jesus. The key for the Christian is that paradigm of making sure that we are always connected total dependence that is the paradigm when we start focusing on the fruits now the Bible tells us that if we are connected to Jesus the fruits will naturally result if you're connected to the vine the fruits are a natural byproduct of that connection and what the devil likes to have us do is get so focused on fruit manufacturing that we sever our connection and so we try this impossible task of trying to produce fruit without beak being connected to the mind but if we are connected to the vine the fruits will naturally result and the devil gets us into legalism where we are trying to manufacture fruit without being connected so the paradigm of the Christian is total dependence upon Jesus every single moment throughout the day and prayer is that medium of how we stay connected to Jesus I think of this quotation from the book on prayer page 12 Prayer is the breath of the soul we can get by. I don't know about me but several weeks without food we can go days without water but we can only go minutes without breathing matter of fact breathing is so foundational to life that we are hardwired to breathe in voluntarily and imagine if that wasn't so you might say off we got to breathe last night I mean that be tragic So prayer is so foundational that that we do it involuntary there Lee It's it's wired into our brain so that we don't have to think to brief Now this quotation indicates that prayer is so essential it is like our breath it is the breath of the soul it is the secret of spiritual power no other means of grace can be substituted and the health of the soul be preserved prayer is essential for spiritual life now there is another misconception about prayer that we have to be in this specific posture of prayer to pray in all I'm not saying that we should not be reverent or that there are appropriate times to be in a particular posture However Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God What we are but in order to enable us to receive Him Prayer does not bring God down to us but brings us up to him steps to Christ page $93.00 so so prayer is not so much about changing God It's about changing OS that's what prayer does and I found that when I pray infrequently there's something that happens to my attitude I start to become self-confident and independent I start to think I got this rather then in the posture of prayer when we pray it implies our dependence our need that we don't got this now we need help and so the very posture of prayer indicates that we need help from someone that is greater than us someone that is outside of us now prayer not only makes an impact in our personal life but it makes an impact corporately in terms of corporate revival there is no time or place in which it is inappropriate to offer up a petition to God There is nothing that can prevent us from lifting up our hearts in the spirit of earnest prayer in the crowns of the street in the midst of a business engagement we may send up a petition to God and clean for divine guidance a closet of communion may be found where ever we are so as you go through your day you can be in any situation and keep that constant communication open to God asking Him for divine guidance now what was the impact of Chrysler life. I would argue that in history the life that made the most impact is the life of Jesus no other life made more impact than his life and it's interesting because I had a friend of mine that returned from the the holy land in Israel and I said hey how was it and he said you know David I was surprised because when I went over there and I read about these towns that Jesus traveled to and so of war he was exposed expecting vast distances between these towns and he said you know the Sea of Galilee it's a lot smaller than I thought and these towns are just these little towns that are walking distance and when you look at it Jesus was not a world traveler he stayed in a relatively small geographical area hung out with some peasants and fisherman and I.R.S. agents and zealots and so forth the young out with them and died on the cross yet that life impacted the trajectory of human history Think about that and when you peel back his life and you go to the private life prayer was foundational to that one historian in this 5 volume work on world history historian religious skeptic H.-E. route Welles found himself devoting the most space to Jesus Christ he wrote and historian like myself cannot portray the progress of humanity honestly without giving Jesus of Nazareth Nazareth the foremost place Jesus made an impact You can see it again in Biblical history lines of praise revival in Israel springs up the book of Acts and the spread of the Gospel to the entire world in one generation began in a prayer meeting. That's where it began the Holy Spirit came down to the believers who were in a prayer meeting and Martin Luther prays and the Reformation begins great things in human history have begun because individuals have prayed E.-M. Bounds says this God shapes the world by prayer prayer is God's singular condition to move ahead in his son's Kingdom I don't understand all the dynamics of it but somehow in the great controversy when you ask for God's intervention in your life he is suddenly given license to intervene in a way that he would not have been able Had you not asked so the most powerful you thing you can do in your own Christian experience is consent Lord please intervene in my life and when we pray for others there is a level of consent and permission you can give for other individuals as well this is what we call intercessory prayer so when you pray for your son or your daughter that is not close to the Lord or your parents or for that bible study or for that neighbor when you pray and say Lord intervene in that person's life and God goes to set events and circumstances into motion to bring that person closer to the Lord I believe that there's a little bit of a dialogue that take splays much like in the book of Jude. That when God goes to intervene and the devil says A What do you do and what do you do and he didn't ask for that he didn't ask for that the Lord says the LORD rebuke you he didn't ask for it but his mother did a man and so there is that element and there's times when Jesus says when Jesus says because of their faith collective faith a group of individuals that are working for the salvation of one person when Jesus solved their faith the century and went to Jesus on behalf of his servant and because of this century and space his servant was healed so friends if there is someone in your life that you have a burden for there is power in intercessory prayer one of the professors at the seminary His name is Dr Joseph Kidder is currently teaching there at the seminary tells the story of how he began as a pastor he had great ambitions for church growth he was actually doing his doctorate in ministry in church growth he wanted to be a Church Growth specialist he landed in this one particular congregation that prior to his arrival had 80 members that were attending they had dreamed big and they had built a church that could seat 600 and in the course of the building of that church there was a lot of infighting and animosity that took place much. As they do many times when they start a building project and the church was split and divided and the attendance went from $80.00 to $40.00 and that is when Pastor Joe Kidder arrived and so he got out his church growth books and developed strategies and plans to build this church for the Kingdom of God He was working $60.00 to $80.00 hours a week and he says that at the end of a year the attendance went from 40 to 30 and he states that he had become a church declined expert so as you can imagine this man was very discouraging So he sat in his office and he said you know what I don't need to do this I need to go out and quit the ministry was very very depressed and so he typed out his resignation letter suddenly the doorbell rang he went to doorbell or went to answer the door and his wife slipped into his office and saw that he had typed out his resignation letter he came back and she said why are you wanting to resign he said Honey at this rate I figure that in 3 years you and I are going to be the only members of this church so I might as well get out while I have some dignity and she said Have you tried praying and he says I was deeply offended Of course I'm a pastor and he says that deep down in his heart he realized that he had been more about planning then praying so I made a commitment that next Monday to go to the church and pray for 8 hours so he came to the sanctuary sat in the front row and started to pray he said he says he says he prayed for 2 minutes and fell asleep for 8 hours. He's just being real he came home. His wife asked that dreaded question how to go he said great for the 2 minutes I did pray and so he went back the next week and he says next the next week goes a little bit better you prayed for 4 minutes and then fell asleep the next week it was back down to 2 and he said that in the weeks that followed he went through this struggle of learning how to pray and he makes this interesting statement in this regard he said Give me a program strategy or something to do and I will do it spirituality is all about the submissive life and a connectedness with God which is contrary to my nature in the course of time he said that the struggle turned into joy and he started to incorporate prayer into his daily life one Sabbath he started his sermon and in the midst of the sermon he saw a family that came in and he came to the conclusion that they must be visitors from out of town because they never have visitors from in town Annette after the sermon he engaged them and said Where are you from and they said we actually live right across the street. He said Well how did you end up here they said well we were on a fishing trip in Alaska no less. And the person that was with them on this fishing trip in Alaska one evening as they were talking about the meaning of life said casually if you ever want to go to a church go to the 7th Day Adventist Church so they came back home notice the 7 them in this church was right across the street went past a joke it or study with them twice a week they were hungry for the Word of God and in 2 months they were baptized at the baptism. Pastor Kidder just broke down and gave his own testimony about how he had struggled with his prayer life and that the Lord had heard this poor preacher and brought this young couple to them suddenly a 69 year old man stood up in tears and came forward in the same show wary and said pastor I have 4 children that don't know the Lord and if the Lord can hear your prayer I believe that he can hear mine too will you pray for my children as I pray for them 9 other people got up and gave testimonies and Pastor kidders said that there was a prayer revolution that began in that church individuals began to pray privately and corporately and he says in the upcoming years that group of 30 individuals that were so discouraged group to 500 members by the grace of God. Joe cater makes this comment we do not need more formulas we need more filling we do not need more plans we need more power we do not need more strategies we need more of the spirit. A W. Tozer makes a statement if the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference and all the spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament Church 95 percent of what they did would stop and everybody would know the difference. We need the spirit's power in Zacharias Chapter 4 verse 6 the Bible says not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty I don't understand all the dimensions of prayer but this is one of those seemingly simple things that historically have yielded incredible results for the Kingdom of God I think of young Evan Roberts You can read about this in your history books he's young preacher in Wales he has a burden for whales and starts to pray prays for hours many times the Lord awakes him in the middle of the night he prays all night for a whale's he's at a permeating asks for Souls to be one for Christ asked if anyone wants to give their life to Jesus and a few individual stand up and say that they want to give their lives to Jesus and this is a historical account of what happened in that community judges were presented with white gloves signifying no cases to be tried alcoholism was halved at times hundreds of people would stand to declare their surrender to Christ as Lord restitution was made gamblers and others normally untouched by the Ministry of the church came to Christ and in a course of months 800000 souls were converted to Christ 100000 matching if in Anchorage half that amount were led to the foot of the cross and yet it started with a simple man that was willing to pray. One quotation says this a revival need be expected only in answer to prayer when churches are revived it is because some individual seeks earnestly for the blessing of God he hungers and thirst after God and asks in faith and receives Accordingly he goes to work in earnest feeling his great dependence upon the Lord and souls are around us to seek for a like blessing and a season of refreshing falls upon the hearts of men I believe that God is more willing to pour out His Holy Spirit upon us than we can even desire it as the Bible says so the reality is gone is yearning to pour out His Spirit upon us as never before and the 1st condition is to ask for it is to come before the Lord say Lord please pour out your spirit upon us by the way tomorrow morning there's a prayer breakfast 9 am You're all invited to come but more important than that is the personal commitment to private prayer I've seen this in my own life number years ago as a bible worker in South Central Los Angeles most difficult part of L.A. arguably and we would go door to door asking for prayer requests very simple and you'll be amazed how many people are open to prayer would knock on the doors. Introduced myself saying that we are out in the community praying for people do you have a prayer request in the person to say please pray for such and such an individual we get hundreds of prayer requests go back to our rooms and pray for those individuals and pray every other night all night and I would not recommend this on a regular basis but we are in evangelism and so we we prayed every other night all night for these souls we prayed for them we'd go back and visit with them and here we are in the heart of Los Angeles pitching a tent no mail out no billboards just personal contact and in the course of the 11 weeks a series that was bathed in prayer I saw individuals that I had met at the door come to the meetings and go into the waters of baptism by the end we had baptized over 300 souls for Christ in South Central L.A. and it was big. In prayer but a close with this from 2nd Chronicles Chapter 7 verse 14 if my people my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land you want to see your home filled with the Holy Spirit your marriage revived your relationships restored your community one for the Lord Jesus and Anchorage filled with the gospel he can do it he will do it. And it begins with a community of faith that is willing to come together and seek the Lord lets parents together. Our Father in heaven we think you that we serve a God that is the same yesterday today and forever we thank you that you have given us the privilege of prayer that we can talk to you at any time during the day and that you hear us Father in our individual lives we pray that you would give us a burden and a passion to pray to be filled with your presence and with your power help us to crave for you as we do air and from this inner sanctum of the private life of prayer we pray that it would flow out in love graciousness to others we prayed that the Holy Spirit be poured out upon this community of faith and that it would spread through Anchorage to Alaska to North America and the whole world Father we pray that you would revive us. Give us. And help pouring of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. For we ask these things in Jesus name. Amen. 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