Biola Broadcaster - 1969-11

Sometimes we think that a sinful life is one given over to drunkenness or immorality. Have you ever stopped to realize that upright churchgoing people may commit sin when they ex­ clude this ministry of intercession from their lives? If you haven’t prayed this morning, you’ve already sinned against God! There are many texts in the Bible dealing with prayer. It is impossible to single out all of them. Another favorite of mine is I Timothy 2:1-3. Here we can see God’s mind in re­ gard to what prayer accomplishes. We are shown here the need of re­ membering those who are in author­ ity over us. Keep in mind that when Paul wrote these words, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Nero was killing Christians by the scores. His delight had been in devising new means for their wholesale slaughter. Yet, the Apostle tells them that as children of God they should pray for the Emperor, as well as other rulers. Our desire should be that we might live a quiet and peaceable life. What he had in mind was that we should desire to have the liberty of accom­ plishing God’s plan for this age which is simply calling out of the Church, made up of all born-again believers from around the world. This is why Christ gave us the commis­ sion to preach the Gospel to every creature. It’s not p o s s ib le when there’s war or closed doors in cer­ tain areas. Someone once asked me whether it’s right to pray for uncon­ verted people. Is there any Scripture to substantiate such a view? Here Paul says that we are to pray for all men. What a prayer life this faith­ ful servant must have had. I trust that you have an ever-growing pray

P art I I N an age op confusion and chaos, it’s important for Christians to realize that their first resource in every experience of life is prayer. The Bible tells us how that this experi­ ence can move the arm of God. Noth­ ing is more important for our in­ volvement than the ministry of in­ tercession. I know of many people who because of health, experience or perhaps ability may not have a pub­ lic service such as p r e a c h in g or teaching, who can do that which is invaluable in upholding the hands of others through petitions and praise to the Lord. I think of Epaphras who was with Paul in an inner prison in Rome. The church was in its infancy and if ever there was a time when the Apostle should have had his freedom, it was then. Instead, we find these two incarcerated. The Lord had a di­ vine purpose, as we see in Colossians 4:12, which was an outreach of pray­ er. Here we see that Epaphras’s de­ sire before the Lord was that these believers might “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” Such would be an ideal pattern of inter­ cession for us, especially for the mis­ sionaries in all parts of the heathen world, who are out in the front lines of Satan’s dominion. Another p a s s a g e of Scripture which challenges my heart continu­ ally is I Samuel 12:23, “God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.” This is an amazing statement! I used to think that prayer was a privilege, as, of course, it is. But here God’s servant shows that it is also an obligation, a debt, we owe to others. Failure to pray is basically a sin against God. 8

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