Let me take you for a moment to the book of Exodus. Easy to find, second book of the Bible, a quick study on prayer.
In Exodus 1:8…A new King arrives on the scene an unnamed Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was one of the most powerful monarchs on the earth. He had at his disposal one of the best fighting machines of His time. His army had defeated every foe within thousands of miles. His power was great, his authority absolute. No congress. No independent prosecutors. He was a divine ruler, viewed as a god.
In Exodus 1:9…We discover that the King had a fear, so he brought his people together — his advisory council — and he said, “Look the people of the children of Isreal are more and mightier than we, come let us deal shrewdly with them…” So Pharaoh put into place a three pronged plan — Deception, Domination, and Destruction. He deceived them into thinking they were slaves. When they were deceived, he dominated them with heavy taskmasters — (vs11-14) made their lives bitter with hard bondage. He wanted to bring them to the point where they thought the mere goal of victory was survival. And then he began to destroy then (vs 16).
But something happened — backed into a corner, hopeless, helpless and homeless — the children of God discovered the power of prayer. Exodus 2:23-25 reads,
Years passed…the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.
Think about this, without that prayer, Exodus would be a two-chapter book. Because of that prayer — simple heart-felt, groaning — 38 chapters had to be added to report on God’s answer. Is this true of you? Some of us have becomes so afraid of embarrassing God with prayers that He might not answer, that we’ve stopped praying bold prayers. We’ve stopped praying for miracles.
The only resource Isreal had was — (you’re expecting me to say “prayer”) — was God. No army, no economic resources, no social status or political clout. Nothing. All they had was God. And when they cried out to God — in total dependence — they found God@work, just like in the early days of the Jesus-movement.
Someone once said that the difference between prayer as we usually conceive it and the early church practiced it is as different as the difference between a swim in the tub and a swim in the ocean. Read the book of Acts. When the early church prayed, the earth shook, captives were set free, the lame walked, when they prayed for boldness, God granted signs and wonders. Prayer in the early church was an adventure. Wide-open, you never knew when an angel might show up, or the Holy Spirit might give a message.
21 Days of Prayer. For 21 days starting last Sunday leading up to our Calvary on Campus event, we are following a call to pray. We are asking everyone at Calvary to pray on campus at least three times (once a week) and to pray for at least three people by name. Can I encourage you to pray bold prayers? Who knows what books might need to be written to record God’s response?