The Power of Prayer. All for ONE and ONE for all. Through prayer comes a face to face with God, and through prayer unity of those who are seeking God. Through prayer we each seek the Lord, and through prayer the Lord descends upon each one, so that there is a unity of spirit. All for ONE and ONE for all. Amen. The power of prayer. As I prepared for this message I happened to come upon a live camera of the Western Wall in Jersualem, as day turned to night…I kept the live camera going in the corner of my computer. I noticed a gathering of men perhaps 30 in number jostling together and soon the guys broke out into a circle holding hands, spinning and singing, and then I noticed in another corner of the wall the women were doing the same thing… Prayer and worship at the Western Wall.
RIP for this message does not stand for Rest in Peace. It stands for Respect, Integrity and Purpose. All three of these ingredients are needed to fully accept one another the Bible way. I love the t-shirt I read about that one church gives to people when they are baptized: “Made for more than just me.” We are made to be with others, to accept others, to be in a community.
There is a contrast in this scripture ~ what we are vs. a vision for what we become. I start with the vision for what we become ~ where we are headed. If Sally and I are planning a vacation, we start with the destination, then later we figure out how to get there. Some people love road trips in which they just start driving. Not me. I want to know exactly where we are going.
The vision of the Lord is that we become people of HOPE! READ Rom. 15:13. Joy and peace sprinkled with trust results in overflowing HOPE. Abundant HOPE. HOPE is the destination…. Hope is a deep optimism rooted in a realistic view of God, far more than wishful thinking in which I cross my fingers and hope everything works out. Here’s a fun little story that is getting at the meaning of hope as a way of life:
A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, "Eighteen to nothing--we're behind."
"Boy," said the spectator, "I'll bet you're discouraged."
"Why should I be discouraged?" replied the little boy. "We haven't even gotten up to bat yet!" ~ Unknown.
Underline Rom. 15:5-6: this is, I believe, the bottomline purpose of the entire book of Romans. READ. A Spirit of Unity: the church that is united in one heart is unstoppable.
Ps. 34:3 says it this way: “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” True unity does not just happen, but it comes from the desire and deliberate decision to submit to Christ and work towards building others up.
There is nothing worse than disunity ~ is not that a primary criticism of the church? Is that not the reason more and more Christian people are declaring in some form, “I love Jesus, I just don’t like the church?” I think we have a measure of momentum here at SACC…. Let’s build on it. Although, in a few moments, I will reluctantly tell you about one internal squabble that is festering here among us.