Need a good reason to learn how to pray successfully ? The contents of the following article MAY actually cause your head to explode. We are recommending you wrap your head in duct tape to prevent injury to yourself and anyone in a close proximity. Be forewarned!
Question? Do you care about the future of the souls in your city? Hell does.
In Competition With Hell
Why, you may ask, did he ask such a question? The reason is because I'm wondering if we care MORE than hell. When you prayed this week did you feel deeply and passionately moved that so little of the citizenry are just a breath away from never coming back to this world? Did you feel moved to pray at all for the societal losers? The winos? The bag ladies? The prostitutes? The addicts? The abused? Just the lost in general?
We're you able to pray more than, say, 15 minutes a day? Did you feel successful? Just compassion for the addicts alone should drive us to pray for hours. I'm not sure we see the real value of a soul. Hell does. When we look at the loser on the street corner what do we see? I mean if we actually look at him for more than 3 seconds. Hell sees a trophy. Have you ever wondered what happened to him? What caused his plight? But, for the grace of God, there go I. But, he's still a soul. Probably a lost soul. No one talks to him. Everyone scorns him. Some mock him. But no one feels his humiliation, his pain. I doubt he wants to be that way. I doubt he chose that life. Hell's happy to claim him.
Now apply that to the beaten. The abused. Still have a hard time praying? How about the ones no one really wants to talk about. Cigarette burned children, maimed women, destitute men and women. The kids that show up at emergency rooms burnt or with multiple breaks. Praying still difficult? Multiply that many times over. Each city has it's share. Many more than most of us will ever realize. But, they all have one thing in common. Jesus. Our Jesus died for them just as He did for you and me. Did you know he died for the abuser as well?Could you pray for them? Jesus did. He loves them with the same love and feels the same pain and loss for them that He does for us. We're not anything to brag about, we just think we are. Our altars should be full of criminals, drug addicts, tax cheats, adulterers, liers, etc. Successful prayer can bring them. If you really want them. So, do you care about the condition of the souls in your city? Hell does.
Get the Duct Tape
(Warning: Get the duct tape or saran wrap. And small children should be tucked into bed at this point)
I bring this up today because I heard a pastor saying this morning that in his efforts to reach his city, this halloween at his church he will be dressed up as Willy Wonka and handing out candy to children that come by. He's hoping to reach 1500 kids. (Start praying here)
Now, bear with me here while I work this out in my simple mind. Do you think he reached this decision after fasting and praying for as long as he could? Do you think that God maybe, finally, ran out of other options and told him Willy Wonka was the best he was going to do to challenge hell for souls of his city?
Truthfully, and I'm being honest with you here, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this thing. I mean, did Billy Graham miss some great opportunity here? Could he have avoided having to preach the gospel and pray for people when he could have dressed up as an Oompuh Loompuh? I understand trying to have something different for the kids of his church, but, this is their outreach program.
When Jesus was questioned by his disciples about why they couldn't cast a demon out of a man he replied (somewhat exasperatedly) "Because of your unbelief...Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." Matthew 17:20 Did I miss the part about dressing up as a clown or Little Bo Peep or as a Pharisee and handing out candy? Maybe I've got the wrong translation. Someone hand me my New Revised Barnum and Bailey version.
So I ask, if it took that for ONE man to be set free of a demon what would it take for a city to be set free from it's strongholds and bondages? Uh, possibly the same thing only multiplied by many more brothers and sisters? And NOT dressed up as Spiderman.
Ma Would Be So Proud Of Us
Question. Do you think hell is concerned? Or laughing? Do you think that hell feels terrified that strongholds are now going to come crashing down because a minister is dressed as a clown and handing out candy?
Ok, try this:
Paul. Fasted and prayed and preached. Stoned, left for dead, whipped and abandoned.
Stephen. Fasted and prayed. Full of the Holy Ghost and power. Stoned.
Peter, James, John. Fasted and prayed. Jailed, beaten. James killed by Herods sword. Peter eventually crucified upside down, John boiled in oil and banished to Patmos.
Foxes Book of Martyrs, etc.
21st century minister. No fasting. No praying. Dresses like cartoon character. Hell laughs.
I'm sorry, but, did we check our brains at the door when we became Christians? Apparently we checked something at the door. This gets back to my earlier points, both in this article and previous ones. That is, it's DIFFICULT to pray. The truth is that no strongholds will be torn down, no bondage broken, no souls won for Christ until we get real with our prayer lives.
I'm broken hearthearted here. Human debris litters our towns and cities and streets. Real souls slip off into an eternity never to come back, never to get a "do over" and THIS is our best? Somehow I just don't see Spurgeon or Finney or Jonathan Edwards feeling proud of having passed the torch to our generation.
Pray. Please. Like you never have before.
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General Submissions JEWEL CHEST
I very much agree with your opinion. I share your concerns and indeed, this is a time to be praying. Very descriptive article.
It could use some editing, as there are basic grammatical/spelling/punctuation errors. It could also be honed and perfected to bring out the main point with more clarity, including providing a more relevant title and introduction.
I am glad to see someone standing up and interjecting some Biblical principles into this upcoming "holiday", as well as providing a reality check about the lost souls that most people overlook.