November 13, 2022 Bulletin

1 Kings 18:41-45ESV

Mountain of Prayer: Pray for the Lost


Big Idea: THERE IS A KIND OF PRAYER THAT GIVES BIRTH TO NEW LIFE.


1. THE CHURCH ON FIRE

1 Kings 18:30 NIV

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. 

1 Kings 18:33 NIV

He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” 

2 Samuel 24:24 NIV

But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”


So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. 

1 Kings 18:37–39 NIV

Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”


Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.


When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” 


1. Restored the altar- prioritizing WHO is to be worshipped. 

 2. Surrendered Through Sacrifice of Praise. 

3. Prayed that the people would know you are God and turn their hearts back to you. 

THE REGION RE-BORN

1 Kings 18:44–46 NIV

The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”


So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”


Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel. 

GOD DREAMS OF THE REGION, NATION, AND WORLD RE-BORN. 

THE MOUNTIAN OF PRAYER

1 Kings 18:42 NIV

So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 

1 Kings 18:43–44 NIV

“Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.


“There is nothing there,” he said.


Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”


The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”


So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’ ” 


A MOUNTAIN OF PRAYER IS THE ONLY WAY BETWEEN A CHURCH ON FIRE AND A REGION, NATION, AND WORLD RE-BORN.


John 16:21 NIV

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 

James 5:15–18 NIV

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.


Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 


“We have an appetites for spectacle, God has and appetite for new life. We can’t resist public spectacle, God can’t resist secret prayer.” Tyler Staton


GOD WANTS THE CHURCH ON FIRE BECAUSE GOD DREAMS OF A REGION, NATION, AN WORLD RE-BORN. 


PAUSE TO PRAY MID-DAY: FOR THE LOST. 

John 4:6 NIV

Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 

John 4:34 NIV

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 


Prayer Rhythm

In the Hebrew and early Christian tradition there has always been a daily prayer rhythm to pause and pray - morning, midday, and evening. We see this in the life of Jesus and with the apostles in the early church. We want to recover this historic practice.


Mid-day Prayer

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:4-7 


Pray for the lost by name

Ask the Spirit to bring to mind people who are far from God, people who do not know his love for them. As faces and names come to mind, pray for them. Ask God, as their Good Shepherd, to go after these lost ones, to restore them to his fold, and to bring them salvation. 


Pray for compassion

Ask God to give you the Good Shepherd’s heart—seeing as he sees and loving as he loves. Confess anything that’s getting in the way of compassion for the lost today. Ask God to soften the hard places in your heart, making it like his. 


Pray to be sent

Finally, invite God to send you. As you have asked God to pursue your loved ones, now ask him to send you out with his empowering presence to the lost around you. Invite him to open your eyes and ears, that you might pursue the lost and pray for their salvation in the way our Good Shepherd does. Ask that he would inspire your imagination with ways to love, bring people to mind you don’t expect, and surprise you with invitations to be his hands and feet. 


Amen


References

Staton, T. (2022). Praying like monks, living like fools: An invitation to the wonder and mystery of prayer. Zondervan.

Discussion Guide

Read This Overview Aloud Together


For millennia and all over the world, the church has been pausing at set aside times during the day to pray – the Israelites, Jesus, the early church, Christian denominations and monasteries throughout history have all done it, and many followers of Jesus today do too. We sense an invitation from the Spirit to participate with the global, historic church by returning to this ancient Practice. Our Daily Prayer Rhythm will have three parts: morning, midday, and evening. And over the next few weeks we will explore this Rhythm as a church on Sundays and practice it together in Communities. 


Today, we will dive into our Midday Prayer Rhythm: praying for the lost. Practically, this looks like setting aside a few minutes in the middle of your day to pause and lift up to God those in your life who don’t know Jesus, asking him to encounter them in a new way that might bring their salvation. But, more than that, we want to participate with God in these stories, so we will also ask him to send us out to become the answers to our prayers.


The goal of this three-part Daily Prayer Rhythm is for each of us to build the habit of communing with God in the normal parts of our lives, so that we can grow in intimacy with him and participate in his coming Kingdom in and around us.


Do This Practice Tonight

Tonight, we want to practice this rhythm in a way that offers a tangible framework we can use when praying for the lost each midday. 


Read Luke 15v4-7. First, let’s read the story that Jesus tells of a shepherd’s response to losing one of his sheep, a story that reveals to us God’s heart for the lost and invites us to become more like him. (Leader: Have someone read the passage.)


Pray for the lost by name. Next, let’s pause to ask the Spirit to bring to mind people we know who are far from God. We will take a few moments in silent reflection now to let him bring people to mind.

(After this moment of silence) Let’s all pray out loud at the same time for these people by name. Let’s ask God, the Good Shepherd, to go after them, to restore them, and to bring them salvation. Let’s pray together out loud.


Pray for compassion. Next, we want to ask God to give us his heart for the lost: seeing as he sees and loving as he loves. Let’s take some time in silent prayer asking God for compassion. As you do this, feel free to confess to God anything that’s getting in the way of compassion today. Ask God to soften the hard places in your heart, so that it might be made more like his. Let’s pray silently in our hearts.


Pray to be sent. Finally, we want to invite God to send us. As we have asked God to pursue our loved ones, we now ask him to send us out with his empowering presence to the lost around us. Let’s have a few people pray, inviting God to open our eyes and ears, that we might pursue the lost and pray for their salvation in the way our Good Shepherd does. Ask that he would inspire our imagination with ways to love, bring people to mind we don’t expect, and surprise us with invitations to be his hands and feet. Let’s have a few people pray these things out loud individually so that we can agree with them as they pray.


Close in Gratitude. (Leader: When you’re ready, close the prayer thanking God for what he’s done, for what he’s doing, and for all the people we will see come to faith in Jesus through these faithful, daily prayers.)


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