Stop & Pray

Aug 24, 2006

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has prayed for me this week.  For those who were not here this past Sunday—I began the sermon by asking people to pray for me…since beginning this series on finances I have came under HEAVY spiritual attack.  (Yes, I believe in “that stuff!”)

I was wondering why this was—literally—this series is the 2nd most draining series I have ever put together—the first was “Highway 146” when we went through the other religions, compared them to Christianity, and showed that in NO WAY were “all religions saying the same thing!”  In that I had to actually study and research other writings and documents—and I felt like someone threw up all over me the whole time I was doing the series!

So, I could not figure this out until a good friend reminded me that one of the biggest strongholds the enemy has on people in America is materialism…and that when a pastor starts preaching against that then the enemy gets upset…

So…I asked this church to pray…and OBVIOUSLY you have because this has been one of the most incredible, productive, and creative weeks of my life!  THANK YOU!!!

BUT—this does not mean you can say, “Whew, now that things are cool with Pastor P I don’t have to do that anymore!”  NO—please—pray harder—we’ve got some stuff coming up over the next few months that are going to be incredible…and I need your prayers.

When should you pray?  I would say anytime you feel led…that’s pretty much my deal—when the Holy Spirit leads…I pray—let me share with you a true story that happened to me a few years ago…

I had this buddy who was speaking at a youth event and asked me to pray for him—he specifically asked me to pray that he would be able to share Christ with a kid that was going to be there.  I agreed to pray for him—but didn’t—haven’t we all done that?

So the night that he’s speaking rolls around and I am washing dishes with ‘Cretia and I get this feeling to pray for this guy.  I can’t explain it—but it was one of those, “If I don’t do this now I think I will explode” feelings.  So—I prayed that he would be able to share Christ with the kid he was wanting to see come into the Kingdom…and then went on washing dishes.

About 10 minutes later the phone rang and it was the dude who I had prayed for—he was calling me to thank me for praying for him and told me that the kid he had wanted to accepted Christ actually had accepted Christ.

I asked him how that happened and he said, “Well, Perry, I had already given my talk and the guy did not respond.  Then I began talking to him after the service was over—but he was stone cold—but all of a sudden…in fact, about 10 minutes ago he just looked at me and said, “I’m ready.”  My friend asked him, “ready for what?”  The kid replied—“Ready to accept Christ—NOW!”

I about fell out in the floor.  You may believe in coincidence…but I believe in the Holy Spirit, the power of prayer…and a God who works out all things for the good of those who love Him.  That totally amazed me—and is just one example of when the Spirit led me to pray for someone—I had no idea why—but God did—and I have came to realize that it is not my job to try to understand all the things about God that confuse me—but rather to OBEY what I already understand.

So pray—pray for people when they come to your mind riding down the road.  Pray for me, my wife, this staff—people you want to see come to church—people you want to see come to Christ…and ask God to lead you to pray.

When you show up at church—pray that God will prepare your heart for the message.  Pray for the people around you.  Pray that the band will lead us all in passionate worship.

One thing I have began in the past two weeks is that whenever I am driving down the road and see a car with a NewSpring sticker on it—I pray for the people in that car—that God will continue to use them to draw people who don’t know Him TO Him through our church.

As Christians we have to work like it all depends on us—and pray like it all depends on God…more on that tomorrow…

One more time—thank you to all those who are covering me in prayer—keep it up—God is doing amazing things!