Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sacred Assembly a "Wow! moment"

FCC logo

Pastor's Note
The word around FCC this week seems to be "WOW". In the 12 years since FCC began, never have we had a service like the one we enjoyed here last Sunday night. Our Sacred Assembly was nothing short of - well, WOW. It's hard to put in words the electrifying spirit that was present. From the moment people walked through the doors, they knew they were in for a very special evening. The curtain across the front of the stage shielded the worship band from the audience. The cross on the center of the stage pointed people to Christ. The prayer stations in the corners of the room ushered people into God's presence for forgiveness, reconciliation and intimacy with Him. The corporate prayers of confession by our elders helped us all realize our need for Christ. And the worship, to wrap it all up, was never more sincere and unashamedly presented to God as our offering from our hearts. When it was over, barely a single person had not shed a tear. It definitely was a "WOW" moment in the life of our church.

Pastor Rob Jones

>>>Note: Pastor Rob has graciously allowed us to post several helpful resources from their Sacred Assembly:

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Encourage Your Pastor!

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Inner~Views: Pastor writes Pray BIG

Prayer Leader interviewed Will Davis Jr., author of Pray Big: The Power of Pinpoint Prayers

Prayer Leader ~ "Pray Big" is an engaging title for a book but it is much more than a hook - What are you telling the reader with this title?

I want to encourage readers not to under-ask in prayer. There is no place in the Bible where God rebukes someone for asking too much of him. God’s promises for prayer are massive and limitless. Our prayers need to be the same. We need to ask for the most that God can handle, not the most that can handle.

Prayer Leader ~ Pastor, what circumstances did the Lord use to reveal our need to pinpoint our praying?

Actually, the idea for Pray Big was born in a prayer meeting, or after it. We prayed for nearly two hours. When we were finished, I couldn’t think of a single thing that we had asked for that would require a miracle from God. We’d done lots of “God be with Bill” and “God bless Sue” kind of praying. I felt the Holy Spirit asking, “What do you need me for?” That’s never a good sign after you’ve just spent two hours praying.

Prayer Leader ~ Many Christians and congregations are living a prayer-care-share lifestyle; they pray for unbelievers by name and need. How would praying big help us pray differently for neighbors and coworkers?

Big prayers are scripturally driven. The principles of pinpoint prayer that I talk about in the book rely heavily on the Bible for their inspiration. When I pray for a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend or family member, it’s easy for me to want to recreate them in my image. Rather, than seeking God’s will for them, I seek mine: “Lord, make my neighbor friendlier.” “Lord, please help my co-worker to be more of a team player.” “Lord, please help my wife to talk less.” Pinpoint prayers make me pray the Bible instead of my own words. The result is much more focused, anointed and selfless praying: “Lord, please build your Kingdom in my friend’s life (Matthew 6:10, 33).” “Father, please help my co-worker to glorify you in all that he does (1 Cor. 10:31).”Or, “Father, please help me to see my neighbor as more important that myself. Help me to meet his needs before I meet my own (Phil. 2:3-4).” Pinpoint praying aligns your prayers more with the heart of God.

Prayer Leader ~ Please respond...

  • "If you're looking for pinpoint prayers that have off-the-chart potential, then learn to pray with other Christians"Pinpoint praying is effective because it’s both biblical and specific. It’s the kind of praying Jesus modeled in the Lord’s Prayer. It’s simple, childlike, and goes right to the heart of God. Now, mingle the concept of pinpoint praying with what God promised to honor and said that he loved—Christian unity—and you’ve got one potent combination for prayer. When Jesus said in Matthew 18:19 that if two or more of us agreed, he used the word for agree that forms our English word symphony. Agreement happens when two or more believers set aside their differences and express unity around their hope and passions to God in prayer. When praying as a group, make a point of agreeing together. Tell the Lord, “Lord we agree.” He loves the unity and promises to bless it.
  • "A gathering of believers is more powerful than any other meeting on the planet"-No other gathering of humans has as much promise as a meeting of two believers who meet in Jesus’ name. Jesus promised those who collectively submit to his name and agenda that he would be there in their midst. Never underestimate the power of a gathering of Christians; for therein, God promises to send his presence and power. It really is the most powerful gathering of humans on earth.
  • "The most radical truth about prayer in the Bible" – Matthew 18:19, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”(See also Matthew 16:19.) In this verse, Jesus basically handed us the keys to his Kingdom. Whatever we unlock on earth in prayer—love, blessing, agreement, or hatred, discord and conflict—will be equally unlocked in heaven and then rebroadcast a hundredfold back onto the earth. Corporate prayer impacts heaven, and heaven impacts earth. That’s why I think corporate prayer is so powerful in Kingdom causes. Remember, the Church was born in a prayer meeting, after ten days of corporate prayer.
  • Give us several suggestions for corporate praying –
    1. Seek points of agreement and speak your agreement out loud to God
    2. Pray over 1 item at a time
    3. Keep prayers short, so all who want to weigh in on an issue can
    4. Don’t preach to God or the group. Just ask.
    5. Make sure you actually ask for things, don’t just tell God what is going on
    6. Use verses of Scripture as your prayer guide
    7. Don’t rebuke each other or counter each other in prayer. If you can’t agree with what’s being prayed, don’t say anything.

Prayer Leader ~ What is the significance of "The greatest pinpoint pray-er in all of heaven is interceding for you in exact alignment with the will of God"?

Simply stated, Jesus is the world’s most effective intercessor. He always hits the heart and will of God in his prayers. Hebrews 7: 25 tells us that he is praying for us right now. As a believer, I find that incredibly encouraging. So even if you don’t know how our what to pray for something, trust that Jesus does and is praying for you right then. Thank him for praying for you and tell him that you submit to his will.

Prayer Leader ~ You conclude with "100 pinpoint prayers from the Psalms." How can a prayer leader utilize this list to train their team members in pinpoint praying?

The 100 prayers are a great resource for your prayer groups. First, you can pray through them. They make a great prayer script for praying that God’s Word will prevail in your lives. Beyond that, use them to teach your group how to write their own pinpoint prayers from other chapters. Tell your group members to read through Psalm 51, 37 or 32. Ask them write several pinpoint prayers from those verses.

Prayer Leader ~ Pastor Will, please write a prayer for congregational prayer leaders (pastors and coordinators) who want to equip their congregation to pray big...

Lord God, I pray Isaiah 56:6-7 for these leaders. Thank you that they have joined themselves to you through the Holy Spirit. I thank you that they love you, worship you, and that they keep your Word. I pray, God, that you will bring them into you holy presence. Make them hungry and thirst for your presence. I pray that you would make them joyful in your house of prayer. Let prayer be for them and the congregations they lead a joy, not a chore. Help them to love to pray. I pray that you’ll make their prayer groups and churches houses of prayer for all nations. I pray this in Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

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