Single-Minded Devotion To Prayer

We Can Find True Power And Unity When We Gather Together To Pray

Ross Sawyers
Oct 24, 2021    49m
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The world we live in continues to get more and more divided over so many issues, even members of the same church can see things in a radically different way. A powerful way to bring unity to a group with different views is to gather together to pray for a unified cause. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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121 Community - Single-Minded Devotion To Prayer
Ross Sawyers: [00:00:05] I texted several pastors that are in the area this morning, and I just love thinking about all the churches that are gathered up and singing praise to God, and giving thanks to him and praying, and the preaching, and the gathering, and what happens in conversation with each other. And I think about how the Scripture talks about us being a fragrant aroma to God, and I just texted the guys this morning and said, my prayer today is that it'll just be a collective, fragrant aroma to God coming up from all of our churches that are gathered in the area in this moment. And what a beautiful few minutes this has been to be a part of what God is doing collectively all over this area, as well as all over the country, and in multiple time zones today. Just think about the praise that's being lifted up to him all day long, it's really just an overwhelming thought to me, and what that must be like from God's perspective to receive that from a people that love him. And then to be with people who are trying to figure out what in the world it even is, that just has to be so pleasing to him that there are people gathered, online or in-person, that are trying to figure out why we even do that and why it's worth doing that. And I hope today that everyone will understand even more so why we would offer that kind of praise to our God. So thank you for being a part of that this morning.

Ross Sawyers: [00:01:36] I said earlier, and I wanted to say again and to make sure to communicate all day, I've just, this week, thought about how grateful I am for 121, and who this church is, and who God has gathered together here. And I just want you to know how much I love you, and value you, and love being able to walk alongside you, in the mission that God has given us for his glory and for his namesake.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:00] In 1806, five college students from Williams College in Massachusetts gathered together to pray. This was a season of time where there was a revival going across America, it was sweeping across and on college campuses all over that part of America where this revival was taking place, college students were gathering together to pray. And they were praying that God would continue to do what he was doing in bringing lost people to himself, and bring in people as worshippers of him, and they were gathering up.

Ross Sawyers: [00:02:37] And on one particular hot August afternoon, this group of five young men, led by Samuel Mills from Williams College, gathered out in Sloan's Meadow. While they were out there, they were discussing William Carey's book that he had written about world mission. William Carey is considered one of the fathers of modern-day mission, and what was happening in that day. And what you have to keep in mind, we're about to tell you, is there was no mission agency at all coming out from America. Now we have all kinds of mission agencies today, in 1806, there were none, there was nobody that was going across the pond to other places to take the gospel or the message of Jesus. And William Carey wrote this little book to kind of stir people to think about the need to take the gospel to the nations, especially to Asia, which is what this particular group was praying.

Ross Sawyers: [00:03:34] So they were talking about Carey's little booklet, it has a really long name, it's like an inquiry into the need to take the gospel to the heathen, it's a really long title. But they're wrestling with it, and they didn't realize that a storm was coming. And as they were talking, all of a sudden, they're surrounded by angry clouds that are loaded with lightning, it starts to pour down rain and they dive for cover in the first place they could find in that meadow, and it was under a haystack. So here you have these five young college men that are praying underneath this haystack, they didn't stop, the storm didn't deter them, they continued to pray, they continued to talk about the need to take the gospel to the lost, especially to Asia. And as they did this, they prayed and they sang a hymn, and then Samuel Mills said this as they were parting ways. He said we can do this if we will, we can do this, we can be a part of the message of Christ being taken to peoples all over the world, if we will.

Ross Sawyers: [00:04:46] In 1808, Samuel Mills formed a society called the Society of the Brethren, and they had a single-minded purpose of giving themselves to extending the gospel across the world. Can you imagine some of the greatest things come out of those who are the youngest that have a heart and a vision for risk and adventure, and they understand and get hold of God's glory early, they could do nothing but be about it, and that's what was happening to these young men. In 1810, they were a part of helping establish the first mission board that would start to send missionaries all over the world. Eighty years later, the student volunteer movement began, and it was inspired by this haystack prayer movement from 1806, and a hundred thousand college students were mobilized for mission all over the world. It's one of the greatest missionary movements ever, and when they look back at it, these five young men were changed forever that afternoon in that rainstorm underneath that haystack, and it has changed forever the lives of people all over the nations in coming of Jesus Christ. How cool, if God would establish more haystacks of people that have a single-minded devotion to prayer, to seeking God out.

Ross Sawyers: [00:06:09] Turn your Bibles to Acts chapter 1, and we'll be in verses 12 through 14, we're just going to hang out in three verses. And when we think about, as we unfold Acts, what's happened so far, and what you heard last week, if you weren't here, I'll catch you up, that the theme of Acts is actually found in chapter one verse eight, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” It's a geographical move out, where they're going to take the gospel as they start, where they are, where Jesus told them to go, and then they were going to move out from there. That's the theme, we see that unfold in the whole Book of Acts.

Ross Sawyers: [00:06:51] And now they saw Jesus ascend to heaven. They had been a part of quite a run here in the past 40 days, they had seen Jesus crucified, they'd seen Jesus resurrected, they spent time with Jesus, and now they've heard his last instructions were to wait till the Holy Spirit baptized them and then they would have power to be witnesses for him, then they watched him ascend.

Ross Sawyers: [00:07:21] And that brings us to verses 12 through 14, what did they do next after these 11 disciples watched Jesus ascend to heaven? And I want us to think about this one main idea, it's a single-minded devotion to prayer. A single-minded devotion to prayer. In verse 12, "They returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away." Well, here they are, these 11 followers of Jesus, Jesus is gone, they watched him go. Some of you have been to Israel, some of you will have the opportunity in the future, and if you have seen pictures, or been there, the way we would describe this, here's Jerusalem, here's the city, and then up this hill is the Mount of Olives, and the scripture tells us this is where Jesus was with the disciples when he ascended to heaven. We're also told in the scripture, it's that same place where Jesus will return. So whenever you go and see the Mount of Olives, you're there, when you see it, that is the place where Jesus has been prophesied to return.

Ross Sawyers: [00:08:42] So here they are, they're looking down at the city, and when I first read this, I thought, OK, they are Sabbath Day's journey away from the city, it makes no sense to me because, in my mind, a Sabbath day is like a whole day. So when I'm there at Mount Olivet, and I'm looking down at the city, it is not a day's journey, it's not a very long walk at all. Well, the way they understood is Sabbath Day's journey, is it was about two-thirds of a mile. In the Old Testament law, there's not to be any work done on the Sabbath, the Jewish rabbis would later add things to the law, and one of the things they added was what you could do in terms of walking on the Sabbath. You could walk about two-thirds of a mile, and that was not considered work. Once you pass two-thirds of a mile, then it was considered work. So the journey down from Mount Olivet to Jerusalem is about two-thirds of a mile, so it is a Sabbath day's journey. Now I don't know about you, it just depends what kind of physical shape you're in, but you might think two-thirds of a mile is work. So I don't know how the rabbis came to their conclusion, but somehow, it's not work to that point, and then it is, so that's the distance.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:03] So they walk down from the Mount of Olives, now they're walking down to Jerusalem, and they're doing exactly what Jesus told them to do. He had told them to go and to wait for the spirit to come. "When they had entered the city, verse 13, they went up to the upper room where they were staying." Several people have tried to conjecture that the upper room, is the same upper room where the Lord's Supper happened. Or it was John Mark, one of the disciples of Jesus, that it was his house and that's where they went. That would purely be conjecture, it would be a guess because there's no fact around that idea, what we know is they went to an upper room.

Ross Sawyers: [00:10:43] And what we're about to see is the forerunner to a haystack movement of prayer, but instead, it's not under a haystack, it's in an upper room. This will be common in a Palestinian home to have an upper room, a place for privacy, a place that was cooler, a place to gather in at their homes. They were gathered in that upper room. Now, I've kind of wondered what they were thinking initially, as I said, they'd seen quite a bit. And I wonder in their reflection that they thought back because, you know, Jesus said a lot of things and then they happened. Jesus said he would suffer, they didn't understand it, he suffered. He said he was going to be killed, they didn't really get that, he was killed. He said he was going to rise again on the third day, they didn't really catch that, he did. And now he's told them something to look for in the future again, I want you to wait in Jerusalem. Until the Holy Spirit comes. I have no idea what they were thinking that was going to look like, I don't think they knew. But they went and gathered up in this upper room.

Ross Sawyers: [00:12:10] Now, who is it that went? I want to take a little bit here to really take a look at who the people were because I think it's helpful for today, and how we navigate really hard waters, and how we can actually be unified as the body of Christ, like they were, in the midst of things where they might have been divisive. So, were listed in verse 13, the disciples, "Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James." A few weeks ago, we were talking about community, and I used this as an example of what a Christian community would look like. Our tendency is to find the people that think like we do, that act like we do, that have the same views that we have. That doesn't appear to be the way Jesus rallied his small group.

Ross Sawyers: [00:13:04] He had Matthew the tax collector, and he worked for the Roman government, he probably ripped off the other guys that he was with before they ended up being a band of disciples together, they helped fund his lavish living more than likely. And then you've got Simon the zealot. He was trying to overthrow the government, that's the movement he was a part of, and Jesus brings these two guys together and says, hey, y'all are going to follow me for a while, and here they are in this upper room together. And then he had some uneducated fishermen with him. And then he had Thomas, who liked to ask questions. And they had Andrew, who wasn't the one out front but kept bringing people quietly to Jesus. It was quite a diverse group of personalities, backgrounds, political preferences. Is it possible today, to have an eclectic group of people, is it possible for Republicans and Democrats that are Christians to actually come together, is it possible with diverse backgrounds and different cultural views about their take on what's going on? Is it possible to actually come together in unity around Jesus? Is that possible today? Sometimes it looks like it's not, quite candidly, it's a little disheartening, but Jesus did it. And here they are in the midst of their differences, it seems that they've been able to unify around Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:14:55] In 2018, my wife and I were with a group of pastors and we're in Washington, D.C., and we were with a man named Chaplain Dan, he's the chaplain for the senators and the House of Representatives. And on a Wednesday night, we worshipped in a room underneath the U.S. House of Representatives. And there are Democrats and Republicans that gather up to worship together in that room, where in the room above them, they probably don't agree on one thing. How does that happen? And yet they did.

Ross Sawyers: [00:15:39] Well, that's not all that was there. I want to skip to verse 14, the back half, before we come back to the core idea. But it says in verse 14 that there were women there as well, so you got the 11 disciples and then women. And Luke is writing, he writes Luke and Acts, and we can make a decent assumption that the women he's referring to are the ones he had written about in Luke chapter 8:2-3, he said, "There were some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means." There were a large group of women that were following Jesus during his ministry, and here they are all gathered up with these disciples in this upper room waiting for what Jesus said was coming. These ladies had a deep love for him, imagine, to have the demonic removed from you and to be set free, imagine to be sick and to be healed, their love was deep in their following of him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:16:58] These were the same women, though, that in Luke 23:55, watched Jesus crucified and then laid in the tomb. They saw the tomb where he would be laid. And in 24:10, they're the ones that saw the empty tomb first, they go back to these 11 disciples, they're all together now in this upper room. This was 40 days before when the Scripture tells us that when they tried to tell them that the tomb was empty, all the 11 disciples said they were talking nonsense. Now, I don't know if the emotional peace had healed yet or not by the time we got to the upper room. So you have these women that were followers of Jesus, you have the disciples that were there, they're all in the upper room waiting for the Spirit to come, and then the only woman that's named is Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:17:54] Now, let's think about Mary for a second, both his mom and his disciple, his follower. She gave birth to him, knew what it was to be a distraught parent when at 12 years old, he forgot to let them know, hey, I'm going to hang out at the temple for a while y'all head back home a few days journey, and so for three days, they didn't know where their son was. To Jesus's early ministry when they were at a wedding together and there was a problem because the wine was about to run out, Mary gets Jesus to the waiter and says to the waiter, he'll take care of it, he really just wanted to give us a picture there was something new coming. And then we know Mary was present, his mom, the one who gave birth, is the one who was standing at the foot of the cross watching her son be killed. And now here she is after the resurrection, after the ascension, in this upper room with these other women, with the disciples, waiting for the Holy Spirit to come.

Ross Sawyers: [00:19:12] Now in my mind, if anybody knew what the power of the Holy Spirit was like, Mary did. The last time she had an encounter with the Holy Spirit, something happened to her. In Luke 1:35 we're told that “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God." The last time she had a big encounter with the Holy Spirit, she ended up pregnant as a virgin. Now I wonder what she was thinking this was going to be like this time, what's going to happen now when the spirit comes?

Ross Sawyers: [00:19:50] But that's not all, we're also told that Jesus's brothers were in the upper room. Now, when we go back to Mark 6:3, his brothers, their names are listed, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him." And then in John 7:5, it says, "Not even His brothers were believing in Him." Now, imagine Mary overseeing a family where her son is the Savior and the Messiah, and the brothers and sisters aren't buying it, they don't believe him, they're offended by him. But look where they are now, there's room for the skeptic, the non-believer, the questioner, to come to a place of full-on faith in Jesus. So we got family gathered up here, we got the disciples gathered up, and in verse 15, we're told that there were 120 in that room. So there are just a few that are named, at least a hundred are not, there are a hundred unknown people here, and candidly, that's who most of us are.

Ross Sawyers: [00:21:15] A few weeks ago, I was meandering around a cemetery. I know what you're thinking, why did you do that? I actually find that is good for me, every once in a while, to walk around a cemetery, it's humbling to see the dates of people's lives and how brief we are, it's motivating. Somebody did a story a long time ago, maybe you've heard it before, what are we going to do with that dash that's in the middle, that's the time we get. What will we do with our dash? It's a reminder to me of that. But I saw this one, and it says unknown to us, but not to their maker. And that's mostly who we are, we're not going to be known, people aren't going to know our names, we're mostly going to be unknown in what we do for the cause of Christ, but we are known to our maker, we are personally known to him.

Ross Sawyers: [00:22:16] And that's who was gathered, a hundred or so unknowns, and then 20 or so that maybe we can identify, give or take a few of their names, and that's who's gathered up. And I think they're gathered up, and I think they're saying what Samuel Mills said in 1806, we can do this if we will. We can do this if we will. There's about to be a prayer movement that starts here that's the forerunner for any other prayer movements that we see in the future, like that haystack movement, and we're seeing that happen and unfold right here.

Ross Sawyers: [00:22:48] The first part of verse 14, "These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer." How did this, eclectic, diverse, different backgrounds, different personalities, how did they do this? Well, they were with one mind continually devoting themselves to prayer. They got their minds off of looking at each other, they got their minds off of digging out from within themselves of what counts, and their minds and hearts are now focused on Jesus. The only way we get above the fray and walk in the fray is to get above it, and the only way we can unify with people where we have divergent views with each other is to be unified in what matters in Jesus Christ. And what they did is they, all with one mind, together with one mind, together they did this with one mind. How do we have one mind? The Scripture tells us that we're to love God with all of our heart, and soul, and mind.

Ross Sawyers: [00:23:52] How do I love God with all my thinking? I can love God with all my thinking, once by faith, I've trusted Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior. First Corinthians 2:16 says, "I have the mind of Christ." We're given the mind of Christ when we receive Jesus, so then I can actually love God with my heart, soul, and mind because Christ is in me, he's giving me his mind, so I can love him with all my heart. But Paul writes in Colossians 3:2, and I think it's wise because our minds tend to drift off and we get set on the things that are not above. And that's what he says and Colossians 3:2, "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth." We will stay divisive with our minds set on the things of earth, set your mind on things above, not on the things on earth, set your mind on Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: [00:24:56] It's what happened to Nebuchadnezzar, it's one of my favorite stories in Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar was a prideful king, he looked out and he said, hey, look at this kingdom I built. And God said, no, I'm going to humble you a little bit, and he removed him from that kingdom and he was out eating grass for the next several years until, this is what the Bible says until he looked up into heaven, and when he looked up, rationality returned. We're not rational anymore because we're not looking up, we've lost our senses because everything else is controlling our thinking rather than looking up. And when Nebuchadnezzar looked up, his thinking was changed and he declared praise to the most high God, and that he is sovereign over all.

Ross Sawyers: [00:25:46] That's how we can unite together, with our eyes looking up, and our mind has to be continually renewed, in Romans 12:1-2. We fix our eyes on Jesus, that's how they were with one mind. They weren't concerned with all their differences at this point, what they were concerned about was a mind fixed on Jesus who they just saw ascend, and they were waiting for the power of the Spirit to come so that they could be witnesses for him. So they, one mind, we're continually devoting themselves. That word continually means constantly, and it means busy. Now, if I were to ask you as you left today, were you busy this week? Probably so, most of us are busy. Wouldn't it be cool if one day we were able to answer, yeah, I had a really busy week, I was busy praying all week and I didn't have time to catch that new movie, I didn't have time to check my Instagram for three days because I was so busy praying, I didn't see that college game Saturday because I was busy praying, I didn't do the overtime this week because I needed that time to be busy praying. Busyness is not bad, it's what we're busy about is the question. That's what this word means, they were busy praying.

Ross Sawyers: [00:27:33] Do you remember in Luke chapter 10 verses 38 through 42, Jesus is hanging out with Mary and Martha, he kind of drops in on them. And Martha is like the hostess, and she's kind of scrambling to get everything ready and pretty disheveled about it all, Mary just sits down at Jesus's feet, and she's just hanging out with him. Martha doesn't like it, she comes to Jesus, and she says, Hey, will you tell her to help me? Man, talk about dysfunctional, it's not like, hey, Mary, will you help me? Jesus, will you tell her? He said, no, I'm not going to tell her that, she's actually doing the one necessary thing. Oh, both Martha and Mary were busy, Mary was busy sitting at Jesus's feet, they were busy sitting at Jesus's feet. Busy in prayer.

Ross Sawyers: [00:28:33] This is how the other things are overcome, their mind's set on [inaudible] different things, that they were devoting themselves, giving themselves over to, prayer. So this is what they were busy about, they were talking to the Father. Now I don't know what they were saying, we don't get a real big descriptor of, hey, for the next 10 days when they were continually devoting themselves and busy praying, that this is what they were praying. And I sometimes wonder if God leaves that a little loose for us so that we don't box ourselves in and say, this is exactly what has to look like. Continual devotion to prayer, single-mindedness to prayer, may look like different things in different seasons of time. What could that look like? What were they praying?

Ross Sawyers: [00:29:22] Earlier, you had scripture read of the Lord's Prayer, it's what Jesus taught when they asked him, how do we pray? So maybe there were parts of that prayer they were praying, "Our Father that's in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your name is holy, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come; it'll break into the hearts of people. Your will be done, God your will. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Please don't lead us into temptation today. And then, God, all of this is for your glory, your power, and your kingdom. Maybe, parts of that.

Ross Sawyers: [00:30:06] A few months ago, I was with a man named Sammy Tippett, who, in the year that COVID was its...when it broke out and then beyond, was able to still preach the gospel in revivals all over the world to over a million people. And one thing he talked about was how people would gather and would just pray for hours for those gatherings. And I'm always intrigued when I hear people say they pray for hours, I want to know what you did for those hours, like, I've just never watched somebody pray for hours. I don't even know how to get my head wrapped around, and I just haven't seen that modeled anywhere, and so I ask when I hear that. And he said, well, this is what happens, he said they're not praying emotional prayers, they're praying biblical prayers, they're praying scripture. And if you start praying scripture, then you can pray for hours because you're not trying to think of something, you're not thinking what's another way I can pray for healing? I mean, how many ways can I pray for healing? I can pray for healing, and then I want to keep praying the scripture for a person, I can't go wrong praying scripture.

Ross Sawyers: [00:31:18] What's an example of that? I've prayed this for our church all week. God, will you take all of our different backgrounds, all of our different personalities, all of our different experiences, all of our different cultural viewpoints, and God, would you take that and somehow help us be together, and be unified, and pray, and be devoted to prayer? I just prayed what I've been teaching the last few minutes, that's it. So as I'm reading, I pause, I pray, I pray it for my wife, I pray it for my kids, I pray it for my extended family, I pray it for friends, I pray it for my life group, I pray it for our church, I pray it for people across the globe, just pray scripture.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:07] I talked to another man this week, he was in our life group, and he shared that God put it on him to pray for one hour a week for one of his sons. He's had some different challenges along the way, he's doing well now, he wants to continue to pray that he'll do well. And I loved when he shared it, he said nobody told him to do that, just out of his walk with God, I said, I'm going to pray this hour, committed to my son. And he said it was hard to pray for one hour for my one son, just to pray for one hour. That'd be one way to be devoted to prayer.

Ross Sawyers: [00:32:48] Randy Wynn in our church, he has been to Haiti multiple years, he knows several people there, that is a lawless land right now. A friend of his is a pastor who was abducted and kidnapped, and so they put out this big chain to pray for him to be rescued, and he was. So, we can get devoted together with a single mind when something like that happens. Now we want to pray for the emotional and physical recovery of this pastor from the trauma he suffered from being kidnapped.

Ross Sawyers: [00:33:26] It could be that we wrap around a crisis, or an issue we see in our culture. The 40 days of life is going on right now, it's a vigil, 24/7 there are people praying outside of abortion clinics. They're just sitting in their chairs in shifts, praying, this is happening in Mexico City, Spain, Georgia, and Tennessee. In Georgia, one lady came by and she wanted to give a piece of her mind to those people that were praying, and she did. And they just explained to her, we're just here, we just want to love you all. And that softened her, and then she said, I wish you would have been outside this clinic two weeks ago because I was hoping someone would be outside of here to stop me, that matters. That ends this coming weekend, that 40 days prayer, but that's a way to gather around a particular issue in our culture.

Ross Sawyers: [00:34:33] It could be like this lady in our church, and she's letting me, by permission, share this. But a fellow teacher invited her a few years ago to a new church, and she went to the church, and then not too long after that, the ladies were asked to start a small group study around the book What Happens When Women Pray by Evelyn Christianson. They studied it, and the group of ladies that studied it, for now for 30 years have been praying together and have walked through life together. So they've added 17 children, three grandchildren, six marriages, 16 college graduates. And then I just appreciate the rawness of what goes on is they pray for each other, and so I want to share this story, this is another way that we can be devoted to prayer. She said we've supported and prayed with one of our children through an abusive marriage and a nasty divorce. Two of the couples have struggled through the pain of affairs. One of our children is openly gay. Several children and moms struggle with depression and anxiety. We're sending one of our children to the mission field in Indonesia, my prayer partner has no idea when she'll see her daughter again. Two of the children are currently at odds with their parents over racial and political views. One of the fathers committed suicide. One child's been killed in a car accident. Many of the children live with their significant other outside of wedlock. Several have struggled financially; others are doing well. One of the husbands had a mental breakdown. We buried most of our parents, some of our siblings, so this is the truth of our stories, there are real struggles and real victories, and we're not giving up hope. But they're just bound and united together in real prayer over real things in life.

Ross Sawyers: [00:36:20] We can gather together to pray for world missions like the Haystack Prayer Movement. I ran into a lady at the gym this week and, she was telling me about her 84-year-old mom who has Parkinson's, and just recently she said the only thing I can do now is pray. And she said, Mom, that's some of the most important things you can do. We can pray till we have our last breath, singularly devoted to prayer.

Ross Sawyers: [00:36:52] I want us to take some time to actually pray. We have opportunities coming this week, nine o'clock on Saturday morning doing a prayer walk here in the area. If you've never done that, they'll teach you, and walk through that with you. We have prayer teams at the end of the service if you want to be a part of that. We have people that pray for those who send in requests that we send them every week, whatever prayer requests are, if you'd like to be a part of that group.

Ross Sawyers: [00:37:20] But what we'd like to do today is have a concert of prayer. And Lorraine Holland, who leads our women at 121, is helping with Jessica and leading that she's going to lead us in this concert of prayer, so it's a way to actually do what it is we've just talked about. And we just imagine this being like that upper room, and we are going to set our minds single-mindedly in devotion to prayer.

Lorraine Holland: [00:37:58] As we move into this time of prayer, and I'm going to ask you guys to do something that might feel a little uncomfortable and that's OK. We are going to pray together out loud; we are going to speak our prayers as a body of believers knowing that the Lord hears us. We are going to cry out together and we are going to move through a series of topics, and I'm going to ask you to join me in lifting your voices high. I'm asking our folks online to join us from the comfort of your home, join us, pray out loud. May we be a people who seek the Lord together with our voices. We are going to begin this morning by having a period of time where we praise God, where we come before him, and we praise him for who he is, for what he has done, for saving us and redeeming us. Let us come together, there is going to be scripture behind me, if you don't know how to pray, pray the scripture back to the Lord. Speak these words out loud, declaring praises to our God.

Lorraine Holland: [00:39:11] Let us pray. And as we praise the name of the Lord, may our hearts be moved to repentance, may we see our need for Jesus, may we come before him and bring to light the things that we are struggling with, how we pursue comfort over the Lord. Let us turn away from our sins together. Let us speak out loud the forgiveness that we have in Christ. May we put aside guilt and shame, may we come together and repent and claim the forgiveness that is Jesus for us? And as we claim the forgiveness that Jesus provides for us, I pray that we would come to the Lord and ask Him to fill us with his joy, that he would change the desires of our heart, that our desires would be to be fully satisfied in God. Only God can satisfy our hearts, may we experience his pleasures forevermore? Let us come before the Lord and ask him to move us into enjoying him more, even today, even right now, let us pray.

Lorraine Holland: [00:44:01] And as our hearts are moved to desire the Lord more, let us ask that God would save the people around us that don't know Him. Let's pray for our family and our friends who don't know the love of Jesus that they may experience him, that they may experience the goodness in the grace and the mercy that the Lord has for them. Pray that the Holy Spirit would soften their hearts. Pray for a boldness that you might get to be the one to share that love with them. Let us pray together.

Lorraine Holland: [00:45:41] And as we come together, let us pray that the Lord would give us unity around Jesus, even though there is division and chaos all around us, may we be a people that is about making much of God, about his glory, about building his kingdom. Where there is division, let us pray that God would unify us under the name of Jesus in our cities, in our countries, and around the world. Let us pray.

Lorraine Holland: [00:47:17] And as we wrap up our time together this morning, let us yield to the Lord, let us yield to his plans, his will, let us yield to the work that he has called us to, let us yield and submit because God is good and he wants to draw us near, let us come before him and yield to him. Lord, I just thank you for meeting us here this morning, I thank you for stirring our hearts that we might come together and praise your name. Lord, I thank you for how we have turned away from our sin and claim the forgiveness of Christ. I thank you, Lord, that you are growing our desire for you, and that in that desire that we may be more and more burdened for those who don't know you. And that we would come together in a spirit of unity around your name, that we as a body of believers, would make much of you, Lord, that we would be fully submissive to your plans, that we would yield to the goodness that you have for us, Lord. May we go out excited about you, Lord. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.



Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
817.488.1213