Yesterday I received a powerful email from Mike Synder, the co-founder of the Advent Film Group, in response to an email Bertha Hinson had sent out. Mike wrote …
Dear Bertha (and friends):
I’d like to augment these very true and powerful words from your message below:
This evil that is permeating itself across this nation is … from a dearth of prayer and a lack of national moral strength and leadership.
In God’s perfect timing, I’ve had the privilege this morning of reading a sermon by Ray Stedman from 1967 – in the midst of the tumultuous times of war and moral, political, institutional and doctrinal upheaval, similar to these current days. Rev. Stedman at the end of his sermon makes a connection I’ve never fully and clearly made, between the dominion mandate God gave mankind in Genesis and the critical role that prayer plays in carrying out the mandate. It hits me that if intercessory prayer for changes in the world around us is part of the mandate, it’s not optional! Here’s the link to the sermon:
Here’s the excerpt talking about prayer:
“This brings us to the matter of prayer. What is prayer, this mysterious power placed in the Christian’s hands? Primarily, it is a means of communication between God and man, but secondarily, it is a means of control of the events of earth. Have you ever seen prayer in that light? Look at First Timothy, Chapter 2. Paul says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions. [Why? Why pray for kings and those in high positions?] that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way,” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 RSV). That will be the result of prayer, the ability to lead a quiet and peaceable life. That means that when riots, tumults, and outbreaks begin to occur, prayer can have a very vital effect upon these things. Prayer can quiet these social outbreaks that threaten the peace of our time. Christians have no idea what is committed to them in this ministry of reigning over the events of life. This is evidenced by the fact that we really have very little confidence in prayer, as is seen in the attendance at prayer meetings.
Lambert Dolphin was telling me this past week about a circumstance that occurred when the Beatles came to Kansas City recently. The women in the Christian Women’s headquarters there became concerned about this because they knew that the Beatles exercised a strange magic over young people. They whip up youthful enthusiasms and create mesmeric forces that lead young people to see life in a distorted fashion with the ideas and values of the world greatly exaggerated, and spiritual truth diminished to a minute degree. So they organized a prayer meeting to counteract the effect of the Beatles when they came into town. And when the Beatles came, they were very disappointed in the response. They did not find the enthusiastic reception they had had in other places. And the young people seemed to experience no aftereffects from their visit, but went about their business, enjoying life quite free from these influences. When this same group heard of the riots breaking out in Detroit they gathered for prayer. The next day the riots took a different turn and quietness fell upon the scene again.
Well, you say, that is just coincidence. Perhaps, perhaps, but the scriptural record and the testimony of 2000 years of church history speak otherwise. When the people of God are faithful in prayer, wonderful things can be accomplished.
I was just with John Noble in Tyler, Texas. This man had the cruel experience of being incarcerated for nine years in a Soviet slave labor camp above the Arctic Circle. His father was there with him, and was placed in solitary confinement for three years. He had no one to talk to and was almost driven out of his mind by the silence. But he had been led to Christ by the sufferings of this labor camp, and he began to pray that God would send him a Bible. What could be more unlikely than to have a Bible be given to a prisoner in solitary confinement in a Russian slave labor camp? But he kept on praying that God would give him a Bible. He asked the guard one day if there was any reading material he could have. The guard said “No, of course not!” — that even if they had some they could not give it to him. But the next day there came a summons from the commandant to appear before him. When the prisoner was led in, the commandant said to him, “The guard tells me you’ve asked for reading material. I know what you want, you want a Bible.” And he turned around and reached on the shelf in back and handed him a Bible. He said, “We didn’t have a Bible here and we had to send to West Germany to get this for you.” What moved him to get that Bible, no one knows. He had to send outside of Soviet controlled territory to get it. But God moved that man to get a Bible and that Bible sustained Mr. Noble’s father all through the long months of his imprisonment. That is reigning in life.
Why is it that the United States has been unable to disengage itself from Vietnam? It is my personal conviction that much of it is because Christians, who ought to know better, are wasting their time in political demonstrations and protests on a physical level, and ignoring the spiritual weapons which God has placed in their hands by which with concerted prayer this thing could be brought to a close. That is why Paul says in Second Corinthians 10, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,” (2 Corinthians 10:4a KJV). They are not fleshly. They are not the means which worldlings use to accomplish their results, but, he says, “they are mighty … to the pulling down of strong holds … and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
What fools are we to lay aside these mighty weapons of spiritual power and waste our time in futile outward demonstrations which only serve to inculcate more resistance and more violence. We are called to reign in life, to have dominion over the things of earth and the forces of it. This is why James, writing to the Christians of his day (because they had the same problems that we have), says to them, “You have not, because you ask not,” (James 4:2b). Oh, the authority of faith!
This theme runs all the way through Scripture and traces for us the accomplishments of men and women who learned to utilize the weapons of spiritual power God had placed in their hands and to speak with the authority of faith. The account of it is given in Hebrews 11. I suggest you read that through to learn how thrones were toppled, kingdoms changed, armies repelled, and many other events of earth, the things which were reported in the papers of that day, were affected by the power of men and women who learned to reign in life through Jesus Christ.”
Michael A. Snyder
Co-Founder / Producer
Advent Film Group, LLC
See: www.ComeWhatMaytheMovie.com, www.HEROfamilymovie.com, www.RedSeptemberMovie.com
Blessings to embrace your role in praying for the leaders of your nation!
Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not
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