September 7, 2014
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
Sermon Series on “All My Day: A Summer of Prayer”
Inspired by Marcia McFee
Sermon 10 of series-
Psalm 67 NIV Bible
Isaiah 56:4-8 NIV Bible
“Virally Going Global”
Let us pray… (Pray for God’s illumination…)
Have you ever seen the stuff they have on YouTube these days? Some of it is pretty funny but some of it is really not very nice. Some of those videos make fun of others where as some of them are pretty cute. You can actually put something on YouTube and it just goes crazy…some of those videos are like a virus and just spreads all over the world with “likes” and such. There’s one that come to mind and it is of this cat. The owner asks if it wants a bath and the cat sounds as if it is saying “no”…No, no, no, no, no… It is pretty cute. But why does so much well…stupid or mean stuff go so viral? There are some videos that have such meaning to it but humanity doesn’t think it is important enough to have it go “viral”…so to speak. Where is humanity’s priorities?
Last week…I was saying all we have to do is just pick up a paper or watch the news and we hear about bombings, war, famine, hunger, disasters, killings…the list just goes on. And how it is a little overwhelming to me. I talked about how God does have a plan and it begins with His people…it begins with Christians…it begins with you and me…praying for others. We need to remember those around the world and pray for them and what they may be going through.
This summer, we have been working though the prayer beads that were made and learning a different way to pray…a way that helps remind us what we should be praying for. I hope we have learned a few things as we have been going through the beads on the string. Let’s see…the Gold Bead…which reminds us to begin with adoration ….the bumpy beady….that is to remind us to let go and let God….the embrace of silence with the “holey Bead” …the steeping stone bead…our journey of faith…the black…the black and white…the gray bead…we are to bring our spiritual struggles to God….and the green bead, represents concern…not worries but concerns. Remember the red bead from last week? We are to pray for the lovable and not so lovable people in our lives…even those who do us harm. And last week we talked about the three purple beads on the string…the ones that remind us to pray for those “who are standing in the need of prayer.” And we are not just limited to the three beads..they are there to remind us that there are those who are needing…waiting…for our prayers for and about them.
The next bead is the Blue Green/ Blue/ Green Bead. It is there to remind us to pray for the world. God gives us a glimpse of what is going on in the world and what we need to pray for by us watching the news and reading the paper. Now I myself have trouble with this at times. I see all the evil in the world and I just don’t want to hear about it. I just want to block it out. But…but…how can you and I know what is needed in the world if we hide from it. We as Christians need to be “on top” of what is going on in the world around us because we are not of the world but we are in the world and need to be part of it only in the fact that it is in the need of our prayers.
The scripture I read this morning is all about praying for the world. It is about Christians…about you and me, praying for God’s Kingdom come…here on earth. This is a call to intercessory prayer for the world, not just those in our circle of friends and family. We are praying for the nations and all people and that they would come to know God as their God and Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We are calling for the nations to praise God for who He is and the blessings He bestows. We are calling down the blessings of God on all of His creation…We need to be virally going Global in our prayers.
In the book of Isaiah, chapter 56 verses 4-8, we hear about what can and will happen as we pray of others and pray for the world.
Isaiah 56:4-8 New International Version (NIV)
4 For this is what the Lord says:
“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant—
5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will endure forever.
6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord
to minister to him,
to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold fast to my covenant—
7 these I will bring to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations.”
8 The Sovereign Lord declares—
he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
“I will gather still others to them
besides those already gathered.”
As we virally go Global in our prayers, people and situations in the world around us are changed. But there is a catch…it may not happen in our time…in our vision…but it will happen in God’s time and in His vision. We just need to trust in His word… As I said last week…maybe God will use our prayer to show His glory. As we persevere in prayer God will hear and changes will begin. If we give up on the world…if we stop praying because of what is seen in the temporal world, how can the eternal things come to pass? If we concentrate only on the brokenness around us…how can there be healing?
Maybe…just maybe…as we pray for world, it will change. Perhaps if we persevere in prayer the glory of God will be seen. My prayer partners in Christ, can we agree here? Can we step out with one another and pray for the world around us…not just our own backyard? Maybe if you and I begin this journey others will join. Maybe just maybe it will be like that old Faberge commercial “And they tell two friends and so on and so on and so on.” Maybe we can cause our own virus as we virally go Global with our prayers. But…but…it begins with you and me as we agree that the prayers of God’s people will be heard and God will act on His promises. Let’s start a virus for our God and our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ and see how infectious we can truly be. Maybe just maybe, we too can hit over a million likes as we virally go Global in our prayers. Perhaps others are waiting to share our “Prayer Tube” on their “FW”…their faith walk with Christ… Perhaps maybe if we just…
Let us pray…pray about the world and it’s people…