NkosiSikeleliAfrica 3: Pray for your leaders that you might live in peace
Key Text: 1 Timothy 2:1-4
We are gathered to make a difference. I hope that you have picked that up over the last few weeks. We exist as a church to impact our country and our community.
The problem that many of us feel is that how can we actually do this? People are so hostile towards us in the work place. we have so little hope of actually having an impact for the Gospel. our government is so corrupt; how can we really change anything?
Tonight I want to challenge us church that we can change things; and in fact we have a vitally prophetic ministry to this country that I fear we are not taking seriously enough!
the great danger of the western church is the tendency to forget that there is a profoundly spiritual and really dark enemy in our land; who is working actively and roaming around seeking whom he may devour.
We forget that in 2012 our government enticed the ancestors at the conference in Mangaung. Let's be real about who they were really enticing? That was a profoundly spiritual thing that our leaders did and I would argue that they by doing this they have opened up our country to many evil forces.
Again you might be asking what can I do? I can affect the decisions of our leaders. I can't stop them from doing these things. And the reality is you cannot stop them personally; but you are called to minister to them! and minister to them in a massively profound way!
If you have your Bibles here tonight please turn with me to 1 Timothy 2:1-4
While you are turning there I must remind you that the Bible is clear that the government we have is the government that God has put in power!
Romans 13:1 states:
"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."
And so in light of this fact we cannot hate we can however minister to them, and we can minister to them from this church here in Wilro Park.
Before we get there let me ask;
Do you believe Scripture when it says:
Greater is He that is in you than He who is in the World? 1 John 4:4
Do you believe Scripture when it says;
with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible? Matthew 19:26
Do you believe Scripture when it says;
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength? Philippines 4:13
If you believe that then let's commit ourselves to being ministers of God to our country!
how? Well scripture calls us to the ministry of prayer, lets read 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Paul urges a young pastor timothy to pray! who do we pray for everyone! (I'll get to why now), but He says don't just pray for everyone pray specifically for those in authority!
The ministry of standing in the gap for our leaders
Paul encourages us to pray for our leaders and there is a reason for this; that we might live in peace.
We often fall into the trap of thinking that we have no impact on our leaders. however; we serve the living God who put those leaders into power; and so as believers it is our responsibility; more it is our duty to stand in the gap for them.
We are called to pray for these men and women because...well... no one else is.
I really want to address why we should be praying; and why praying is our duty as a Christian.
and it comes down to the fact that we believe that there is more going on than what is seen by the eyes of men.
We think corruption is bad; let us remember there is a spiritual dynamic that is moving behind some dark men in power that is far more pernicious.
We complain abut lack of service delivery; but we should be pleading with God for our leaders that they might be influenced by Him rather than demonic forces.
I want to remind us as I shared earlier that at Mangaung 2012 the ANC called on the ancestors and performed ceremonies to, as they said, entice the ancestors.
We cannot be ignorant about this; they were enticing and calling on demonic forces there.
Now we might hear that and our hearts might be filled with fear; but why; did you not just declare that you believe scripture when it says greater is He that is in me, that God can do the impossible that we can do all things through Christ?
So why do we live in fear of this? No, church, we are called to be more than just a passive people who watch and worry, we are called to fight.
But let us be reminded that our fight is not against flesh and blood; rather it is against principalities and powers in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12).
Church our role is to actively and passionately stand in the gap!
Get on your knees! Stay on your knees!
This country needs your prayers. and we do not pray hopelessly; thinking that the God we call on is weak and powerless; we pray in the hope that our God is the great God of Heaven and Earth who all things are subject to!
And so we call on Him with hope to heal our land to bless our land; to make His name known in our land!
Church you feel powerless; why? You have the greatest power available to you the power of God! you are called to be those that stand in the gap for the leaders of this land!
Pray and trust!
I believe that even if just the few gathered here pray and pray with sincerity about our leaders that God will hear us and that God can move through the hearts and minds of our leaders!
Let us remember that the Word promises in James 5:16 says
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.…
Our prayers have impact; we have to be praying though!
A pastor once asked if God gave you everything you prayed for this week how different would you life be tonight?
For some the world would be a profoundly different place for others there would be little different in the world!
Let's start praying and trusting God for some amazing things! especially within the leadership of this country!
but let us not stop there...
The ministry of standing in the gap for everyone
Paul commands timothy and us to pray for everyone and then says why we should be in prayer for everyone; for it is the will of God that all men might be saved and come to the saving knowledge of the truth.
God desires for your families to be saved; God desires for your workplaces to be saved for your schools and varsities. He longs that those people might hear His truth and respond and be saved!
But I also realise that it is daunting to face these places. We don’t go into work places that just longing to hear the good news!
There is real negativity surrounding the good news. However, we must remember that it is God through us that is drawing men to Himself.
And that is why we must be in prayer for all people! I was so stoked to hear this week of a group of professionals praying for open doors for the Gospel in their work place!
That is what it is about people!
We are called to be out there praying for the people around us; the people we know to hear the Gospel of Jesus; to know the truth and for the truth to save them!
The hope this nation has is if the Spirit of God moves through it! This is what we should be passionately praying about!
You we have now twice gone up to Baptist Hill and prayed for this community; and to an outsider this might look like a complete waste of time and energy; but to those who have the eyes to see; we are breaking down strongholds; we are setting up heavenly realities.
We are through the power of God allowing the Gospel to work in the lives of people!
This is happening because we are calling upon our God to come down and intervene!
And you know what I believe more than anything; we serve a God who intervenes in History! I believe that the Bible confirms that our God does not stand aloof from His people but actively takes part in their History.
I believe that as we call on Him so our lives are changed but as we pray what we pray for is granted by our Father in Heaven according to His riches in glory!
I believe that when we pray for people around us a spiritual battle is started!
Through our prayers we can break things in people that are holding them back to hearing the good news.
We cannot hope to reap a harvest if we haven't sowed in prayer.
I guess one of the problems of living in a secular society is that we sometime forget of the spiritual reality that is around us and affecting us in profound ways!
We have to go into the world in the power of God!
Going out in the right power
The church needs to reclaim its place in this land as it's intercessor; the one that stands in the gap pleading God to intervene and save the people of this land; to guide the leaders of this land.
If we are going to have an impact in this land it has to be done in the right power.
Effectively we cannot have an impact in this land; however God through us can bless Africa!
The question we need to ask ourselves is; are we trying to do all this in our own power or are we doing this in the power of God.
If we are doing this in the power of God are we actually displaying that by absolute dependence upon Him in prayer?
Let me ask you tonight; do you believe that God will hear us as we pray to Him? Well if He hears us let us plead with Him for our leaders; for the people of our Land and for our community!
I believe that we need to take up this ministry to the land through prayer!
So again tonight we are not going to finish off with a song; rather we are going to pray; pray for the leaders of our country that we might live in peace and pray for the people of this land that they might hear the Gospel and believe!