Your House—A Lighthouse
October 28, 2001
Introduction: What would happen if your home and this church were known throughout this community as first and foremost places where people pray for their neighbors? What if all of our neighbors knew that, whatever happened, they could turn to us as a church and you as a family for personal, fervent, loving prayer?
First, a very basic challenge: One of the core values of this congregation has always been the restoration of New Testament Christianity, endeavoring to be and do as a church what Christ intended his church to be as described in the pages of the New Testament. That is, in part, why we practice baptism the way we do. That is how it was done in the pages of the New Testament. It is what Jesus intended. It is also why we observe the Lord's Supper as often as we do. Very few non-Catholic churches partake of communion every Lord's Day. We do so, we contend, because that is the example we find in the New Testament. That's good! Restoring New Testament Christianity is a valid principle and a very good value to strive for as a congregation.
But why stop with baptism, the Lord's Supper, or the importance of the elders and deacons in the church? What would happen if we also made it a high priority to restore the New Testament's emphasis on prayer—prayer not as a last resort but as a first impulse? What would happen if developing praying believers in their walk of faith became as important to us as immersing believers at their profession of faith in Christ? What if we prayed together as much as we ate together? What if we had as many prayer meetings as committee meetings? What if the number one characteristic of every leader, Sunday School teacher, and worker in the church that we looked for was a vibrant speaking relationship with God? What if we absolutely expected prayer to be answered? And talked and acted as if seeing obvious answers, at least from time to time ...
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