by Steve Jones

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Beating the Church-Going Blues through Prayer (2 of 5)
Steve Jones
Romans 1:8-10

INTRODUCTION: In a small Midwestern conservative town, a businessman decided to build a new bar in the downtown area. A local church was vehemently opposed to the bar, so they started a prayer campaign against it. Day in and a day out, week after week, as the work progressed on the new building, the congregation prayed that God would prevent the bar from opening. Just days before the bar was scheduled to open, there was serious storm, and wouldn't you know, lightning struck the bar, and it burned to the ground. The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the destruction of his building, In its reply to the court the church vehemently denied all responsibility for or any connection to the building's' destruction. As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork at the hearing and commented, "I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner that believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn't!"

Today I want to talk about praying FOR the Church. Last week we talked about how important it is to be a member of a local church. Jesus came to build His church. He died for his church. The New Testament is comprised primarily of letters written to and for the church. When we're baptized into Christ we're baptized into his body which is the church. So don't think we can live a faithful Christian life divorced from the local church...we can't. Nevertheless, as the song "The Church Going Blues" describes, Christians do sometimes get the Church-going blues. For any number of reasons they become dissatisfied and cease being an active member of a local church family. We don't want that to happen to us. We want our attitude to be like the attitude reflected in Pa ...

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