by Claude Thomas

Isaiah 62:6-9

Introduction: I was just a small boy the first time I experienced it. I went to church with my grandparents which was located at the base of the mountains. My Granddad took me with him behind the church to the grove of hardwood trees. Grandmother went inside the building. But under the trees, there were other men present. In a matter of minutes, all the men knelt. After a few seconds, one began to pray. Another joined him. Then another. After a while, it seemed as if all the men were praying out loud, calling out to God.

I watched and listened. They were sincere and intent in their prayers. Some wept; others moaned. It was truly unforgettable. I experienced this again and again as I grew up, and later as a young preacher.

Several have observed that during periods of spiritual and moral darkness, desperate people desired change and began to pray. It has also been noted that the greatest times of spiritual renewal and moral reform were preceded by small groups of people praying for a fresh movement of God.

Some time ago, Charles Allen wrote a book entitled, Prayer Changes Things. That is true. But I believe that we must change if we are going to pray.

"Christianity Today," April 6, 1979, included a survey that revealed "the average church leader prays an average of three minutes a day." If this is true of a church staff, what about laymen? Brethren, we must change to affect change in our lives, homes, churches, cities, and nation. Begin with ...

I. Commission to Pray - v. 6

Explanation: The text introduces us to the Watchmen. The Hebrew word "shaw mar" properly meant "to guard" and was generally used to mean "to observe." In ancient days, the cities were fortified with walls on all four sides. At intervals along those walls, men were stationed for the purpose of observing what was occurring outside the walls. They peered into the horizon for messengers, strangers, or enemies comin ...

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