I went down to the tabernacle. There I sat on the stairs of the entrance to the tabernacle that overlooks a huge valley, a high desert valley. As I watched the sun come up, I began to pray. I asked God why I hadn’t seen the things that I had desired to see.
This sermon is from deep in the archives, about 2008. I’m responding to last week. One of the things we need to keep in mind when it comes to praying is that there are different types of prayers. This one deals specifically with prayers of supplication.
to Pray Specifically
I’m Jared Ingle and this is my weekly podcast.
i. Acts 1.14: These all continued . . .
Continued is a Greek word combining a couple words, proskatereho: constant, steadfast, to persevere. The verbal construction indicates that it was a constant action “these all were continuing . . .” Continuing or waiting also can mean, “to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly.” It is persevering and waiting for someone to arrive.
There’s a worship song by the band Deluge that states: “Open up the sky, Fall down like rain, We don’t want blessings, We want You, Open up the sky, Fall down like fire, We don’t want anything but You.”
What are we waiting for? Are we waiting for blessings from God or are we waiting for a visitation from God? We used to call it “tarrying before the Lord,” continually praying until God arrives, persevering.
ii. Acts 1.14: . . . with one accord in prayer and supplication
Let’s look at prayer and supplication. The word prayer simply means to address God or to ask Him for something.
Supplication is the idea of entreating God, or asking Him for something specific. The church on that day was supplicating, to pray specifically for the promise. They were asking God for the Holy Ghost.
As I was preparing this, I normally don’t talk about things like this specifically in my ministry. I have seen the hand of God move in many, many situations.
iii. Personal Story
I remember my first youth camp speaking engagement. I went to the youth camp ready to go with sermons and morning lessons prepared. At camp I started seeing the typical evening services. There was some prayer going on, but there wasn’t the big breakthrough that I had been hoping for, that I had seen at other camps growing up. There weren’t miracles happening. People were committing to God, but these weren’t the powerful types of prayerful services that I had been hoping for.
So on the last day, I woke up at dawn. I got out of the trailer and went down to the tabernacle. There I sat on the stairs of the entrance to the tabernacle that overlooks a huge valley, a high desert valley. As I watched the sun come up, I began to pray. I asked God why I hadn’t seen the things that I had desired to see. Where were the miracles, people “slain in the Spirit,” or people speak in tongues? I hadn’t seen the things that I had hoped that God would do, the only things that I had come to that camp to see.
I began to pray, “God, touch people tonight! Touch them in this way . . . and this way . . . and this way. There’s healing needed tonight. Touch them with healing. God move in people’s lives.”
Guess what happened that night? He showed up. I got specific with Him and earnest in prayer.
I began to make supplication for specific needs.
iv. Getting specific as we pray
What has God’s word called us to be as a church?
What specific promises has God made to this church?
Are we persevering in our prayers, specifically asking God to fulfill His promises for us
Dr. Larry Lea is a well-known preacher over the last couple decades. He spoke about prayer, and persevering in prayer. He says this:
Though your answer may be long in coming, be tenacious. God hears your prayer of faith and the answer is conceived at that moment. If God’s response is delayed, continue to carry the petition in your heart. Do not allow yourself to grow weary as you bear the burden. It is possible to lose heart and give up and, by doing so, miss the answer God has prepared. There can be miscarriages in prayer. That thing conceived in the Spirit can be lost if we cast away our confidence and refuse to wait on the Lord.
Like the Disciples we have to persevere as we pray, or else we might miss the promise.
Facebook @echoesfromcalvarychurch Jonathan Stockstill, “Open Up the Sky (Live),” Bethany Presents Deluge (Live) (Mobile, AL: Bethany World Prayer Center and Integrity Media Inc., 2008).