HOP May 4 - John Murdo
Build an Altar of Prayer
Last Saturday night at the prayer vigil in the church, I was asking God for direction in prayer for the evening. I was drawn to some words from 1 Kings 18:16-39. This is the well known story of Elijah’s challenge to King Ahab and the false religions of that day. We read in vs. 30 that Elijah “Repaired the altar of the Lord which was in ruins…” This was an altar where worship and sacrifice was brought before the Lord; but because of backsliding, rebellion and disobedience from the king and the children of Israel, it was now in ruins.
We have this wonderful picture of Elijah rebuilding it again and calling the people to see what he was doing. Then in vs. 31 “Elijah took 12 stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob….” This was a very significant act he carried out, because he was saying that the backsliding, rebellion and disobedience was in every tribe, in every people group in the nation. It was a collective moral and spiritual failing in the nation. I believe that God was calling me and maybe us to repent of the sins of our nation, and of some of the churches in Canada that watered down the Gospel and took Christ out of the church and left the altar of the Lord in ruins.
But the story does not end there, Elijah prays: ‘O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel…..” He remembers these great fathers of the faith, the testimony that they had passed down from generation to generation of a great, mighty God who saves, protects, and delivers His people. As he prays, the fire of God falls on the altar and consumes the sacrifice offered by Elijah on behalf of the people. This inspires me to pray on for our church, our nation. God answers prayer. When we call on Him collectively there is blessing. Psalm 133 says this, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard….For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life for evermore.” When we come together as one, there is favour poured out upon us.
As we see God working in ROL in these days and the positive healthy direction we are going in, there is such an awareness of His presence in the church. On a church level, we are witnessing with our eyes the work of the Lord in children and adults in every area of the church. Nationally we are calling leaders to come and journey with us and seek the ancient paths of God, Elijah remembered the great fathers of the faith in Israel, we are remembering the great fathers of the faith in the early church who preached Christ crucified as the only saviour of mankind. Who laid such a wonderful foundation of what the church can be in Christ. I would encourage you to take time on a Saturday night and maybe join us for a time of prayer from 8pm onwards and see what God will speak into in your life.
The prophetic word and interpretation that was given on Sunday morning at the 10:30 service was such a blessing to us as a body. (If you weren’t there to see it, check out the video of our Sunday service here). The Lord is coming to visit us again! The fire of the Holy Spirit is going to fall upon us!
Lord we pray and ask you as a body; let the fire of the Holy Spirit fall upon us that we might burn for Jesus Christ and like the early church make a mark on this world for the glory of you Name.
John Murdo Nicolson