I remember that night as if it happened yesterday. On June 8, 2003, at a Sunday evening service at Times Square Church, the Lord gave me a message of hope for a society that is at best confused, confused, powerless, judgmental and without faith in God: the message from the Gospel of Mark 9:14-29.
I was approached by many in our church on just how the Lord used this biblical passage and how it encouraged them both in their walk and in how to have a lasting impact in their homes, neighborhoods, communities and state.
Almost 15 years have passed since I delivered that particular message to my church. But that one message turned into a mission to encourage believers at large about the need for and the power of prayer. And from that one message a regional and then national radio ministry called “It’s Time to Pray” was born!
Now that specific sermon has given birth to a larger message, which is contained in my book It’s Time to Pray. I have thought for quite some time about the passage in Mark 9—I’ve looked at it, studied it and read it over and over. The Lord has expanded the original message He gave me to show me just how impacting prayer can be in every area of both our personal lives and our community life.
The story in Mark 9 describes a journey most Christians will travel in their lifetime. It certainly reflects my life and my journey. I believe that the truth that is clearly annunciated by the Lord in Mark 9 is a critical message that the church needs to hear today.
There are far too many Christians who are walking around dejected, depressed, hopeless, powerless and in bondage to the flesh. Friends, this is not what the Christian life is or should be. Jesus Christ fulfilled the will of the Father, and together they made a new covenant—one that set us free from the enslavement of sin and gave us new life both here and in eternity. Through the shed blood of Christ on the cross and His resurrection, Jesus restored our relationship with the living God and enabled us to live an abundant life!
Please understand, I’m not saying that as Christians we should never have a problem, feel down, or face trials. On the contrary, we will indeed face difficulty in life and experience spiritual warfare when living according to the Spirit rather than our flesh. But in the midst of these things, as believers we are not powerless and without hope. We are not under the power of our flesh or Satan anymore. Our power and hope are in God, and the Holy Spirit empowers us to live above the fray! The most powerful thing we can do in our lives is pray! The Bibles tells us to pray without ceasing and to pray about everything.
If you are struggling in your walk—if you have failed yet again—if you look at the world around you and feel dejected, look up, for your redemption is nigh!
Join me as we look at the tremendous lesson Jesus gives us in Mark 9—along with some of my own personal experiences—and how it relates to us, our walk with God and our impact on the world. You will find, as I have, that it’s time to pray!
Prayer Power for the Week Beginning Feb. 17, 2019
This week, study Mark 9 and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what you need to know to increase your effectiveness in prayer. Partner with Him as you step into praying His will for your life, your community and the world. Continue to ask for an outpouring of His Spirit and more laborers for the harvest fields. Remember our allies, and pray for unity among believers and godly wisdom for our spiritual and national leaders. Read Mark 9, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and James 5:16.