"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain."
Today's Prayer Focus
- For prayer to be central to the work of LBC, the “furnace” that empowers all we do.
- For God to use this month of prayer to advance his kingdom in us and through us.
- For God to shape our hearts this month to love him and to seek his vision.
"The Prayer Furnace"
Five young college students were spending a Sunday in London in the 1800s, so they went to hear famed C. H. Spurgeon preach. While waiting for the doors to open, the students were greeted by a man who asked, “Gentlemen, let me show you around. Would you like to see the heating plant of this church?” They were not particularly interested, for it was a hot day in July. But they didn’t want to offend the stranger, so they consented. The young men were taken down a stairway, a door was quietly opened, and their guide whispered, “This is our heating plant.” Surprised, the students saw 700 people bowed in prayer, seeking a blessing on the service that was soon to begin in the auditorium above. Softly closing the door, the gentleman then introduced himself. It was none other than Charles Spurgeon. (Source: Our Daily Bread)
Welcome to the modern-day “prayer furnace” of Lake Baldwin Church! As we pray each day, we are expressing our dependence on God to “build the house.” We are saying, “We need your grace. We need your power. All of our work will be in vain apart from the gracious presence of the Holy Spirit.”
But why devote time to prayer? Couldn’t we just ask one person to read a list of requests to God and then get on with our lives? Scripture teaches united, sustained, prevailing prayer. This time spent in prayer does not only advance the kingdom and build his house; it also changes us. Our hearts become shaped and stretched, our minds become flooded with his vision (instead of our own), and our hands are strengthened for the days ahead.
The “house” of Psalm 127:1 reminds us not only of a home or a family. In the Old Testament, it also was the term used for God’s temple, the place of worship. With the dawn of the gospel in the New Testament, God now has a people for his temple. Christ Jesus is the cornerstone, and we are the stones of that temple, of that house. Let us pray that he will build it.
Mike Tilley is the senior pastor of Lake Baldwin Church, and has lived in Orlando since 1994. He and his wife, Molly, worked with a core group from the Baldwin Park community to plant Lake Baldwin Church in 2006. Mike loves teaching the Bible in a way that relates to real life. In his spare time, Mike enjoys good movies, long dinner with friends, snow skiing, hanging out with his kids and two granddaughters, and travel.