(This is an edited transcript of a sermon preached at The People’s Church in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2017)
Good morning Friends, my message today is taken from 1 Chronicles Chapter 21 and it’s titled ‘David’s Intercession During a National Crisis’.
I am going to speak about a major crisis that came upon Israel that is reflected in the Old Testament. But before I go further, let’s read 1 Chronicles 21:26. It says, “David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.”
.David’s sacrifice mentioned here was a sacrifice of intercession. It was a sacrifice of intercession in the midst of a crisis. So today, as we look at whatever crisis situations we may be going through in our own lives, may be there is something that God is leading us to by way of bringing a sacrifice of intercession towards Him.
I want to leave with you 5 points from this chapter about David’s intercessory sacrifice at this critical moment, and I pray that one, or two, or more of these points, will speak to your heart this morning. Whenever God’s Word is proclaimed, irrespective of who presents it, God speaks, and I believe that God will speak to all of you in some clear form or the other as I share from this passage.
“…, people brought the sick into the streets and laid then on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by… and all of them were healed” (Acts 5:15-16).
As you think of the Apostle Peter’s ministry in the book of Acts, what comes to mind? Is it fearlessness, anointing, miracle worker, dynamic preacher?
Yes, all these are true and God used Peter powerfully. Through Peter God healed a crippled (Acts 3:6-7) and a paralyzed man (Acts 9:32-35), raised the dead (Acts 9:36-43), opened prison doors and gates (Acts 5:19, 12:8-10) and brought thousands to salvation [Both Jews and Gentiles](Acts 2:41,4:4,10:44-46). As the opening scripture in this devotional records, people even expected to be healed by having Peter’s shadow fall on them as he passed by.
So far in this series, we have discussed the following prayer strategies of Nehemiah.
He prayed fervently
He focused on the greatness of the One he was praying to
He prayed for favor
He prayed the promises of God
He prayed against resistance
He prayed for strength
He personalized his prayers
Many years ago, the music band Starship recorded a hit song called ‘We built this city on rock ‘n roll’. However, Nehemiah built the walls of Jerusalem on prayer, and through the guidance, wisdom and courage he received as a result of his prayers.
The book of Nehemiah is one that is filled with courage, effective leadership, faith, motivation, a great sense of adventure and a desire to honor God. Upon receiving information that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and in ruins and the gates burned with fire, Nehemiah clearly understood the dangers and disgrace involved (Nehemiah 1:3). It meant the city was unprotected, probably a laughing stock, with its security under grave threat from enemies. (Today we are battling with an unseen enemy that has crossed most borders in the form of a dangerous virus). He therefore resolved to do something about it. This great task that he undertook and finished efficiently was covered by much prayer.