In the movie Dances With Wolves, a Sioux tribe is facing an imminent battle with a fierce rival tribe. Lieutenant Dunbar, the white Army officer who has befriended the Sioux, brings them all the guns he has stored on his desloate frontier fort. He trains them to shoot, knowing this modern weaponry will give them a great advantage against their enemies. But when the battle begins, the Sioux use the rifles as clubs. Dunbar screams, "No! Shoot them!"
In an odd way, it reminds me of the Church. We have an overwhelming advantage over the forces of evil...Jesus said the very gates of Hell wouldn't stand against us. Our mission is to bring the entire world exactly what they need the most, and give it to them free of charge. How can we lose? Well, for a start, we can fail to use our most effective weapon. We can rely on human strategies and effort, and forget to call on the awesome power of our omnipotent God.
One of my favorite quotes about prayer says, "Prayer isn't about getting your will done in Heaven, it's about getting God's will done on Earth." There's a reason Jesus taught us in the Lord's prayer to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven." So if we want our church to grow, to do what God created us to do...in other words, to change our community for Christ, then the number one weapon at our disposal is prayer. But how do we pray for our church? I believe the book of Acts shows us that one of the reasons the church of the apostles was so effective was that they prayed "in one accord." This doesn't mean they were all in a big Honda (rimshot, please). It means they were in agreement in their prayers. Take it from me...if our church ever begins to manifest 5% of the power of that early church, Southwest Houston will be unrecognizable...in a very good way. So what are these things we should be "in one accord" praying for? That's what we'll talk about Sunday.