THERE WAS A TIME IN EUROPE WHEN A CHURCH DENOMINATION SOLD 1400 CHURCHES, BECAUSE THERE WERE NO MORE PEOPLE.
1400 CHURCH FACILITIES!
DON’T MISTAKE THE APPLAUSE OF PREACHING AS A GROWTH FACTOR.
IT TAKES TIME TO BUILD, BUT IT TAKES EARNEST, CEASELESS PRAYERS TO KEEP LIFE THERE.
WITHIN A PERIOD OF 10 YEARS, THE KOREAN CHURCH WHICH IS ONE OF THE MOST FERVENT PRAYING CHURCHES THAT I GREW TO KNOW, SHUT DOWN 10,000 CHURCHES.
NOT BY GOVERNMENT POLICY NOR ANYTHING BUT PEOPLE STOPPED COMING.
THEY HAD PRAYED AND THEY HAD RETIRED.
MAY THIS CHURCH NEVER RETIRE FROM PRAYING FOR SOULS TO BE SAVED, PRAYING FOR SOULS TO BE ESTABLISHED.
-Bishop David Oyedepo
Day 9, Evening Session
21 Days of Prayer and Fasting (10th to 30th January 2022)
If you believe that He has heard our prayers, He has attended to your cries, your personal cries all through the day and this evening: Give Him thanks from the depth of your heart. Give Him praise, there is none like our God. Ever faithful, ever sure. Give Him glory. In Jesus precious name we have given thanks.
Jesus, again, thank You. Thank You for help on the prayer altar. Thank You for light from Your Word. Thank You for diverse, raw encounters. Receive our thanks in the name of Jesus. Now, speak to us again tonight and let Your name be glorified. In Jesus precious name.
WHY MUST WE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR CHURCH GROWTH?
God’s will is that all men be saved and be brought into Heaven’s storehouse which is the Church, so they can come to the knowledge of the truth – 1 Timothy 2:4
How to come into the knowledge of the truth which is domiciled in Church.
Psalm 73:17, Jeremiah 3:15-16
He establishes people under His ordained shepherds. He wants us in Church so we can be established and begin to multiply and increase and become representatives of Christ, become followers of Christ.
Why must we continue to pray for Church growth? God wants all men saved and multitudes are still in the valley of decision waiting for where to cast their commitment – Joel 3:13
He wants all men saved, we are in the last days.
The harvest is ripe, we are to go after them in prayers and in in-gathering engagements. But everything that has to do with Church growth demands prayer. You can’t find any Church growth account in the New Testament that is void of prayers.
It is only a praying Church that becomes a growing Church and only untiring praying Church remains an ever-growing Church.
If you are tired of carrying pregnancy, you are tired of having children. If you are tired of the labour room, you have stopped being a mother.
If we don’t know the purpose of a thing, we can get weary at any time.
Get weary and say, “is it not enough?” It’s not. As long as there are sinners on the streets and very close to Church, they are exactly opposite the gate of your Church. They sell on the road, they never enter here. There are so many of our Churches like that, they greet you, “welcome, good bye” every day. As long as they are there, we have to be there on the altar of prayer, we have to be there on the go, we have to be there with passionate pursuit of their establishment.
Remember, except the Lord builds a house, they labour in vain those that build it – Psalm 127:1
You have not because you ask not – James 4:2
You have not asked for My hand, you can’t have it. So we engage His hand to stay on duty, building such local assemblies.
Jesus said, “no one can come to Me except My Father which sent Me draws him” – John 6:44
The hand of the Father is a drawing hand that draws people into Church
It is the Father that we will pray. Even the Holy Ghost coming to us, it is the Father we will pray and He will send Him to us –
It takes prayer to taste Church growth: to see it, taste it and keep seeing it. It takes prayers.
Paul may plant, Apollos may water: we are there on the prayer altar, we are there on the Go for Jesus; only God can give the increase – 1 Corinthians 3:6
When any Church stops praying, the Church stops growing. Don’t mistake the applause of preaching as a growth factor.
Behind all of those is prayers.
The flow of the Word answers to prayers.
The understanding of the Word answers to prayers.
Whatever requires the Holy Spirit requires prayers.
If anything demands pray without ceasing, it is Church growth – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
You pray now: you scatter all the forces resisting it and then they re-gather, “we are not going anywhere.”
You know, satan left Jesus for a season, not for all seasons – Luke 4:13
he said, “okay, I am coming, I am coming fortified”; he (satan) came at him, entered first into Peter. Peter started rebuking Him, “you think we are fools, how can we be following somebody who wants to die? Say you are not dying”
“Get thee behind Me satan”
He was entering anybody he could enter, until he entered Judas – Luke 22:3
“You are the one to sell Him for 30 pieces of silver. You like it? I know you like money, so…” Judas was a land speculator, he was buying land all over the places. The last one he bought was his grave.
He would say, “Master, just a minute”: He had gone to price land somewhere.
We have no choice. It’s a lifelong obligation for any Church that will keep growing.
Now, let me tell you this, there was a time in Europe when they were selling 1400 Churches, one denomination. Why? There were no more people.
1400 Church facilities!
It takes time to build ooo, but to keep life there, (it) takes prayers. Earnest, ceaseless prayers.
There was a time over 10 years, one of the most fervent praying Churches that I grew to know is the Korean Church.
But a time over a period of 10 years, 10,000 Churches shut down: not by government policy, not by anything, people just won’t come there.
They had prayed and they had retired.
-May this Church never retire from praying for souls to be saved, praying for souls to be established.
-May you never retire from praying to go from strength to strength, so you don’t go from weakness to weakness and down and out.
“Men ought always to pray and not to faint” – Luke 18:1
He has answers that no skill can provide, no connection can provide but you get them for free on the altar of prayers. So what is the problem?
Praying Kingdom advancement prayer just brings you into favour where He begins to add to you what you cannot even remember to pray. What a plus, what an asset!
-We shall not lose it.
We serve a God of addition. I am the God, I change not – Malachi
So let’s keep calling on Him:
Add to Your Church;
Build Your Church Lord, draw more men into Your Church;
Holy Spirit, as the Father draws them, save them, convict them unto repentance.
Lord Jesus, “You said, no one can pluck anyone the Father has given You”, keep them and let them remain saved to the uttermost.
Every genuine partaker of Church growth enjoys the glow that comes out of it. You can’t be part of the growth and not be a partaker of the glow. He has engaged his heart to seek unto Me, I will turn a noble out of him and make a governor out of him – Jeremiah 30:21.
You are part of the growth, you are entitled to the glow.
-Your light will never go into obscurity.
Wake up, it’s an opportunity
“…I will also glory them”: I will cause them to shine, I will shine their environment, I will shine their generation.
Daniel 12:3 – For turning many to righteousness, from the altar of prayer and from every genuine, passionate effort made.
For in all labour, there is profit – Proverbs 14:23
The labour of carrying them to Church. Ensuring they are in WSF meetings, for Midweek Services, ensure they are in the Home Cells. They are all within your environment.
You will get rewarded openly by the Lord.
Let me conclude. God all through New Testament, all the acts of the Apostles, you will never see number of congregations, you will see additions, multiplications, great multiplications. They were just focused on addition.
When God adds, nobody can subtract.
When God lifts up, nobody can bring down. Thank You Jesus.
Then we came in the Ministry of Jesus, we had multitudes gathered around Him – Matthew 13:1-2
Then great multitudes – Mark 4:1
The multitudes being very great – Mark 8:1
Then innumerable multitudes – Luke 12:1
Christ the Head of the Church is a Messiah of multitudes. He said, “I will build my Church into realms of multitudes” – Matthew 16:18
Multitudes; Great multitudes; Very great multitudes; Innumerable multitudes
And the Lord, the Saviour, added to the Church. 3000 were added to the Church and He added daily such as to be saved, no number – Acts 2:41; Acts 2:47
We are not wasting our time praying for Church growth, we are securing our glorious destiny, because everyone involved in it experiences a divine glow. He causes His face to outshine the environment where He is.
Prayers: Receive grace to keep engaging tirelessly all the days of your life. He never lies. This God never lies.
I receive grace to be part of this chariot for life!!! In the precious name of Jesus.
21DaysPF is an acronym for 21 days of Prayer and Fasting.