When something is important to us, we think about it constantly. Not only do we think constantly about these things, but we talk about them. These can be people and/or situations.

Mt 6:21 Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Mt 12:34 Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

So… What most dominates your thinking? What “thing” do you talk about most? Your health issues… a family situation or person? The things which concern you most ARE what you think & talk about.

Mt 6:21 Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Mt 12:34 Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Let’s step it up a bit. We will pray about whatever is important to us. If something is important enough to us… we WILL pray about it. But maybe I’m being a little too harsh. I want to be fair…

Would you agree that praying is hard? It takes a lot of mental & emotional & spiritual energy. The only thing Jesus broke a sweat doing was praying (In the Garden). Everything else was easy for Him…

Casting out demons… calming a storm… feeding thousands… healing the blind… raising the dead… walking on water… giving the deaf back their hearing, etc… were all EASY for Jesus. Prayer was work!

There are two things Satan hates most: 1) Worship of God, 2) God’s people praying. Since those are the case, those are the things he tries to sabotage. He works hard to keep us from worshipping & praying!

Satan especially does NOT want congregations worshipping OR praying TOGETHER! So you know what he does? It’s the tried & true battle tactic to defeat an army… Divide & conquer. Quick detour…

FBCS MUST recognize Satan’s goal & tactics. His goal is to divide this congregation! And honestly, he’s done a pretty good job of it the last ten years hasn’t he? And trust me… he isn’t through!

Since we know Satan’s tactic (Divide congregations), we must fight back. I’ve been in ministry almost 30 years & I’ve seen Lucifer use the Divide & Conquer doctrine almost exclusively.

He works through demons to pit ministers against congregations… staff against each other… church leaders against the pastor… people in the congregation against one another.

Satan uses gossip & slander to divide. I’ve seen it & so have you. Somebody doesn’t like something (Or someone) so they talk about them to others. “I don’t know if this is true BUT…” or “Did you hear about _______ (fill in the blank)?”

As long as I’m here, this MUST be eliminated!! If there is a problem, go to the person. Talk TO them, not ABOUT them! Don’t talk negatively about anyone TO anyone. PERIOD!

We must help each other. If/WHEN they start down that road, ask them: “Have you talked to them?” or better… “I don’t want to hear that. Let’s change the subject.” (“How ‘bout them Braves?!”)

If somebody will talk to you about someone else, they WILL talk to someone else about you! If you don’t want people talking about you, don’t talk to others about anyone else. If necessary, confront them…

Congregations are to be of ONE mind, of ONE accord, unified, with love one for another. Satan cannot defeat people who love one another.

Phil 1:27 Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…

Phil 2:1 If there is any encouragement in Christ… comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection & sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord & of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Consider what Paul wrote in 2 Cor 2:9-11…

This is why I wrote, that I might test you & know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven… has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

People are going to offend you. You have & will offend others. Satan uses these events to hinder you AND God’s will (Hinder, not defeat). Thus we must defeat him at his own game! For God’s glory & the Gospel!!

How? Vs 10forgive. When people offend you, forgive them. How many times? Jesus said “Seven times in one day…” (Lk 17:4). The reason is because God forgives you SO you should forgive others.

Now, a last point. Don’t offend others! Be careful what you say, when & how you say it! Eph 4:29-32

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness & wrath & anger & clamor & slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be (“Keep on being”) kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Now why have I taken so much time w/ these things? Because FBCS is at a crossroads. There has never been a time FBCS needs to be worshiping & seeking God through prayer. Spirit filled worship enhances prayer! When our heart is worshiping God we will be drawn to pray!

I’m going to have to reserve another time to talk about worship. I wish I could address it today, but we’d be here till 2 PM.

So with the time remaining let’s talk about prayer. My guess is you have a number of matters & issues in your life in need of prayer. Then, there IS a matter that needs prayer we are all aware of. FBCS’s future…

The ongoing vitality of FBCS will be determined in the next few months to maybe a couple of years or so. There are decisions FBCS must make soon that will determine whether FBCS lives or dies slowly.

What is needed at FBCS is a move of God. Your next pastor will not be able to do any more than God causes. Pastors can’t do any more than is given to him by Godfrom the prayers of God’s people!

Today I’m asking for prayer volunteers. Many can’t knock on doors, there are few things many can do though… PRAY! Pray for FBCS! Pray for your family… to pray for your friends & our nation…

This next question isn’t intended to be unfair or taken wrongly, it is intended to encourage you regarding the future of FBCS. I wonder… how many here today would be willing to partner to pray for FBCS? Is FBCS important enough to you to pray? (REPEAT)

Your search team needs wisdom & discernment… they need prayer! The leaders & teachers of FBCS need insight & help… they need prayer! Your next pastor needs your prayers NOW. For people to be saved, we must be praying for their conversion. If FBCS is to navigate through these unique & uncertain times, we must unite in prayer!

I’d love for you to be a part of our prayer time on Wednesday, but I’m thinking more of something else from Mt 6:6 where Jesus said…

When you pray, go into your room & shut the door & pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

If FBCS and her future important enough to us, we will pray… we will pray together. We will continue in prayer. And this is where I want to be of as much help as I can…

I am working on a prayer guide that runs from Sunday to Saturday. In it I will have a few encouragements & instructions about how to pray. There will be a passage of Scripture and a guide for each day for you to follow. I’m asking you to do it the way Jesus taught in Mt 6:6… at your home… privately… by yourself. Sound good so far?

So far 12 have signed up to pray! That means for 12 weeks… for 3 months… for 84 days someone will be praying. They will be praying for FBCS, friends, & family. My desire is that many of YOU will join the prayer ministry. Again… it will be at your home… your ease… for 7 days.

My goal is for someone from FBCS to be praying every day about FBCS’s future FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR. Why? B/c the God who answers prayer is powerful! Prayer isn’t powerful, but the God who answers prayer is!

I have sheets in front and in the back. This is something everyone here (And listening by radio) can do. When God’s people pray (Talk to Him) it makes Him smile.

So I am asking you to put your name on one of the lists. Put your phone number too if you don’t mind. I will contact you this week. Then, God willing, w/in a few days I will have the prayer team… will assign a time to pray… & make sure the prayer guide is in your hand soon.

Prayer is how you begin with God. Prayer is how you ask God to forgive you. If you are not saved, why not ask God now to forgive you? Then… if God is calling you to unite w/ FBCS, why not today?

(Picture Credit)