There is a story of a woman surviving some awful horrible killings between the Tutsis and Hutus clans in Rwanda back in the 1990’s. A young Hutu male ran in front of this woman and killed her husband. She would have been dead also but something else caught the young man’s attention and he moved on away from her. That young man’s face was burned into this Rwandan woman’s mind.
The woman was a Christian and she began praying for the young man that had just killed her husband.
Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31 Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! 32 Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”
33 And the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
This story is one of the most powerful stories of prayer in the Bible. God of heaven is moving powerfully. Moses is implying that the people had been so bad, that Moses is so overwhelmed at the debauchery that had been taking place, and Moses says that perhaps God will forgive them and take them back. Moses is at his wits end. He begins praying and pleading with God. He pours out his heart to God.
Both of these stories are incredible examples of what happens when we pray for other people. This is the most powerful demonstration of God and his mercy for man. Here you have Moses who was a proud man humbling himself and interceding for the people of Israel before the Lord.
Moses was told to speak to the rock but he struck the rock instead. Moses asked God to blot him out instead of the people of Israel. Moses was passionate about the people. He loved them because he sought God for them and prayed for them. Moses is willing to be lost so that the people might be saved.
There are many people today lost in sin and wickedness. God is calling us to reach out to the lost. Jesus is pleading with us to have the kind of heart Moses had. Moses was a sinner, and he had faults and weaknesses. We serve the same God that Moses served.
God is the same today as back in the time of Moses. Jesus went to the cross knowing that there was a possibility of not being raised from the tomb. Jesus loved us so much that he was willing to permanently die so that you and I can be saved. We can be people that have a chance and accept the offer of salvation in our lives. Jesus was very passionate about all of mankind. Jesus wants to save all men.
Moses interceded for people that were unloving, unlikeable, unholy, unthankful people, people that were demanding, rebellious and unworthy. Jesus is in the business of interceding for us today. If Jesus can change Moses, Jesus can change us as well.
Moses was so filled of himself, he was arrogant, proud and puffed up. Moses lived in luxury and was next in line to the Pharoah of Egypt. He was like the Vice President of Egypt. It took God 40 years of Moses herding sheep to humble Moses before the Lord. If God can change Moses, he can change us today. God can move upon us mightily.
If we will let Jesus change us, that is the issue. Maybe you are in trouble, have a rebellious child, problems at work or have relationship issues, pray to God and something mighty will come into your life. We can bring our puny little prayers before God and He will hear them.
The best way to deal with people that cause you problems is to pray for them. Notice that the kind of pleading Moses did for the lost people, changed the lives of the people. That is what the Gospel is about. It is about looking back-this is what I used to be like and this is the way I am now. It is a mystery.
Prevailing prayers are fragranced with the smoke of God’s incense. Jesus Christ mingles His perfect prayers with our unclean thoughts and prayers and then our prayers are acceptable before the Lord God.
Desire of Ages page 667
As yet the disciples were unacquainted with the Saviour’s unlimited resources and power. He said to them, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name.” John 16:24. He explained that the secret of their success would be in asking for strength and grace in His name. He would be present before the Father to make request for them. The prayer of the humble suppliant He presents as His own desire in that soul’s behalf. Every sincere prayer is heard in heaven. It may not be fluently expressed; but if the heart is in it, it will ascend to the sanctuary where Jesus ministers, and He will present it to the Father without one awkward, stammering word, beautiful and fragrant with the incense of His own perfection.
The path of sincerity and integrity is not a path free from obstruction, but in every difficulty we are to see a call to prayer. There is no one living who has any power that he has not received from God, and the source whence it comes is open to the weakest human being. “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name,” said Jesus, “that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
“In My name,” Christ bade His disciples pray.
Jesus went to the cross for you my friend. He experienced the second death. His name was blotted out of the book so that your name will not be blotted out of the Book of Life. He is asking us to be real Christians-to be Special Agents for Jesus.
Nothing can fill the God shaped void that is in your life like Jesus can.
And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Stephen is being stoned to death because he is preaching the Gospel of Christ. The very people ( Scribes and Pharisees ) that were meant to be serving others and ministering to other people for God killed Stephen by stoning him.
Jesus said on the cross: My God, My God, why have thou forsaken thee. Who crucified Jesus? We are the ones responsible for His death. He was praying for you my friend. He is passionately in love with you. Even today He is still praying for you today.
The Rwandan woman whose husband had been killed knew that praying for others really works. One day there was some prophecy meetings being conducted in her city. She prayed to God for forgiveness. The man that had killed her husband came to the evangelism series of prophecy meetings. The man was moved by what he heard and he was convicted and accepted Christ.
God’s power broke through and the Rwandan woman had forgiveness in her heart. The woman confronted her husband’s killer and when he found out who she was, he was overwhelmed with passion for Christ. The young man was an orphan and the widow adopted him into her family.
Will we be real special agents for God? Are you ready for God to convict you? God will you give you this kind of power in your life today.
On 22 August 2011, we are going to begin doing special prayer for the next 40 days. We will pray for the evangelism meetings that begin on 30 September 2011. We will have daily conference calls for the next 40 days for God to do something mighty in Bellingham. Inside the book that you will get, there will be a place to write down 5 names and pray for them everyday. Jesus is coming soon. Be in prayer like the Rwandan woman and Moses.
This was Pastor Korter’s sermon at Bellingham Seventh-day Adventist church on 30 July 2011.