Prayer is God’s chosen way of directing His actions toward the world and shaping history, David Platt told prayer leaders at a pre-National Day of Prayer breakfast in Washington today (May 1).
“God in His sovereignty has chosen to make prayer a powerful means by which we interact with Him to effectively shape the course of history. Is this not mind-boggling, totally baffling?” Platt said. “And this is not an overstatement. … Don’t underestimate the role of desperate prayer in your life and in the world.”
Platt, pastor of McLean Bible Church in McLean, Va., and former International Mission Board president, preached at the Men’s and Women’s Prayer Breakfast of the National Day of Prayer (NDP) at the Willard Hotel, hosted by NDP Chairman Ronnie Floyd. The event was one of two official pre-NDP events in advance of the May 2 annual observance.
Beginning with the Great Revival of 1907 in Korea, when less than one percent of the country was Christian, and seguing to today when 10 million Christians live in S. Korea alone, Platt emphasized the importance of the prayers of church leaders in provoking God to act.
“Spiritual awakening started in S. Korea, not when the country started praying, but when church leaders started praying, like really praying,” Platt said, “crying out to God all night in prayer, leading their churches to do the same.”
Churches in America downplay the importance of prayer, Platt said, and rely instead on human strength.
“I’m part of a church culture where I preach at conferences and events filled with hours of talks and sermons, and relative minutes of prayer and confession,” Platt told about 200 leaders gathered at the breakfast. “Leaders in this church culture are known today for preaching, teaching, writing and blogging, organizing and strategizing, planning and planting; but we’re not known for our praying and fasting.
“When is the last time we gathered together for church on Sundays and crowds of people fell on their faces weeping for hidden sin in our midst, crying out for God’s mercy upon us?” Platt said. “What kind of church culture have we created where we — pastors, churches, members alike — are content to go week after week after week in church, watch what happens on the stage, or worship and perform there, and then move on with their lives as normal?”
God’s calling on Moses to intercede for the children of Israel in Exodus 32:7 was Platt’s foundation as he expounded on God’s design for prayer. Platt described a holy and just God who appoints through His mercy and love a mediator for sinners. Platt tagged prayer as part of God’s unfolding plan of mercy.
“God will demonstrate His wrath against the people of Israel, unless, unless, unless a man steps in and mediates on their behalf,” Platt said. “God will be true to His covenantal promise to save this contemptable people. So how does he do it? … He does it through an unfolding plan; He appoints a mediator to stand in the gap for sinners.”
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Source: Baptist Press