TEXT: Leviticus.:6:13; Mal.1:11; 2 Kings. 13:13-20
“And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.”
Leviticus 6:12-13 NKJV
“But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” (Malachi 1:11 NLT).
“I am honored all over the world. And there are people who know how to worship me all over the world, who honor me by bringing their best to me. They’re saying it everywhere: ‘God is greater, this God-of-the-Angel-Armies.’ ” (Malachi 1:11 MSG).
We owe all gratitude to God for enabling us to celebrate and mark the first anniversary of our 24/7 prayer altar in praise and thanksgiving.
God has ordained it that we bring him ceaseless prayer or unceasing worship. Also, God’s command to his Church is for ceaseless prayers to be going on because prayer matters to God. Leviticus 6:13 reads, “A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.” If God wants fire why must we deny him fire. Revelation 8:4-5 reads, “And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8:4-5 NKJV).
GOD LOVES AND WORKS WITH FIRE THAT COMES FROM THE ALTAR. FIRE APPEALS TO GOD. FIRE REPRESENTS THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
Prayer matters to God because it is the means of enjoying his presence and the way we express our dependence on him. Jesus’s ministry underscores the importance of intercession by committing himself to ceaseless intercessory prayers since after his resurrection. Heb.7:24-25 reads “But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (NKJV). The fact that Jesus chose the ministry of intercession above others after his resurrection is a testimony of the importance of prayer.
Jesus is the great intercessor. He ‘made intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12). He ‘is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (Romans 8:34; see also Hebrews 7:25). The Holy Spirit also intercedes for us and through us: ‘The Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express… the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will’ (Romans 8:26–27).
BOTH FROM HISTORY AND IN CONTEMPORARY TIMES, THERE ARE NO ONE OR PEOPLE WHO DEVOUT THEMSELVES TO PRAYER WHO DO NOT HAVE A TANGIBLE BENEFIT TO SHOW FOR IT.
EXAMPLES OF 24/7 PRAYER ALTARS:
THE MORAVIANS STORY IS AN INTERESTING ONE
The Moravians were refugees fleeing from persecution from former Czechoslovakia into present-day Germany.
They settled in the estate of Count Zizendorf in 1722
When they arrived in Germany. There was no water where they originally settled, so they prayed and God helped them to locate water.
Initially, they had infighting among themselves.
Following the infighting, a revival broke out in 1727 at Bartle.
They started 24/7 prayers which lasted for 100 years
Apart from prayers, they sold themselves to slavery to become missionaries. Their motto was, THE LAMB HAS CONQUERED, LET US FOLLOW HIM
THE EXAMPLE WHICH THE MORAVIANS HAVE SET HAS MULTIPLIED ACROSS THE WORLD TODAY. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THERE ARE OVER 100,000 24/7 prayer altars across the world.
MOVING FORWARD HOW TO PRAY? 2 Kings 13:14-20
What are the lessons of 2 Kings 13:14-20, the story of King Joash and Elisha for us as we celebrate the first anniversary of the 24/7 prayer altar? Elisha says to the king of Israel, ‘Get a bow and some arrows… Take the arrows… Strike the ground’ (13:15–18). The king ‘struck it three times and stopped’ (v.18c). Elisha said, ‘You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times’ (v.19).
A, We have a window of opportunity in which to defeat our enemies.
B, It takes a combined effort of God and man, between the supernatural and the natural to achieve results
C, We must not rest on the first victory. There are new challenges after the initial victory.
D, Empty the arrows in your quivers.
E, There is a place for continuity and perseverance in the ministry. PRAYER is the MINISTRY WE ARE CALLED TO DO, NOTHING ELSE. YOU CANNOT GIVE UP ON WHAT YOU ARE CALLED TO DO OR WHAT IS YOUR LIFE.
PETER CAMERON SCOTT: AN EXAMPLE OF PERSEVERANCE
“The story of Peter Cameron Scott is a good illustration of what perseverance means. Born in Glasgow in 1867, Scott became the founder of the Africa Inland Mission. But his beginnings in Africa were anything but auspicious.
His first trip to Africa ended in a severe attack of malaria that sent him home. He resolved to return after he recuperated. This return was especially gratifying to him because this time his brother John joined him. But before long, John was struck down by fever.
All alone, Peter buried his brother in African soil, and in the agony of those days recommitted himself to preach the gospel in Africa. Yet his health gave way again, and he had to return to England.
How would he ever pull out of the desolation and depression of those days? He had pledged himself to God. But where could he find the strength to go back to Africa? With man it was impossible!
He found strength in Westminster Abbey. David Livingstone’s tomb is still there. Scott entered quietly, found the tomb, and knelt in front of it to pray. The inscription reads:
OTHER SHEEP I HAVE WHICH ARE NOT OF THIS FOLD; THEM ALSO I MUST BRING.
He rose from his knees with a new hope. He returned to Africa. And today, over a hundred years later, the mission he founded is a vibrant, growing force for the gospel in Africa.” – From Piper’s daily devotional