The Fire Of Prayer in World Evangelism
By Mike Bond
Once you enter the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, you will see the golden candlestick on your left, or to the south. As you look to the right, or to the north, you will see the table of shewbread. Straight ahead, or to the west, is the altar of incense. This altar was to have sweet incense continually burning upon it.
The Tabernacle was not a permanent structure. It was mobile. It was made so that when the loud ascended from over the tabernacle, it could be taken apart and moved to the next location. The fire of the brazen altar was never to go out. “What about when the cloud lifted and the children of Israel were in transit to the next location?` you may ask. Coals from the fire were taken from the altar and placed in a censer. While in motion, one of the duties of a select Levite was to keep the coals burning and add fuel, as it was required. As long as the loud rested and the tabernacle was immobile, the fire of the altar of incense was to continually bum. Each time the cloud rested and the children of Israel settled as God directed, fire was taken from the censer and the coals started the fire in the altar of sacrifice which were used to rekindle the fire in the altar of incense.
The altar of incense is a type of our praise and worship. The incense was a sweet savor unto the Lord and was to continually burn in the Holy Place. Our praise and worship is a sweet savor unto the Lord and it is to always come from within us. Our bodies today are the temple or tabernacle of Christ. God’s church is His people, not the buildings we gather in at the appointed time of worship. So if we are his tabernacle or temple (see t Corinthians 6:19) then we are to continually send up the sweet savor of our incense of praise and worship.
There are many that would join our ranks and worship with us but for one reason—the sacrifice part. Consider this, if there were no fire on the brazen altar, then there would be no fire for the incense to bum within the Holy Place. Why was the fire of the altar of incense not kept in a censer like the fire of the brazen altar? Because, you can’t have the praise and worship (the incense) until you have the sacrifice. The common denominator between the altar of sacrifice and the altar of incense is fire. The common denominator between our sacrifice and the praise and worship is our prayer. We must have the fire of prayer!
When the time of testing comes to us, it’s not going to be how loud I shout and how much I worship at church that will give me the strength to overcome. Understand what I am about to say, ifs not going to be how much I speak in tongues that will give me the strength to overcome, but my prayer is where I will get my strength. Yes, if we pray often enough we will enter into praying in tongues, but it is not the tongues that gives the strength it is the fire of prayer that brings us to our knees and will give us strength.
When Jesus drove out the moneychangers and all that bought and sold from the temple, He did not say His house would be called the house of praise and worship. Jesus called it a house of prayer. No matter what the task we do for Christ it has gotta start with prayer.
On the Day of Pentecost, how did God start His new church? He started it with the fire of the Holy Ghost and the cloven tongues of fire. But, prior to that were days of prayer. The praying in the Upper Room went on longer than the shouting and the drunkenness in the Spirit. After the praying then they praised and worshipped.
The buildings we worship in, whether it be the most beautiful sanctuary in our organization or the newest storefront home missions building, must be a house of prayer before it is ever know as a house of worship!
When a person approach the gate or the court, one could not see the golden candlestick or the golden table with the shewbread, nor the golden altar of incense or the ark. The only thing that could be seen was the brazen altar of sacrifice and the fire that was burning upon it.
The people we rub shoulders with each day in the work place or that we meet in the market, can’t see and don’t understand the beauty of the candlestick or the table or the altar of incense nor the ark. But, what they can and must see in us is our sacrifice and the fire of our prayer life.
Did you pray today? Did you pray for the lost of this world? Did you pray for our missionaries?
This article “The Fire Of Prayer” written by Mike Bond is excerpted from The Kentucky Trumpet the Summer 2007 edition page 6.