Sunday Service at 9 and 11 am

Deleted Scenes: You can't do this (Daniel 2)

A Note From Craig...
We had an epiphany this morning at our staff meeting. This past Sunday was of course a great morning where we worshiped the Lord and heard good news, including a testimony. I know that people were moved and that the Holy Spirit worked in this place. However, for some of us, it felt like a bit of a… I don’t know, a spiritual slog? I know that’s not a very precise phrase or a highly theological phrase. I just know that I had to battle through the morning much more than I usually do. I didn’t actually mention that at the staff meeting, but someone else pointed out that without Matt here on the weekend, we didn’t have the same type of dedicated prayer for the morning (Matt does a worship and prayer time from 7-8am on Sundays at the church building). This person said they had also experienced a significant spiritual struggle on Sunday.

I had two thoughts: first, I immediately regretted trading Matt to that church in Idaho for potatoes! (If you know, you know)

Second, and much more importantly, it was yet another reminder of how important prayer is.

Daniel 2, which I preached on Sunday, is best known for Nebuchadnezzar’s prophetic dream and Daniel’s God-given ability to know it and interpret it. The lesser-known part is what led to Daniel’s revelation. In 2:18, Daniel and his friends “plead for mercy from the God of heaven”. Their lives are on the line, and not for the first time. As exiles, they are constantly in peril. As I said on Sunday, they know they can’t do this on their own. Just like the court officials of Babylon who are on death row, Daniel and friends are way, way beyond their depth. So instead of a myriad of other possible responses, they pray with zeal and determination.

Here’s the question: do you understand how beyond your depth you are as a follower of Jesus in this world?

Revelation 12 has this picture of Satan as a dragon who has failed to devour the Messiah. Instead, he is cast down to earth and is filled with fury. He pursues the woman (which I understand to be representative of the people of God). Verse 17 ends with “the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring- those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus”. Do you understand that as a follower of Jesus, you have a very, very powerful enemy? A dragon? Do you understand that faithfulness to the Lord will likely earn you hostility from a culture and world that has little interest in knowing Him? Do you understand the power of your own twisted heart, continually leading you astray into ways that lead to death instead of life? The world, the flesh, and the devil- those are some powerful forces to have to withstand. And do you understand that in the midst of all this, Jesus has called you not only to stand faithfully, but to actually make the Gospel known in this world and to make disciples?

How absurd is it that many Christians attempt this mostly on their own, without deep connection with other believers, and without significant connection with God through prayer? You can’t do this on your own. Not a chance. And we can’t do this as a church without prayer. Not a chance. How can I stand and preach the Word, and how will people hear, unless God is anointing us with His presence? We can’t do this on our own. But as I said on Sunday, we’re in relationship with Someone who can. That’s why prayer matters so much, individually and corporately. It’s one of the main ways we invite Him to do what only He can do.

Here are a couple of ways you can engage with us in prayer:

  • 24/1 Prayer.  Starting May 6, every Monday at The Bridge will be a 24/1 Prayer day. We’ve done weeks of 24/7 prayer, where people sign up for time slots to pray for our church. We’re going to start committing one day a week in that same way. Monday Noon Prayer is a prayer gathering we do together on those days, and we’ll also do worship nights one Monday a month in the next few months. Look out for the sign-up sheet in coming newsletters.
  • Together-prayer times. As mentioned above, we’ve got Monday Noon Prayer every week. Matt also hosts a prayer time from 6:30-7:30am every Tuesday with a focus on praying for our kids and teens. He also hosts a prayer time from 7-8am on Sundays. I’ve heard rumours of other potential prayer times emerging.
  • Prayer Wall. In the near future, you’re going to see some dedicated space in the church building for an interactive “prayer wall” and we’d love for you to use it!

I long for us, as a church, to cry out to the Lord like Daniel and his friends, and to see what the Lord would do in us and through us as a result!

- Craig

1 Comment

Bruce Kienlen - April 25th, 2024 at 8:02pm

The world, the flesh, and the devil- those are some powerful forces to have to withstand, indeed. The battle gets more intense as we get closer to God. Especially at all the stages of maturity in Christ, like baptism or overcoming a worldly vice, even developing a good habit like daily devotions, expect the enemy to attack. Thanks Craig and the Bridge for helping to build up our defenses. I love the idea of Monday 24/1 prayer. Brilliant!