Redigging the Wells of Prayer
By Chris Jordan
If we want to see the same power – signs, wonders, healings and miracles – as the church in Acts, then we must have the same priority of prayer as they did.
REDIGGING THE WELLS
“And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them.” (Genesis 26:18).
This Scripture is a prophetic trumpet call to the church today. Many of the stories in the Old Testament have a spiritual significance and implication for our lives today in the New Testament. This story tells us how Abraham had dug some wells to be a source of refreshing water for his people. His generation had enjoyed the life-giving water from those wells, but their enemies came along and filled those wells with dirt so that they couldn’t access the water. A generation later, Abraham’s son Isaac began to redig those wells. He recognized that there was a place of refreshing there, and he redug the wells from the days of his father. God is calling us to redig some of the wells of the early church.
WE NEED THE POWER OF GOD TODAY
If you’ve ever read the Book of Acts, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of differences between what they did back then and there, and what we’re seeing in the church today. In Acts, you see a powerful and a glorious church. People were saved, delivered and healed, and many lives were transformed and set free by the power and person of Jesus Christ. But in many churches today the power and the presence of God is missing. Why? What’s different about the church today? Some people say, “The gifts of the Spirit have been done away with. We don’t need that in the church anymore today.” I would like to propose to you that we do need the gifts of the Spirit and the power of God in the church today. If anything, people are more broken, lives are more fractured, and life doesn’t make sense for people in the 21st Century. We need the reality of the power of God that can change people’s lives today!
THE DAYS OF GREATER GLORY
A prophet in the Old Testament, Haggai, made this declaration: “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:9). Haggai said that in the last days, before Jesus returns to the earth a second time, the glory of the latter church will be greater than the former.
Jesus promised that our church today would be more glorious than it was in the book of Acts. I’m not totally sure what that will look like because we haven’t seen it yet. Let’s go back to the Bible, and redig the wells in the book of Acts, see what they did to get what they had, and contend for that. Let’s redig those wells of revival.
A YOUTH GROUP HUNGRY FOR REVIVAL
For ten years, I was a youth pastor at Bible Fellowship Foursquare Church in Surrey, BC, and we contended there for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We wanted to see the reality of God touching and changing people’s lives. We were so hungry and desperate to see a move of God that every Wednesday night before our youth meetings we would pray, “God, we want you to move. If you don’t come tonight, then let’s go home and shut the whole thing down.” An amazing thing happened as we got hungry and desperate for more of God. We knew that the Lord said, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13), and if we would draw near to God, He would draw near to us (James 4:8), so we did that. We said, “God, we want to know you in a personal way.”
The Holy Spirit moved in a group of teenagers who said, “If God is real, we want to know Him.” There were times as the Holy Spirit was poured out in our midst where literally every person was laid out on the floor because of His manifested presence. Young people would run up to the front altar, convicted by the Holy Spirit and crying out, “We need to get right with God!” We started saying, “Lord, we want more!”
In November of 2003 I went to a youth conference in Portland, Oregon with one of our youth leaders and a few students from our youth group. There was a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit there. During a worship session one morning, I lay down on the floor and said, “God, I want more of you. Please come. Do something new and fresh in my life.” During that time, I had a vision where the Lord opened my eyes to see into the spirit realm and I saw an angel of the Lord standing before me. This angel touched my ears and touched my eyes, and I heard the angel speak this Scripture to me: “Matthew Thirteen.” I didn’t know what was in this chapter of the Bible, so I opened up my Bible and read where Jesus said, “It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven… blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.” (Matthew 13:11,16). I understood the significance of what the angel had done in that vision as the Lord began to open up my understanding to some of the mysteries of thekingdomofGod.
THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM
I started teaching the mysteries of the Kingdom to our youth group. Jesus said, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:7-8). As we started teaching these truths from the Bible, these teenagers said, “If that’s what the Bible says, we’re going to go and do it.” We had a couple of leaders in our youth group, Geoff and Spencer, who even prayed for people to be raised from the dead!
I realize that some of you hearing these stories are saying, “You’re making this all up.” But I’m telling you the truth: the power of Jesus Christ has not changed. If we’re not seeing it in the church today, it’s not because Jesus has changed. It’s because we’re not seeking or believing God for it.
The church is not yet all that it will be one day. I believe that as God stirs up our hearts to see the reality of the power of God in our midst that we’re going to see miraculous things happen. We need to start redigging the wells of the church in the Book of Acts. It’s time to return to our foundations.
BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING
Being a Christian is not just about being blessed, blessed, blessed. Thank God He blesses us, but we need to remember that we are blessed to be a blessing. Freely we have received so that we can freely give. We have to share what we have with others.
“Then Jesus taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” (Mark 11:17). There are a lot of different things that happen in the church, including praise and worship and preaching. But Jesus did not say that His house would be a house of praise and worship or preaching, although those things are good and important. Jesus said first and foremost that His house would be called a house of prayer. If we want to see a supernatural breakthrough of the power of God into our midst, then we need to redig the wells of prayer. The church in the book of Acts was powerful and saw lives transformed because they prayed.
When Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer” he meant that it would be a place of prayer, blessing and ministry. The church is to be a place where we pray for people and see people touched and changed by the power of God. Look at the emphasis on prayer in the book of Acts.
- 1:14 “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer.” Luke tells us they devoted themselves to prayer continually. Prayer was not a side issue to the early church.
- 1:24 “And they prayed…” for wisdom and direction from the Lord.
- 2:1-4 “And they were all with one accord… and they were all filled with the Spirit.” When the church came together in unity, God’s Holy Spirit fell. This was the birth of church on the day of Pentecost.
- 2:42 “They were continually devoting themselves to…teaching, fellowship…and prayer.” Four times in just the first two chapters of the book of Acts, we see the church praying. Let us pray!
I remember one weekend when we had seven people receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at our Alpha Course. I enjoyed watching as everyone broke up into small groups and prayed for one another and saw the presence of God come upon people. They were weeping and shaking as the power of God came upon them. We saw the gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation as people shared prophetic words with one another. It was great seeing people praying and ministering to and blessing one another – that’s what church is all about.
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