Have you ever wondered why you are here?
Did the wise men wonder why here? Why now?
They simply followed and when they got to the stable they must have thought – why here? Why now?
The answer to why here, why now, why you is found in the gifts we can bring when we are walking close to God.
Gold announces the Messiah, it proclaims the rescuer-King: Jesus Christ. We need to bring the message of Gold to the society we live in, to the people we live and love amongst.
Myrrh is a gift of sacrifice: it speaks both of healing and of death – ultimately it’s fulfilment came at the cross – we too are called to carry our cross and be part of what God is calling us to do and to be for others.
But Frankincense is the main gift for here and now.
It is the gift we must bring no matter how hard the journey is in bringing it, no matter how far we have to come to bring it.
Frankincense is the gift for here and now, and you and I are being called to bring it.
It stands for intercession, a deep and determined connection with God.It stands for the prayers that go up from the saints into the heavenly places.
There are 3 things we need to understand about this gift:-
Exodus 30 v34:.
Intercessory prayer comes from time at the Testimony.
The Testimony were the commands of God – the words of God from the mouth of God received by Moses in the presence of God.
Our intercession for our community must come from the same place – Frankincense is only Frankincense because of the tree it comes from. If it came from any other tree it wouldn’t be Frankincense.
Effective intercessory prayer comes from time at the Testimony – spending time with the commands and the words of God – no other tree will do.
Do we as a church have a word that we have found in the testimony that we are praying in and claiming for ourselves and our community? That we are allowing the Holy Spirit to wield for us in our intercession for those we are called to, here and now, to pray for.
In Psalm 141 v2 the psalmist says: ‘May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice’ - prayer is intercession when it is in the presence of God: in the thin places, in the worship places, where God-encountering connections take place.
In Revelation 8 we see the incense of the prayers of the saints on the altar before the throne of God. Intercessory prayer is not something we do to God or apart from Him or towards Him but with Him.
God does with our prayers what He wants. There is a process that happens that we offer our prayers and then leave it to God to move in His sovereign power.
Prayer is not wish fulfilment, intercessory prayer is not about always getting what we want, it is summoning the power of God to have His way and pour out His sovereign and majestic judgement. It is aligning our heart with His.
We can call on Aslan but we cannot contain Him, we cannot tame Him – all we can do is trust Him.
We are determined that this year we begin to truly pray – to join with other churches and begin to intercede for our community.
We now have a prayer room in the middle of Ormskirk which we are calling the boiler room and we will be having 24 hour prayer events there.
We have lifegroups to pray for each other and our mission fields.
We have a RiSE meeting at 9.45 every Sunday in E7 to prepare our hearts for encountering God.
We have Barnabas club where we will be words of God for each other.
We will be spending times seeking the power and leading of the Holy Spirit in prayer events in homes and venues around the area.
Prayer that comes from in front of the Testimony of God out of the presence of God in the power of God - for here and for now.