For 5 years I was the pastor of Trinity International Church in Strasbourg, France. I created this blog with those people in mind. In mid-November 2018 I will become the Senior Pastor of Word of Life Church in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The focus of this blog will therefore shift, but I pray that people from the blogosphere will continue to find it helpful wherever they might be found.
The churches' websites includes recorded sermons for those who are interested. Click the links below to access them.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Auction: What Am I Bid?

What am I Bid?

Suddenly I find myself in a giant hall. 
Surrounding me are thousands of young people,
battered, bruised and broken. 
Then suddenly I hear a voice.
"What am I Bid?"

A young girl stands out before the crowd of leering, sneering men.
"What am I bid for this piece of flesh?"

The men start to cheer and shout figures:
"Ten," "Twenty," "Fifty," "One hundred."

What can I do, God?

I start to bid. I have to save her.
The cost becomes huge, and I begin to waiver.
Can I afford this?
What price will I pay?

The dream stops.

I am alone again. But the faces are real enough:
Sarah being into prostitution;
Mike with a revolver in his mouth;
Kat covered in cuts and bruises;
John falling into crime;
Laura alone and desperate;
Steve, heroin needle bulging into his vein.

"What am I bid?"

The voice shatters the silence. The auction is on again.
The bidding has begun.
It continues day and night until the end.
Most of the bidders desire only to use and abuse.
Satan drives them on.

And so I find myself in the auction.
Will I watch or will I bid?
The price of a single life is huge.
The currency is prayer.
The cost is massive, but the prize is glorious.
 A life for a life.

What am I bid? 

This writing on the wall of a prayer room is taken from the book Red Moon Rising, which is the story of a 24/7 prayer movement. It's images are graphic. The scene is haunting. But it is one of the greatest reminders I know of the true nature of what we are involved in as believers and as a church. We are involved in a spiritual battle for the souls of men and women. That battle must be won in prayer. There are no shortcuts.

The prayer room is the energy plant, the furnace, or the boiler room of the church. Without a deep and sustained life of prayer, the church becomes a place dependent on entertaining programs because there is no sense of the presence of God in her midst. 

Every revival in the history of the church has been preceded by prayer. Hidden prayer warriors, normally unknown on earth, but known in heaven (and hell), prayed mountain-moving prayers. Revival followed like sunshine follows the rain.

The prayer warrior understands the true nature of things. Social programs, as helpful as they may be, are relatively powerless to free the drug addict or the prostitute from their bondage. Prayer unleashes the power of God and sets the captive free.

Politicians debate policy initiatives, but those who have spent time on their knees understand that the prayer closet is more powerful than any President's office. When the praying person enters their prayer closet and shuts the door they are instantly standing before the King of the Universe. History belongs to the intercessors.

I was standing in the kitchen of a woman who spend her life going into the darkest places and bringing the light of the gospel. This woman is well-known in our denomination for her fearlessness in pioneering work. That morning she sighed heavily and said, "Karl, I don't know what we are going to do. All our old prayer warriors are dying." She understood that she was merely the tip of the sword. The real heroes were those who committed themselves to prayer. Without them, her work would become much less fruitful and even more dangerous.

Today the great need of the hour is prayer. We are called to an impossible task. Impossible, that is, without the power of God. Prayer opens the way for the flowing of the power of God. But such prayer is costly in time, discipline, and brokenness. May the Lord raise up intercessors in our midst who know how to pray are willing to pay the price of effective payer.

There is an auction going on. The currency is prayer. What will you bid? 

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