Repentant prayer first step toward change
    March 14 2011 by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications

    GREENSBORO — No matter how impressive a church may seem, if the church lacks a strong anchor, it will never succeed.

    Ryan Pack, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, believes that strong anchor is prayer. Pack preached from Daniel 9 during the recent statewide evangelism conference at Friendly Avenue Baptist Church and challenged those in attendance to not only be more focused on prayer, but to refocus on repentant prayer.

    Prayer, especially repentant prayer, allows believers to shift their focus from self to God. “We can become so full of ourselves that we miss the presence of God,” Pack said.

    Repentant prayer draws eyes heavenward, and it does so by acknowledging God’s faithfulness. Sometimes a person may hesitate to ask someone for forgiveness, even when they know they must, because the response on the other end is unsure.

    Not so with God. “God keeps His covenant of love,” Pack said. “He is going to approach us with grace and restoration.” Although sin has consequences, and those consequences may be painful for awhile, God will restore with grace.

    “Without acknowledging God’s faithfulness, we have no other steps to take,” Pack said. He urged church leaders and pastors to remember God’s faithfulness, and in light of that, to always seek His glory above all else.

    BSC photo by Mike Creswell

    Ryan Pack, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, was one of the speakers at the recent statewide evangelism conference in Greensboro.


    “Sometimes we ask God to bless something He never wanted started in the first place,” Pack said. When that happens, leaders must run to God in repentance.

    When leaders only expect God to bless, and never seek His face and never seek to discern where He is leading, they end up treating God as a “cosmic vending machine” to get what they want. “That’s some made up prosperity gospel,” Pack said.

    The second component of repentant prayer is admitting rebellion. Pack described today’s culture as a “no-fault culture” where no one wants to step up and admit when a mistake has been made. “Here is authentic leadership: when we as the shepherd of the church admit our rebellion first,” he said. No matter what has happened in a church in the past, no matter what mistakes have been made, “today, you are the shepherd,” Pack reminded pastors. “You are required to take ownership of whatever is there.” Admitting rebellion requires believers to make their prayers specific and get to the heart of the issue. “You have not genuinely repented if you are still blaming someone else,” Pack said.

    Pack pointed out how in Daniel 9:5, Daniel admits that the people have ignored God’s commands. “At some point we must evaluate the consequences of not listening to God,” he said.

    Sometimes God brings into the life of a believer people who can speak truth in love and who can help bring to light sin that has remained in the darkness. “Is it possible God has placed in your life personal prophets to speak truth in your life but you’ve ignored it?” Pack asked.

    The third component of repentant prayer is change. “We have made ministry so much about ourselves we are no longer doing ministry for the sake of God,” Pack said. The prayers of the repentant will confess that and ask God to use ministry to make His name great among all people.

    Ministry, in whatever capacity, is for God’s glory and for the salvation of those who are not in Christ Jesus. Ministry exists so that the eyes and hearts of believers will be opened to more fully know Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of their life.

    “We can no longer continue in ministry as usual,” Pack said. “It’s going to take repentance, prayer and the power of almighty God.”

    Related stories
    Living water transforms hearts, lives
    Do you see what Jesus sees?

    (SPECIAL NOTE — Thank you for your continued support of the Biblical Recorder site. During this interim period while we are searching for a new Editor/President the comments section will be temporarily discontinued. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this. If you do have comments or issues with items we run, please contact dianna@biblicalrecorder.org or call 919-847-2127.)
    3/14/2011 9:40:00 AM by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications | with 0 comments




Comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.