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Exodus 17:8-13

SOMEBODY TOCHED HEAVEN FOR ME

 

Intro: One night during the Civil War, an officer complained to General Stonewall Jackson that some of the soldiers were making a noise in their tent. What are they doing? asked the General. They are praying now, but they have been singing, was the reply. And is that a crime? the General demanded. The articles of war orders punishment for an unusual noise, was the reply. God forbid that praying should be an unusual noise in the camp, replied General Jackson.

Thank God for the privilege of prayer! To be able to go into God’s presence and seek His face and help for the needs of life is a blessing beyond value. To have that open door unto His throne of grace, Heb. 4:16; to be invited to enter there to call upon Him; and to have His promise that He will hear us and answer us when we call upon Him, Jer. 33:3; Matt. 7:7-11, is a wonderful thing! God forbid that praying should be an unusual sound in our lives!

But, how much greater is the blessing to be able to enter God’s presence on behalf of another and pray for them? Oh the privilege of being able to intercede for others before the presence of the Lord! It is an honor to be able to go to God and lift up the needs, burdens and souls of other people. God forbid that praying for others should be an unusual sound in our lives.

There is a great need this evening to touch Heaven for others. I realize that I am here this evening because someone touched heaven for me. The fact that you are here, saved, and headed to Heaven is a testimony to the reality that someone touched heaven for you.

I want to take the Bible tonight and show you four places where people reached up by faith and touched Heaven for others. There are more places, but these will serve to illustrate the truth that there is a need to touch Heaven, and there is power in touching Heaven for others. I want to preach for a few minutes on this thought: Somebody Touched Heaven For Me.

 

I. MOSES TOUCHED HEAVEN FOR THE SAINTS IN ISRAEL

Exodus 17:8-13

A. Ill. The context of the verses. Israel was under attack and they needed someone to stand in the gap for them. Moses answered the challenge and touched Heaven for them that day. Because he did, victory was the result.

B. God’s people need someone who will touch Heaven for them in these days! Both the soldiers on the front line and the people in the camp need someone who will reach up by faith and ring the prayer bells of glory so that God’s people might have the victory. What a comfort it is to know that people are praying for you as you go about your life day by day!

C. I read in the New Testament where the Apostle Paul was constantly asking for the prayers of others, 1 Thes. 5:25; 2 Thes. 3:1; Heb. 13:18. If he needed the prayers of God’s people, then how much more do we need them?

I can also read where the saints are commanded to pray one for another, James 5:16; 1 Tim. 2:1-8. We need to pray for one another! We need to pray for the leaders of the church; the preachers; the Deacons; the Sunday School teachers; all those who serve in any capacity need our prayers. We need to pray for that family that is visiting here at Calvary. We need to pray for those children who are headed off to school. We need to pray for every member of our congregation. We need to pray for the saints of God! May the Lord help us to see the need to pray for one another! May He help us learn to pray Hell off our Brothers and Sisters day by day.

There is nothing in this world like knowing that God’s people are praying for you! Ill. Often, when I am preaching a meeting somewhere, Monday will be the easiest and best night for me. Why? Because I know that there us a group of men in these altars and I know that they are praying for their preacher! Having the prayers of God’s people gives great confidence as you live your life for the Lord!

 

(Ill. During World War II a Marine was serving in the South Pacific. His platoon was under fire and they were trying to signal their comrades that they had taken a certain hill. Their sergeant issued an order for a man to take the American flag and raise it up on a pole to let other units know they had taken this ground. As he grabbed the flag and ran off to raise it up, he was shot by a sniper. Another man was sent to retrieve the flag and raise it up. He too was shot. Finally, a young private spoke up and said, “Sergeant, in just a few minutes it will be four o’clock. If you will let me wait until then, I will take that flag, I will raise it up on that pole. The sergeant thought for a moment and said, “All right son. At four o’clock, that private jumped out of his foxhole, ran over and picked up the flag, and then he ran to that pole and raised it up. He then turned and ran back to his foxhole and jumped in without so much as a scratch.

The men cheered and the sergeant asked him why he wanted to wait until four o’clock to do what he did. The private replied, “Well sir, its four o’clock here, but it’s 6 AM back home in Kansas. My mother loves Jesus and she told me that every morning at 6 AM she would be on her knees praying for my safety. I knew that I would be safe while mama touched Heaven for me.

 

Are you touching Heaven for the saints of God?

 

II. ABRAHAM TOUCHED HEAVEN FOR THE SINNERS IN SODOM

Genesis 18:20-33

A. Ill. The context of this passage. Abraham prayed for the sinners in Sodom. He touched Heaven on their behalf.

 

(Ill. Only needed 10 souls and Sodom would have been spared. Think of it! There was Lot, Mrs. Lot, two unmarried daughters at home and at least two married daughters and their husbands. That is eight! All Lot had to do was win two more in Sodom and the city would have been spared. What a tragedy that his witness was so poor that all but 3 perished.)

 

B. Lost people need someone who knows the Lord praying for them! You may wonder if your prayers matter when it comes to the matter of someone else’s salvation. Well, they most certainly do! You see, your prayers touch the heart of God and He in turn touches the hearts of men! Ill. It is possible to move men through God by prayer alone. J. Oswald Sanders.

 

(Ill. J. Sidlow Baxter once said, “Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our argument, but they are helpless against our prayers!. How true that is! They may curse you; slam their doors in your face; turn a deaf ear to your witness; etc. But, they cannot oppose your prayers as they ascend to your Father’s throne!

God help us to carry a great burden for those lost in sin! They cannot pray for themselves and they need someone who will stand between them and Hell and say, “As long as I live and have breath in my lungs, you will not pass this way!)

 

C. Who are those lost ones you carry in your heart tonight? Don’t give up on them! Keep praying, it may take a while, but God will honor the prayers of His saints!

 

(Ill. A certain Scottish man who had lived a very worldly life was going over the records left by his father, a very wealthy man who had just passed away. He noticed that his father had given large sums of money to an orphanage operated by George Mueller. He decided that his father might want him to continue to give to that work so he decided to pay them a visit one day. It just so happened that when he got there, there was revival meeting going on for the boys and girls in the home. He sat there and listened to the sermon and was convicted of his sins. He came to Jesus that day and was saved.

When he stood to give testimony of his conversion, the workers in that home were not surprised. They said, “For 38 years George Mueller did not cease to pray for you every day.

Don’t give up!)

 

(Ill. Maze Jackson told of preaching in a certain meeting and of using Matthew 18:19 as his text. He said that after the service a little boy met him at the door and asked him if he really believed that verses. Brother Maze said “I sure do! Well, that little boy proceeded to tell him that his dad had abandoned him and his mother for a life of drink and women. He said that he had not seen nor heard from his daddy since he had left. He told the preacher that he wanted to see his daddy saved more than anything in the world. He asked Brother Maze to covenant with him and claim that verse to see his daddy saved. But, he wanted to claim that verse and believe that God would save his daddy before the meeting ended on Friday night.

Brother Maze said he was ashamed to admit to the little boy that he had his doubts, but he agreed to agree with the little boy that his daddy would come to Jesus. Well, Brother Maze said that every night, while he preached that little boy sat on the front row and say, “Matthew 18:19!” He would come by at the back door and say, “Matthew 18:19 preacher! My daddy is going to be saved! Brother Maze said the whole thing made him nervous and he was afraid that little boy was going to be very disappointed.

Well, Friday evening came and there had been no sign of the boy’s daddy. As Brother Maze preached that night, the little boy waved his Bible in the air and kept saying “Matthew 18:19 over and over. Then, as the service was ending and they were about to be dismissed, a man entered the door at the back of the church. That little boy looked around and said, “That’s my daddy! That man came down that aisle, took his estranged wife by the hand, came by a grabbed that little boy and fell in that altar, repented of his sins and gave his life to Jesus!

Don’t ever give up!)

 

D. I’m glad this evening that some folks refused to give up on me! I am glad they prayed and they touched Heaven for me! Are you touching Heaven for lost sinners tonight? If so, don’t give up. God is listening and in His time, they will come! I just believe that your burden is an extension of God’s plan to save their soul!

 

III. HEZEKIAH TOUCHED HEAVEN FOR

THE SUFFERERS IN JERUSALEM

2 Kings 19:14-37

A. Ill. The context of these verses. Jerusalem is threatened by Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. If he is allowed to attack them, the people of Jerusalem will suffer untold trials and brutality. However, King Hezekiah turns to the Lord God in prayer and prevails. The Lord hears him, answers him and moves in power. The angel of the Lord slays 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night and Sennacherib is assassinated by his own sons. God spared the people of Jerusalem because one man touched Heaven for them!

B. I just want to remind you this evening that some of God’s people are walking through deep valleys. Some of them have burdens and are carrying loads that the rest of us cannot even imagine. They need someone who will stand up for them in the day of their battle and go to God on their behalf. They need someone who will pay the price in prayer for them and help them shoulder their burden. They need someone who will touch Heaven for them!

 

(Ill. When Dwight Eisenhower was a little boy, he was afflicted with polio. The doctors told his mother, a devout Christian, that he might never walk again. That mother refused to believe the word of those doctors and threw herself across the sick body of her son and she began to call on God. She said, “Lord, you didn’t send this boy here for him to be a cripple. You sent him into this world for a great purpose. Touch him and deliver him.

Well, God did deliver him and God did use his life in a mighty way. Eisenhower was the great architect and leader of the D-Day invasion of Normandy that signaled the turning of the tide in World War II. Eisenhower was able to accomplish what he did because somebody touched Heaven for him.)

 

C. Friends, we need to be in the business of touching Heaven for our brothers and sisters who are fighting the battles of life. After all, this is the clear command of the Lord, Gal. 6:2. Never are we more like Jesus than when we are loving others and standing in the gap for them, 1 Cor. 13:4-5; Matt. 22:37-40. We all know someone who is struggling this evening! I praise the Lord for every time some touched Heaven for this preacher! Are you touching Heaven for the suffering saints this evening?

 

IV. JESUS TOUCHED HEAVEN FOR THE SOULS IN SIN

Luke 23:34

A. Ill. The context of this passage. Our Savior has been brought to Calvary. He has been nailed to the cross to atone for the sins of humanity. He has submitted to the cruel torture of His tormentors without opening his mouth in protest, Isa. 53:7. When He does speak, it is not to condemn, but He touches Heaven for those who crucified Him.

This is perhaps the greatest prayer ever prayed! Imagine for a moment what is going on in Heaven. Imagine a Father watching His Son die for lost sinners. Imagine the holy angels waiting on a word from their Creator to go and rescue their Lord, Matt. 26:53. Instead, we have the blessed Lamb of God, Who is giving His life for the lost, lifting His voice to pray for the forgiveness of His tormentors. What grace! What love! That Jesus would touch Heaven for those who hated Him, reviled Him and crucified Him is glorious beyond the ability of human vocabulary to describe.

B. Thank God, when Jesus hung there on that cross that Day, He touched Heaven for us! He finished the task the Father had sent Him to accomplish, John 19:30. He reached up to Heaven to satisfy the just demands of God for sin; then He reached down in love to a lost and dying world to offer salvation full and free to all those who would come to Him by faith. Then, after He died, He was buried and three days later, He arose victorious over the grace. He then ascended back to Heaven to touch Heaven for us once for all!

C. I am grateful for the day when the Holy Ghost made it clear to my soul that Jesus had touched Heaven for me. Because He did what He did, the way was open for me when I came to Him for salvation. Because Jesus had touched Heaven for me, I could come to God and be saved through grace by faith, John 6:37; Eph. 2:8-9. Thank God Jesus touched Heaven for me!

 

Conc: Once Sir Walter Raleigh made a request of the Queen of England and she petulantly answered, “Raleigh, when will you leave off begging? Sir Walter replied, “When your Majesty leaves off giving, and his request was granted.

My brothers and sisters, the God of all grace never tires of our asking and He never grows weary in His giving. Therefore, do not stop seeking His face for yourself and for the needs of others.

Are there some people who need you to touch Heaven for them this evening? Are there people you know that are lost, that are struggling that just need you to go to God for them? Maybe you want to come and touch Heaven for your church, for your nation, for your family, for your community, for your neighbors. I know there are needs this evening. Let’s get before Him and touch Heaven for the glory of God.

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