Rick McKinley Sermon Notes – Worship Through Prayer

Worship through Prayer – 8/29/04 – Rick McKinley

In college Rick crank-called some believers on TV. All of them stood up and prayed for him; 6mo later he was saved, now he’s a pastor. He was a little punk crank calling these Christians, but God showed up anyway.

Nine Months of Prayer and Repentance:

When they started the church, they started it on prayer. 15-20 people, knew what God wanted us to do: be a church that builds the kingdom, be a church that serves the lost and broken. And yet every Sunday it was everybody’s buddies from other churches. We recognized that we didn’t want to love the world and this city. We got honest and said we didn’t want to. God called us to repent. We started meeting every Wednesday night at Evangel Baptist and we started praying and repenting before God. The prayers were very honest: “God, I hate my neighbor, he drives me crazy.” Our hearts started to change, because we were before God. Our prayers started to change. Instead of “I hate my neighbor” we were praying for him by name and doing acts of kindness and actually reaching out and loving these people. Over the course of 9 months God converted us. When we started, before our conversion, we were believers in Christ but not in his mission. Once we got out there, we saw the massive harvest that sin had reaped in the lives we were encountering and serving. We then prayed, God, you’ve gotten us to believe in your mission, you’ve gotten us outside the church walls, but there’s just no way we can change lives so broken unless you show up. No way, not gonna happen. The brokenness is too great.

Call to Prayer of Dependence

There is a sense that if we ask to pray with someone else, honestly and openly, that they will be down on us and judging us and treating us differently. The family of God comes together to talk to each other and say, “I need you.” A lot of you are involved in ministries in which you’re working with people that you can’t fix. There’s an overwhelmingness to it that puts us into despair sometimes. We live between the tension of our lives and a broken world spun out of control and yet this God who says I’m here, I’m attentive, and I’m listening.

Rev 5: Elders coming before the throne of God with bowls of incense. Incense is a powerful, overwhelming scent, it’s unavoidable, you have to pay attention to it.

Sometimes we’re so overwhelmed by the brokenness that we assume God isn’t there, that he’s not near and that he’s not attentive and that he doesn’t care.

What are the principles that we see from Gen to Rev that people are engaged in when they pray?

Phil 4:6-7

1 Tim 2:1–I urge you then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone

As you travel through the NT you see the Apostle Paul saying over and over and over again, pray, pray, bring everything to God, fall on your face, give thanks, make requests, intercede, ask God to show up. Paul is living on both sides of the coin—he’s not in an office, he gets stoned to death with rocks twice and left for dead. He can look at his circumstances from A-Z and say, God, you’ve left the building, I’m getting my tail kicked out here, where are you. He takes the brokenness of his circumstance and he says God is near and is attentive: pray, pray. That has to be the motivation behind prayer, or it becomes this weird work thing.

I was going to God saying, God, look how spiritual I am, rather than saying, God, I’m powerless, these circumstances in my life are out of hand and unless your goodness and care and attentiveness doesn’t break in, I have no hope. There was no power in my motivation. God says, I’m never going to make that a super good experience for you because that’s a false gospel, you need Jesus. There’s a bloodstained cross, so call out to him.

James 1:5—If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault

Prayer focuses us on the greatness and goodness of God, and that’s why unbelief is so detrimental to prayer. If I believe God ignores me, where is the motivation to cry out to him?

Why go to someone else when you can go to God? We’re sitting here saying, Hmm, I don’t know what to do, this is beyond me, and God’s behind us saying, Hello, I made the world, I’ve got a pretty good helicopter view of history and everything else. And we say, I’m gonna go to Bill, he’s smart.

James 5:13 If any of you is in trouble, he should pray.

If someone’s coming to you confessing, don’t try to fix them, just put your hand on em and pray. So much more will happen in the 10 minutes praying for them than your 4 hours babbling at them.

Ephesians 6:18 – Paul asks them for prayers. Says there’s nothing you can’t pray about. Pray for all the saints and for me. That whenever I open my mouth words will be given me that I may fearlessly let know the mystery of the gospel. Pray that I might declare it fearlessly, as I should.

1. Courage in Mission: Paul goes into towns and gets beat up for preaching the Gospel. Now he’s in jail, writing this. What would your prayer sound like in this situation? Mine would sound like, “I don’t want to get hit by rocks anymore God, please stop people from throwing rocks at me.” But Paul prays that when the rocks are coming at me next time I won’t be scared and quit talking. I believe because Paul prays all the time and he’s always in God’s face, that at the heart of mission he says, Yeah, cruddy things are going to happen in this life, but I’m not really banking on this life, I’m banking on the hope that is in Christ. God says, Pray to me; ask me for courage. It’s scary to get rejected, but they probably won’t throw boulders at you. It is scary, but you say God give me courage so they can see Jesus.

Ephesians 3:14-19: A prayer of boldness, for God to encounter your soul. Paul says I know that connecting with an infinite God is not super easy, but I also know that beyond me stands the all-powerful who wants to dwell in your life. He knows that only God can change you.


  • Begins with a belief that God is good and near and attentive.
  • Includes an honest examination of where their life is at: God, we need you, we’re desperate for you, you have to show up, we’re being straight up with you about that. Confess your sins to one another, quit playing games and be straight up with God.
  • Includes a confession that they are powerless to change it.

God wants to give himself away, but he wants you to come to him and ask. He leaves himself vulnerable in his way.

I pray not for megachurches but that the Church in United States will wake up and start being the church, building the kingdom.

We realize that if He doesn’t show up we could still be thousands and thousands of people playing games. But if He does show up, we could be a church that if we went away the city would miss us.


About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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