By Paul Hughes - Director, Birmingham Prayer Furnace


“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man”  (Mat. 24:37) 



Unity in the church and social transformation from war to peace both begin in the home, in a culture of prayer. Jesus compared the conditions on the Earth in the days of His return to the generation that lived in Noah’s day.

My wife and I happen to have three sons, like Noah. We even have two daughter-in-laws and hope for a third like Noah as well. Thirty plus years ago, when we got married, we built a family culture of prayer. An altar if you will. These days, as in Noah’s, the more we become like Jesus, the less we seem to be like our culture. But like Jesus (and Noah) we contend for our world to heed the wonderful surrender terms of God’s coming Kingdom and join His family.

Perhaps you have never thought of it this way, but the Ark that Noah built can be compared to an altar. Altars in the ancient world were simple; a pile of rocks, wood to burn, and something alive for the sacrifice. In Noah’s day, the Earth was the stones, the Ark was the wood, and

Noah’s family and the animal kingdom were living sacrifices delivered out of a dying humanity.

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

The first thing Noah did when his family left the Ark was build an altar of worship to God (Gen 8:20).

The next family altar in redemptive history is in Genesis 22 when God calls Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac on Mount Moriah. While Isaac was spared and a ram sacrificed instead, Jesus would not be spared on that same mount of sacrifice thousands of years later.

Jesus became a living sacrifice so that through His death, we might become God’s children forever.

“Father, we ask to be altar builders and living sacrifices in our generation.  We know that the family of God, the global church, is to be a witness to a dying world of a coming King and His Kingdom.  Help us to build family altars where it is clear to each member that you are the center of all life. And use our families to rescue a world that is dying apart from adoption into Yours. In Jesus name, Amen.”

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