4 Sep 2011
We are thankful that in this current day there seems to be significant evidence that prayer is gaining a renewed priority among those who are called by the name of Jesus Christ. It is my sense that this momentum of movement toward prayer flows from an assortment of motivational forces. The primary motivational force seems to be an obvious increase in disasters of every kind.
We are experiencing in increasing incidence disasters in nature, floods, and droughts, hurricanes and tornados, earthquakes and destructive hail. The Lord has something to say to us about these kinds of disasters:
Amos 3:4-6 (NASB95)
4 Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has captured something?
5 Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground when there is no bait in it? Does a trap spring up from the earth when it captures nothing at all?
6 If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?
In this message, Lord is speaking through the prophet Amos. He reasons from the cause and effects that we can see in natural things, comparing these to His own work that is sometimes less clear since we have the proud propensity to proclaim His work of discipline as the probable results of “bad luck” or “chance.”
The growing intensity of these “natural” disasters is further amplified by the deplorable economic conditions which seem vacillate from awful to appalling. Of course the world proclaims that it can control economics, yet the Holy Scriptures shape a totally different tale.
The third category we should consider is primarily social. In a word this disaster is the result of personal sin, sexual sin of every imaginable kind, sin in our homes, sin in the workplace, sin in the marketplace, sin in our business practices, sin in the church. We have become a society soaked and saturated in sin, and we are reaping that which we have sown.
As the frequency of all these various disasters continues to intensify, more of God’s people are getting His message: REPENT! While many have are beginning to hear this message, only a minority are moving to the place of repentance. Yet more are starting the journey toward repentance; to start is to humble ourselves and pray.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Of course, the legitimacy of our need to humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and repent is systematically and desperately depreciated by our arch enemy Satan. Satan desires to defeat and destroy anything that will bring honor to God. Have you noticed that whenever God has something in His plans that will have major kingdom building impact, this work is urgently resisted by the forces of Satan?
Jesus gives us a bit of insight into this matter in Luke chapter 22:
Luke 22:31-34 (AMP)
31 Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain,
32 But I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen and establish your brethren.
33 And [Simon Peter] said to Him, Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death.
34 But Jesus said, I tell you, Peter, before a [single] cock shall crow this day, you will three times [utterly] deny that you know Me.
Jesus states that Satan has urgently requested permission to separate the disciples from the power and protection and keeping of God as the chaff is separated from grain. As you know the chaff when it is separated is usually discarded or burned. This was Satan’s desire for the disciples of Jesus, because he knew that they were key to the building of God’s kingdom here on this earth. The sense we get from this passage is that Jesus prayed for all the disciples and particularly for Peter. Jesus may have focused some priority on His prayers for Peter as he was chosen by our Lord to be the primary leader of the disciples and the early church for a time.
But Peter saw not the need for Jesus’ prayer. He apparently believed, to his own peril, that he could stand without the support of prayer. This is a very real trap that we each must identify for ourselves. We are wholly helpless without the prayers and power which results when it comes to the cause of God in the cosmic battle in which we are engaged.
In this battle, God is working to motivate us to humble ourselves and pray and Satan is working to keep us as far from humility and prayer as possible. Of course we must win in this first phase of the battle if we are to move forward to the battles of seeking His face and turning from our wicked ways. There is no authentic repentance until we have humbled ourselves and prayed and sought the face of our God.
How are you doing in the battle? How is your battle awareness? It seems that the more we are aware of this battle hour by hour and day by day, the better we are prepared to pray. Jesus taught us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Can we accurately pray in this way without the invariable awareness of the battle that rages in the unseen world?
May our God open our eyes daily to the reality of the cosmic battle in which we are engaged and cause us to humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways that He might hear from heaven, forgive our sins and Heal our Land! This we pray in the Name of our Lord and King, Jesus! AMEN.