DESPERATE TIMES DEMAND DESPERATE PRAYERS
And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves.” Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king” (1 Samuel 12:19-25 New King James Version).
These are tumultuous times. We only need to read the newspaper headlines, or listen to the news to realize just how unhealthy our days are. Many are out of work; others have chased the wind and run into walls; many fight wars which seem hopeless to win; many go from well-off to poor; children have strayed; parents have compromised themselves; morals and values have been demoralized and devalued. Still others have turned to crime as a way to solve financial and personal issues; others have taken what is good and called it bad, while taking what is bad and calling it good. We live in a country where, yes, we have freedom, but even some of these liberties are being removed, re-written and reconstructed. What was once black and white has become blurred and gray. These are tumultuous times for sure. Guess what? Jesus said these times were coming. Matthew 24: 4-13 says “And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” How do we endure to the end? Prayer, yes, prayer.
Prayer is not a last resort for these times; it should be what we run to first. It’s the best way to communicate our worries, our hurts, our fears, our questions, our praise, our thanks, and our desires to our most Holy Father. It’s the way to seek out His will and to be sure we are in His will. It’s our BowFlex in the spiritual realm, it’s our bank when our spiritual currency has run out, giving us courage, boldness and strength. Prayer is not just designated to those ordained as priests and pastors, prayer is for everyone. Prayer is not eloquent words and fancy sentences; prayer is a conversation from the heart. Prayer is not just talking to God, it is communicating with Him. We may write, sing, dance, cry, sign, or even think our prayers to God. Prayer is the way to stay connected to God in these tumultuous times. As our example, Jesus took time to pray every day. He sought out time with the Father, where He found His direction and strength. By praying consistently, we become stronger and more grounded in God, we will not turn aside from following the Lord and we are better equipped to serve Him with all our heart. Prayer keeps us protected under God’s wings; it keeps us spiritually alert. Jesus calls us to watch and pray; we cannot watch effectively if we are not praying to discern what we are to watch for. Prayer teaches us faith, trust, and gratitude in God.
Step out of your comfort zone today and communicate with God. He is longing to talk to you, open the door and let Him in. Don’t let your personal insecurities, your inhibitions hold you back from seeking His face. By communicating with Him often, you will overcome any adversity and you will be strengthened and encouraged during these tumultuous and uncertain times.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this gift of another day! We are so grateful that Your mercies are new every morning and that Your love endures forever. Forgive those of us who have taken the time to speak with You. Plant in us the desire to bring our requests, petitions and desires directly to You; share with us the urgency to seek Your will each day for every situation no matter how small it may seem to us. You desire to be in the details of our lives, to strengthen and encourage us, to teach and empower us and we ask that our hearts are open to Your hand in our lives. Father, give us courage and endurance to remain faithful in that which You have called us, may our trust of You grow each day despite the times we live in. May we truly be lights in this dark world, exhibiting our faith and trust of Your ways and Your will no matter how bad the news around us is. May we be strengthened to serve You with our whole hearts and may we not turn aside from following You to go after empty things. Father, we ask that You reveal to us all the empty things we have been following after, and remove them. We love You Lord, and we desire to please You. We stand before You this morning in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Offer prayers to God throughout the day, giving Him thanks and praise; asking for insight and revelation; seeking what He wants you to do in a situation. Offer to pray for someone you don’t know, or someone who doesn’t know Jesus but is going through a hard time.
The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came…Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory (Reuben Archer Torrey).