“In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me” - Psalm 120 (NIV)
There was once a case of a certain unbelieving teacher at a certain school who was at pains to understand why a group of his students would raise their voice and cry out to the Almighty God for help in some situations. The teacher accosted the “praying warriors” and shut down their meeting. “Is your God hard of hearing that you must raise so much noise!” He sent them packing.
The teacher might indeed have had a point. The Almighty God reigns everywhere and even before we open our mouths He has heard our prayers. Jesus, once advised, “But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (Mathew 6:6-7). Certainly, there is a case for a quiet and reflective prayer.
However, there also those situations of deep agony, that one’s prayer cannot be one quiet appeal. Think of a plane that is going down and about to crash; of course, there are those who will pray quietly for rescue, but some others will open up their mouths and cry out to the Almighty for his deliverance.
Once when the disciples realized they were perishing at sea, as “a windstorm came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” (Luke 8:23-24). That could not have been a quiet and gentle plea. A childless Hannah wept bitterly as she pleaded to the Lord to bless her with a child (I Samuel 1:10).
There are certain times and situations when our prayers cannot be quiet and reflective muses. A people under attack do not meow when lives are perishing. They rise up and call upon the Almighty to come for their deliverance. And the times of the sweeping Covid-19 pandemic are the kind where individuals along with the church, there needs to be those who rise up and cry out for the deliverance of the Lord!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today we as a people, cry out to you, for deliverance from this plague of Covid-19, that you come and with your powerful hand that parted the Red Sea, stay its havoc, and bring healing to the land, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!