“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land’ - 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV).
In 1992 I was a member of a church that went through an acrimonious split. Prior it was a growing church with flourishing ministries spread across the city of Tulsa. But somewhere some members decided to walk out due to some issues, and the Pastor was forced to resign. This led many others who preferred the Pastor to storm out too. Before long the church had split into three congregations!
When people have been meeting regularly to fellowship they become like a family. A church split can be as devastating as a biological family that breaks up with brothers and sisters walking separate ways. It was a time of turmoil.
But just as the church was going through this turmoil, the elders did an amazing thing. They decided to set aside a time for prayer. For some months members were asked to drop by the church after work and participate in communal prayers. The elders encouraged fasting as well during the day.
As members met, repented and cried out to the Lord, this church was restored. The Lord led it miraculously to find a new Pastor; within no time he had turned it around into one of the fastest growing churches in Tulsa. Of this success one elder later told me, “we felt the split was the time to drop everything and turn to the Lord. This is how our church was saved.”
Today, there is a spirit of death passing over many nations, much a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost every passing moment a new death is reported. But if we can remember, once, there was a time when “the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem” (1 Chronicles 21:14). However, the Lord had mercy upon Israel, because of the prayers of his servant David and the elders. “But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand” (vv 15)
In the midst of this turmoil, the battle cry for all believers is to get out, fall on our knees, repent for the sins of the land, and cry out to the living God to hold this terror that is plucking young and old still. He is fully able.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I fall facedown and cry out to you, in repentance of my sins and this nation, that you stay this evil hand of death passing and plucking the old and young, and that you may save the land from ruin, all this I pray in the Lord Jesus’s name!
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02/03/2024 - 03/03/2024 All day
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!