“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” ( I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Speculations are part of life. On many occasions whenever something fatal strikes most of us will find ourselves speculating. Say, someone was involved in a fatal accident but was warned not to take that speeding taxi, most would speculate what if he had listened.
Perhaps we may also find ourselves speculating on two cases in the Bible. When the disciples started sharing the Gospel of Christ, Herod “had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also” ( Acts 12:2-3). While the Bible does not mention the church gathering to pray for James, it’s clear in the case of Peter. “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him” ( vv 5).
And that was the turning key. “Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists” ( vv 7). What seems clear is the earnest prayers of the church yielded positive results leading to Peter’s release. This leaves us to speculate that what if the church had earnestly prayed for James too, maybe he would also have been released!
Or look at the case of Queen Esther. Once she heard of a plot to commit genocide on the Jews, she sent a prayer request:, “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” ( Esther 4:16). End story is that after three days of intense prayers coupled with fasting, she preceded to King Xerxes who eagerly received her and heard her request. “Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.” ( Esther 5:3).
Perhaps some may wonder what if Esther had not prayed and fasted for those three days and night, would the King have entertained her bold request! Well, we cannot be so sure. But then there is something we know. The prayers of the church for Peter and of Esther’s prayer warriors caused change against all odds. If you doubt the power of prayer at least this you cannot deny!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to worship, thank and bring my prayer requests to you, for there is power in prayer to move mountains, and this I believe and 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!