Pray. ...and fast!
Updated: Jan 30, 2021
The morning starts quiet, still and grey. I lay cozy in bed and slowly try to blink myself awake. My heart and mind go to prayer... thankful for my family and my home, for Steve's work. Thankful for where we live. Suddenly I'm aware of how insulated we are from so many of the harsh, painful realities of this "uncertain time" and I am awakened from my cozy, thankful, safe place and mentally thrusted into the ring to wrestle with big ideas and big problems.
We are facing some major giants. For some it is a threatening viral giant. For others it is an overwhelming financial giant, or a over-reaching governmental giant. In this mental wrestling ring I quickly get caught up and overwhelmed by the size of the giant. I'm frustrated with my inability to do battle. I'm under gunned. My circle of influence is too small. My courage is too weak and my vision for victory isn't clear.
My mind goes to David, a young shepherd boy who faced a giant named Goliath. He was a big, threatening, ugly, evil, brut who had the Israelites shuttering-in-place. But little, unequipped, under gunned David stood to take on that giant. Mocked by those around him, he had one factor working in his favor. He had a clear vision of victory. He wasn't concerned by the size of the problem. He knew the size of his God. That is where he kept his focus. When it was all said and done the giant crumbled into a heap. Conquered. The God of the Israelites was victorious and no one would have believed it could have gone down the way it did, with one perfectly delivered stone. God's ways are not ours.
There is another account in the bible about a king who also had a big problem. He was facing multiple armies, all aligned to come against him. 2 Chronicles 20:12 sees the king crying out to God, "...We are powerless against our enemies that come against us. We do not know what to do. But, our eyes are on you. The Lord answered him "Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude that is coming against you, For the battle is not yours, but God's." In verse 17 God said "You need not fight in this battle; take your positions, stand and witness the salvation of the Lord who is with you." And the king and his men worshipped and praised God and God wiped out the enemy armies by their own hands. They defeated themselves. No one would have believed it. Great story. Great lesson.
Both David and King Jehoshaphat were too small to overcome their big problems on their own. But God didn't intend for them, or for us to bring down giants through our own power. He does, however give us the method for victory.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says this "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, forgive their sin and heal their land." In other words... God is not calling those who don't believe in him, or who mock him or just disregard him to pull their acts together to save us. He is calling on those who do believe in and on him. He is calling his people...those who identify themselves with his name. He is calling Christians to action. To turn away from the ways of common culture, to humble our self sufficient hearts and recognize our dependence on him, to seek his face, his kingdom and his ways and to pray. To Pray.
When we worship God for who he is and praise him...for his faithfulness, for his unending love, for his power and authority we are unleashing and letting loose his power to do what he has said he will do. We cannot do battle with these giants who have come against us. No meme, or GIF or petition or powerfully worded post will heal bodies, revive businesses, restore human brokenness, free captives or humble the hearts of government officials. But God can... and by a way we can't even ask or imagine.
Our Father, God who dwells in heaven and in our hearts. Holy, Holy is your name. God, bring your kingdom of love and unleash it here on earth in the same way it is in heaven. Provide just what we need for today. Let us follow your example of sacrificial love and forgive those who wrong us. Shed your light on the traps of the enemy so that evil doesn't distract us or trip us up. Your way is the way that reigns, victorious over all. You are all powerful. Glory is yours for eternity. Amen.
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