Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Will Lift My Hands & Pray


Today’s Bible readings are Exodus 8:1-9:35, Matthew 19:13-30, Psalm 24:10, & Proverbs 6:1-5



 

Exodus 9:28-32
28 Please beg the Lord to end this terrifying thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer.”
29 “All right,” Moses replied. “As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my hands and pray to the Lord. Then the thunder and hail will stop, and you will know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.”
31 (All the flax and barley were ruined by the hail, because the barley had formed heads and the flax was budding. 32 But the wheat and the emmer wheat were spared, because they had not yet sprouted from the ground.)

As I read this story I can’t help but notice the mercy of God & the place that Moses played in getting it to Pharaoh. I am moved by the mercy of God. It amazes me that God is so merciful to people when they are so far from Him. We somewhat expect God to be merciful to Christian, but Pharaoh was nothing near that. Yet we see the great mercy of God even being extended to him.

I am equally amazed at the willingness of Moses to pray for a man who was bringing great destruction on his people. Pharaoh opposed Moses, the people of God, & even God. He was trying to keep the people from going in a direction that would bring them to a place of worshipping God. He did everything in his power to hinder their move towards their Creator. Yet, Moses still saw the great need to pray for him. That is awesome.

I, much like many Christians, do not like the direction that our country is headed. I am disturbed at the rate in which I see leadership turning away from God & the bible. It doesn’t take a genius to see that God was a huge part of why our forefathers came to this country. They wanted to worship God. They were being hindered in their land so they decided to set out for a land in which God could be worshipped. These puritans fought & sacrificed to get to this great land, many dying along the way, many more once they arrived.

God blessed this land & this people because He had a plan for them. He rose up this great nation to serve a great purpose. Those things have not changed. We still have a God purpose & a God plan to fulfill. The problem is that many are forgetting what matters most—GOD!!!

I have to watch myself very closely to make sure that I don’t fall into the trap that many Christians have fallen in to. It is much easier to complain & grumble than it is to do what God desires from His church in this hour—PRAY!

I can get resentful & even bitter toward those in leadership. I can become angry & even rebellious towards the people that God has called me to pray for. I am learning that is not the BEST solution.

I am very impressed that Moses never lost compassion toward Pharaoh. He even knew that Pharaoh was not going to change, yet he showed compassion toward him & prayed for him. Moses interceded for a man who stood for the exact opposite as him. That is a man of God.

Matthew 5:13

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

One of the greatest purposes of salt is that it is a preserving agent. When used right, salt can keep things from spoiling. It can prevent things from going bad. This was a common use for salt in the days of Jesus. They would salt the fish & this would preserve them.

Jesus spoke of the church as salt. We are a preserving agent in the earth. We are here to keep the decay of sin from ruining lives. We forget that the primary way to do this is through prayer. We are good at standing up & declaring what we are against. It feels good to do that. We are not so good at doing the one thing that can change things—prayer.

I want to clarifying, I believe that we live in a day that we must take a bold stance for what is right. Our voice needs to be heard. But I also want to say that our voice needs to be heard in heaven as well. We should be more vocal in prayer than in any other area. There is an imbalance in many lives when it comes to this. They make a LOT of noise down here but little to no noise in the area of prayer. I tis no wonder that things are not changing.

2 Chronicles 7:14

14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

This is God’s instruction to the church. I wonder if we have it backwards. We like to join groups, sign petitions, make noise, etc…  God is saying to make some noise, but make that noise FIRST in our prayer closets. Prayer must be the first thing to happen.

1.      Prayer is the proof that we have been humbled.


2.      Prayer leads us to seeking His face.


3.      Seeking His face leads us to repentance.


4.      Repentance must start in the house of the Lord.



 

These are time proved steps to revival, not the political methods that many are taking today. We have been distracted by the process of the world. We have forgotten the process of the Kingdom. Oh forgive us Father!

I want to challenge you today to spend the next 40 days praying for our leaders. Start with our president. Pray for God rich blessing in his life. Then, pray for our senators & congressmen. Next, pray for local leader: governors, mayors, police chief, etc…

1 Timothy 2:1-3

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior,

 

Ephesians 6:19-20

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

Let’s make this a year where there is a TRUE REVIVAL OF PRAYER! That is what is needed most. It is the first step to a revival of souls. Open our eyes to see the power of prayer in JESUS NAME!

Pastor Richard Schlotter


1 comment:

Dawn Black said...

"We should be more vocal in prayer than in any other area." I love the way that is said. It makes so much sense. I'm going to make sure to apply it more!