Yesterday we read Nehemiah chapter 1 realizing that this man prayed out of a desperate heart of concern for the city and people of Jerusalem. I pointed out that when we pray to God as though life depended on it our prayers are different and God hears us. Our prayers today are so casual. We thank God for the day and then we pray for Him to bless everyone on our list then we add the closing “in Jesus name, Amen” and stop praying and go to the next thing.
When life-or-death is on the line prayer is much different. Who in the Bible prayed as though life or death was at stake?
- Hezekiah prayed for the deliverance of his nation from an army that was going to wipe them out. If the Assyrian army got its’ way the king would have nothing to be king over so nothing else mattered except praying that God would deliver them.
- Hezekiah on his death bed prayed because the prophet with a message from God told the king that he was going to die. “Get your house in order,” he said, “you are going to die.” Hezekiah’s prayer was more than thanking God for the day and asking His blessing on his current difficulty.
- When Peter stepped out of the boat and began to sink he prayed a quick but desperate prayer. Jesus heard him and saved him from the waves.
- Hannah was desperate for a son. God had closed her womb and childlessness was a shame to her. She went to the Temple and prayed so desperately that Eli, the priest, thought she must be drunk and rebuked her for drinking so early in the day. But Hannah wanted a son more than anything and so begged God that God gave her Samuel, whom she gave back to God. The answer to Hannah’s prayer changed the nation of Israel and led them to God for many years.
- King David had many desperate prayers. He had many enemies who wanted him dead. Psalm 142 records one such time in David’s life. Take time to read David’s desperate prayer.
- After Herod killed James he arrested Peter to kill him too. The church in desperate prayer prayed for Peter’s release. God answered and sent an angel to deliver Peter thus answering their prayers.
- Jesus desperately prayed in the Garden knowing what was coming next. He asked God for a different plan, if possible, knowing that this was the only plan. Jesus completed the Father’s will so that we could have life.
There are other examples but I want to take a moment to show you that when people pray in desperation they are the ones who change first. Casual prayer does not bring any real change. Don’t kid yourself; our obligatory prayers don’t change anything. Our desperate prayers change us and have the potential to change others. Let God change you first. Let Him take His flashlight to the hidden resources of your soul first. Let Him work on you in your moments of desperation.
The trials that bring us to desperate prayer are designed to change us. Make no mistake, God is in control of every situation and has planned them out of His love for us to shape us into His image and likeness. As we pray for others we should be letting our prayers change us. Look upward, toward God, then inward toward yourself, then outward toward the person in need.
Tonight we will have our prayer time first then Doug and Ruth Bachorick will be with us presenting their work in the Philippines. Doug is a choice servant of God, a man who surrendered his talents to serve the Lord and His kingdom. You don’t want to miss this presentation. BTW we have supported Doug and Ruth for probably fifteen years now.
Yesterday morning Gloria Bolthouse’s mother died. She was 94 and truly wanted to go and to be with the Lord Jesus. The wake is Friday from 3-8 at Hultgren Funeral Home in Wheaton. The funeral is Saturday, June 27, 10:30am at First Baptist Church, 1310 N. Main St, Wheaton.
If you can help up us Saturday to pass out flyers we need the help. Show up at 10:00 at the church.
Decorations are being put up today, tomorrow and Friday. If you can help call Jodi today and Bobbi tomorrow.
Have a great day in the Lord,