“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto You will I pray.” Psalm 5:1-2 (KJB)
Too many times young people in the faith jump to conclusions about the following words of Jesus, and assume that we can ask for anything we want, and God is obligated to give it. First, let me say this; God is obligated to no one. Now to the verses for today.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do.” John 14:12-14 (KJB)
Now I leave with you the last points of an exposition delivered by Alexander MacLaren…
From Alexander MacLaren’s EXPOSITION OF HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“These are two, faith and prayer.
‘He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also.’ Faith, the simple act of loving trust in Jesus Christ, opens the door of our hearts and natures for the entrance of all His solemn Omnipotence, and makes us possessors of it. It is the condition, and the only condition, and plainly the indispensable condition, of possessing this divine Christ’s power, that we should trust ourselves to Him that gives it. And if we do, then we shall not trust in vain, but to us there will come power that will surpass our desire, and fill us with its own rejoicing and pure energy. Faith will make us like Christ. Faith is intensely practical. ‘He that believeth shall do.’ It is no mere cold assent to a creed which is utterly impotent to operate upon men’s acts, no mere hysterical emotion which is utterly impotent to energise into nobilities of service and miracles of consecration, but it is the affiance of the whole nature which spreads itself before Him and prays, ‘Fill my emptiness and vitalise me with Thine own Spirit.’ That is the faith which is ever answered by the inrush of the divine power, and the measure of our capacity of receiving is the measure of His gift to us.
So if Christian individuals and Christian communities are impotent, or all but impotent, there is no difficulty in understanding why. They have cut the connection, they have shut the tap. They lack faith; and so their power is weakness. ‘Why could we not cast him out?’ said they, perplexed when they had no need to be. ‘Why could you not cast him out? Because you do not believe that I, working in you, can cast him out. That is why; and the only why.’ Let us learn that the secret of Christians’ weakness is the weakness of their Christian faith.
And the other condition is prayer. ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name I will do it,’ and He repeats it, for confirmation and for greater emphasis. ‘If ye shall ask anything in My name,’ or, as perhaps that clause ought to be read with some versions, ‘If ye shall ask Me anything in My name I will do it.’
Three points may be named here. Our power depends upon our prayer. God’s and Christ’s fullness and willingness to communicate do not depend upon our prayer. But our capacity to receive of that fullness, and so the possibility of its communication to us, do depend upon our prayer. ‘We have not because we ask not.’
The power of our prayer depends upon our conscious oneness with the revealed Christ. ‘If ye shall ask in My name,’ says He. And people think they have fulfilled the condition when, in a mechanical and external manner, they say, as a formula at the end of petitions that have been all stuffed full of self-will and selfishness, ‘for Christ’s sake. Amen!’ and then they wonder they do not get them answered! Is that asking in Christ’s name?
Christ’s name is the revelation of Christ’s character, and to do a thing in the name of another person is to do it as His representative, and as realising that in some deep and real sense-for the present purpose at all events-we are one with Him. And it is when we know ourselves to be united to Christ and one with Him, and representative in a true fashion of Himself, as well as when, in humble reliance on His work for us and His loving heart, we draw near, that our prayer has power, as the old divines used to say, ‘to move the Hand that moves the world,’ and to bring down a rush of blessing upon our heads. Prayer in the name of Christ is hard to offer. It needs much discipline and watchfulness; it excludes all self-will and selfishness. And if, as my text tells us, the end of the Son’s working is the glory of the Father, that same end, and not our own ease or comfort, must be the end and object of all prayer which is offered in His name. When we so pray we get an answer. And the reason why such multitudes of prayers never travel higher than the roof, and bring no blessings to him who prays, is because they are not prayers in Christ’s name.
Prayer in His name will pass into prayer to Him. As He not obscurely teaches us here (if we adopt the reading to which I have already referred), He has an ear to hear such requests, and He wields divine power to answer. Surely it was not blasphemy nor any diversion of the worship due to God alone, when the dying martyr outside the city wall cried and said, ‘Lord Jesus! receive my spirit.’ Nor is it any departure from the solemnest obligations laid upon us by the unity of the divine nature, nor are we bringing idolatrous petitions to another than the Father, when we draw near to Christ and ask Him to give us that which He gives as the Father’s gift, and to work on us that which the Father that dwelleth in Him works through Him for us.
Trust yourselves to Christ, and let your desires be stilled, to listen to His voice in you, and let that voice speak. And then, dear brethren, we shall be lifted above ourselves, and strength will flow into us, and we shall be able to say, ‘I can do all things, through the Christ that dwells in me and makes me strong.’ And just as the glad, sunny waters of the incoming tide fill the empty places of some oozy harbour, where all the ships are lying as if dead, and the mud is festering in the sunshine, so into the slimy emptiness of our corrupt hearts there will pour the flashing sunlit wave, the ever fresh rush of His power; and ‘everything will live whithersoever it cometh,’ and we shall be able to say in all humility, and yet in glad recognition of Christ’s faithfulness to this, His transcendent promise, ‘I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me,’ ‘because the life which I live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God.’ “
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” Romans 10:1 (KJB)
The apostle Paul was a Jew. He was a Hebrew, in fact calling himself, “…An Hebrew of the Hebrews…” (Philippians 3:5), and he spent his early ministry endeavoring to win the Jewish people to the Messiah Jesus. He nearly lost his life a few times doing so.
In Romans 9 – 11 we see just how much Paul loves his people it is almost a final plea for them to repent, to turn to the One who is their Redeemer, before it is turned over completely to the Gentiles for the age.
I have a question for myself this morning. Is my heart’s desire, and prayer for my people so powerful, so strong that I would risk my life, my all, my living for a lost soul? I desire, I strongly desire to see a soul come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah the prophet said,
“Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” Jeremiah 9:1
God has given me what I need to lead a lost, condemned, dying man, or woman to Jesus. By the power of His Spirit in me I can and will do it.
“And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah.
Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, and said unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before Him; ‘If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull down, and I will plant you, and not pluck up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land.’ ” Jeremiah 42:7-12 (KJB)
First of all when you ask do not already have your mind made up what you are going to do.
That is apparently what the remnant of those left in Judah to care for the land, and the cities. With hypocritical hearts and minds they feigned wanting the will of God, so they go to the prophet Jeremiah asking him to seek the LORD’S counsel on His will.
The above verses are God’s answer to Jeremiah for the people. It is a message of hope and promise if they will stay in the land. It is a promise that they need not fear Babylon their captors. What they need to do is do what the LORD says, and they will be protected and greatly blessed.
When we ask God’s counsel for something do we already have our minds made up of what we are going to do? It does not matter what God says in His word we often do what we want to do. That is a sad commentary on the life of a Christian, and it robs us of the promise, protection, and provision of the LORD our God.
When we ask, let us ask that the will of God be done. Let us ask for the courage, faith, and power of the Spirit of God in us to walk in His way; not our own. When God says “Stay”, let us stay. When God says “Go” let us go.
Our rest, our hope lies only in the Son of God who is Jesus Christ, God who became flesh, and dwelt among us. He died on the cross for ours sins, was buried, and He rose again.
“Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
“And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying,
‘O LORD of Hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, Thou art the God, Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: Thou hast made heaven and earth.
Incline Thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open Thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God. Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, and have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.
Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD, Thou only.’ ” Isaiah 37:14-20 (KJB)
The enemy was at the gates of Jerusalem. Threatening letters had been sent, mocking letters and words had been written and said for the people on the wall to hear. The purpose was to cause them to fear.
Fear has a way of crippling, and handicapping the victim. Fear makes victims of its prey. Fear is a coward which is a sneak; because it creeps in unseen, and often unheard until it strikes.
We all deal with it. Notice what Hezekiah did when he received the fearful, mocking letter from the king of Assyria; he went to thee LORD, laid out the letter before Him and prayed.
God heard the king’s prayer and sent word to him, by way of the prophet; and God took care of the mocking king; and over night killed 185,000 of the soldiers of Assyria.
What is attacking you today? Have you put your faith and trust in the Lord by believing what He says about His Son Jesus the Christ? Jesus died on the cross for your sins, He was buried, and He rose again. When you know Jesus you have access to the very throne of God (Hebrews 4:16).
When fear from the enemy comes in, you now have the authority of Heaven to take your case to the Throne.
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:2-4 (KJB)
The Apostle has just dealt with Christians who have in their employment people of lesser wealth. Masters were to treat their servants or employees rightly (Colossians 3:22-4:1). The verses above could also be Paul’s words for them; but even the words of Paul in the previous chapter are words for Christians in every age.
What was the Apostle encouraging the saints at Colossae to do? To continue in prayer. The request was for Paul to have an open opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that all about Jesus would be revealed as the word went forth.
How we need that continuing prayer today.
As I read these words this morning I got to wondering about the phrase the apostle Paul used “Pray without ceasing”. Is there any difference between “Continue in prayer” and “Pray without ceasing”?
I found this note from the Matthew Henry Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing…
Note, The way to rejoice evermore is to pray without ceasing. We should rejoice more if we prayed more. We should keep up stated times for prayer, and continue instant in prayer. We should pray always, and not faint: pray without weariness, and continue in prayer, till we come to that world where prayer shall be swallowed up in praise. The meaning is not that men should do nothing but pray, but that nothing else we do should hinder prayer in its proper season. Prayer will help forward and not hinder all other lawful business, and every good work.
Pray for those who are standing in the place of sharing, of preaching the gospel of Christ. Pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit, for an open door of opportunity, and His work in revealing the word of God to the hearers.
In Jesus Christ alone is there honest sincere prayer heard by the throne of God; and that through the blood of Christ shed at Calvary’s cross, His burial, and resurrection.
“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:13-21 (KJB)
This was the apostle Paul’s prayer for the Ephesus Church, and all saints of God. Let it be my prayer for the Lord’s Church where I serve, and all the Body of Christ.
“I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” John 17:4-5 (KJB)
Glorify the Lord. Now that is a grand statement, and it is one that describes how our lives are to be. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” How can we who are born sinners, then, glorify the Lord? Of ourselves we cannot.
Now that is a bold statement coming from a man who some would say, and are saying that He is not deity. No mere man could make such a claim, but Jesus does in His prayer to the Father. How could He make such a claim were He not equal with the Father? He could not. It would be the height of pride and arrogance for anyone else to say such a thing. It would be next door to blasphemy.
To glorify the Lord would be to be obedient to Him in all things, and fulfill every thing that God has for you and me to do. There would be no disobedience. There would be no mistakes. There would be a life completely “Sold out” to doing the Father’s business. Jesus has lived a life of complete obedience to all the Father had for Him to do, and all the way to Calvary; the cross of sacrifice.
The desire of every Christian is to live for the glory of the Lord. The only way of doing that is to live the life of Christ in you, the hope of glory. We do that by realizing that it was by the sacrifice of the life of Jesus that God has reconciled us to Himself, and given us means to glorify Him in Jesus.
Notice the faith and confidence in Jesus’s praying. He is eternal with the Father. He possessed glory before the world, or the universe ever was. His glory is His greatness, His power, His strength, His song, His priority. His Father’s glory. Where I have fallen short; where you have fallen short of His glory; Jesus is the Father’s glory.
Jesus is praying for His own glory. It seems quite clear. This is His High Priest prayer, and He has come to accomplish His Father’s glory by the sacrifice of Himself for all the world. The task He came to do required that He lay His creation glory aside, take on the flesh of man, and die. How can God die? He cannot. Becoming flesh He could become sin, paying the price of sin, being put to death – the penalty for sin – and then rise again victoriously over death.
The glory is seen by His resurrection from the grave. The Father restores His glory in the resurrection, and He is alive for all the world to see. Did the Father answer His prayer; this prayer? Most assuredly He did; and is every day.
Jesus is alive and in His glory.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do.” John 14:12-14 (KJB)
In this scene Jesus is preparing His disciples for life without His bodily presence. He is soon to depart from this earth by way of death, burial, and bodily resurrection; then to ascend up bodily unto the Father in their very presence (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-11). Did you notice that in Acts where the angels said, “He will come again in like manner”?
I want to deal with that verse where it sounds as though you can ask for anything you want, and God is supposed to give it. It is not. The works Jesus did before His death. The miracles, and even more importantly the fearlessness in preaching the word, calling sinners to repentance and faith in God through the Son. His life was given for all who would believe in Him to be saved and live forever in the presence of the God of all creation.
Ask what you will according to His name, and God will give it. That is ask what He would ask for. Most of the time what Jesus asked for was to glorify the Father. Is that a hint or what?
It is almost surely a sign of immaturity, or unbelief if one thinks that they can ask for cars, homes, lands, health, etc., and think that God is obligated to give them. Remember this: God is obligated to no one or no thing.
Ask for salvation. Ask for God’s will in your life. Ask for souls to be saved. Ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Ask that the word of God go forth in power; and much more. Cars, houses, lands, even health? What is that compared to eternity with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
I ask God today to save the soul that is nearest Hell. Could that be you?
1 Kings 17:17,18
And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?
This may very be a real “Say what?” moment. Things have been tough on both Elijah the Prophet and the widow woman he has been living with. Elijah has spent a year camped out by a brook, alone save for a providing bird. The woman had been living alone with her son, watching the land grow dry and her food run out. Then Elijah had come along and things may have seemed to be looking up.
The woman’s son…
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“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, ‘Peace and safety;’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, be patient toward all. See that none render evil for evil unto any, but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all.
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.
Despise not prophesyings.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calls you, who also will do.
Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28
REFERENCES: Matthew 24:3, 43; Acts 1:7; Isaiah 13:6; 59:17; Hosea 13:13; Romans 9:22; 13:12; 14:8; 16:16; Luke 21:34; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2:11; 16:18; Leviticus 19:18; 2 Corinthians 6:10; Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 4:3, 16
“And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, ‘Lord, Thou God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the mouth of Thy servant David hast said, ‘Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ.’ For of a truth against Thy holy Child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy word, by stretching forth Thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Thy holy Child Jesus.’
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:23-31 (KJB)
“And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, ‘Why sleep ye? Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.’” Luke 22:45-46 (KJB)
“And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly…” says verse 44. He was in agony because of what lay before Him. His flesh was growing weak because of the agony. He longed with all His heart to fulfill the task which lay before Him, and He prayed.
The disciples were sleeping, due to sorrow, yet needed to pray. Peter needed to pray for strength in what lay ahead for him in a few short hours; for then he would deny he even knew Jesus. He needed to pray, rather than sleep.
It is with all sincerity I say this, I do not believe that any human being has experienced the agony equal to that Jesus was suffering on the Mount of Olives that night. We could not have born that sorrow, that agony. I too would probably just go to sleep.
O how I need to pray. We need to be in agony for our lost, condemned, and dying neighbors. Are we willing to pray for them? Are we willing to do what it takes to see that they hear the message of Jesus Christ; that He died for our sins, was buried, and He rose again? Are we willing to share with others what He has done and is doing for us?
Let us rise from our stupor of sleep, and pray.
Sovereign Lord, what I most desired you have denied, yet I praise you! On what account, I know not, yet I praise you. You have done it; that silences me. Your will makes it indisputable, and renders it my indispensable duty to your wise determinations. Hitherto I have had no complaint on the conduct of providence; nor shall I complain until all the mazes are explained. Do, then, all your counsel, though all my counsels should come to nothing. Can a person expect favors from God–who will not wait for God’s way and time?
But what does it matter how the affairs of a present world go, if the interests of the next world are secured? The weather-vane is whirled about with every blast, but the iron spire is still at rest, because it cannot be displaced. So, what does it matter though the outward man decays–if the inner man…
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“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after Him. And when they had found Him, they said unto Him, ‘All men seek for Thee.’ And He said unto them, ‘Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.’ And He preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.” Mark 1:35-39 (KJB)
O, how Jesus longed to fulfill His Father’s will. Jesus knew it involved much committed time with Him in prayer. My how I fall so short on committed time to prayer. I do try to stay in touch with God through my day, but I lack power with Him; at least it seems so with me. Lord help me with my praying. I need You in my life in power and glory. I am weak, but you are Mighty.
The following is from the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary on verse 35 of Mark 1…
“And in the morning — that is, of the day after this remarkable sabbath; or, on the first day of the week. His choosing this day to inaugurate a new and glorious stage of His public work, should be noted by the reader.
rising up a great while before day — “while it was yet night,” or long before daybreak.
he went out — all unperceived from Peter’s house, where He slept.
and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed — or, “continued in prayer.” He was about to begin His first preaching and healing circuit; and as on similar solemn occasions (Luk_5:16; Luk_6:12; Luk_9:18, Luk_9:28, Luk_9:29; Mar_6:46), He spent some time in special prayer, doubtless with a view to it. What would one not give to have been, during the stillness of those grey morning hours, within hearing – not of His “strong crying and tears,” for He had scarce arrived at the stage for that – but of His calm, exalted anticipations of the work which lay immediately before Him, and the outpourings of His soul about it into the bosom of Him that sent Him! He had doubtless enjoyed some uninterrupted hours of such communings with His heavenly Father ere His friends from Capernaum arrived in search of Him. As for them, they doubtless expected, after such a day of miracles, that the next day would witness similar manifestations. When morning came, Peter, loath to break in upon the repose of his glorious Guest, would await His appearance beyond the usual hour; but at length, wondering at the stillness, and gently coming to see where the Lord lay, he finds it – like the sepulchre afterwards – empty! Speedily a party is made up to go in search of Him, Peter naturally leading the way.” JAMIESON, FAUSSET, AND BROWN COMMENTARY
“O LORD my God, in You do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; if I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yes, I have delivered him that without cause is my enemy:) let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yes, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay my honor in the dust. Selah.” Psalm 7:1-5 (KJV)
As believers and followers of Jesus Christ we put our complete faith and trust in Him. It is a good thing not to be concerned about those who might persecute us due to our faith, but we ought always pray for them, and that they would come to the faith of Christ as well.
There are none who can deliver as our GOD and King who we believe, know, and receive through the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Our prayer can and should be that of David as he prayed this prayer – “If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; if I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me…”, then, we can know that we will be aware when we have behaved ourselves unseemly toward another of Adamkind. We ought to always love our neighbor as we love ourselves; and that is seen the the final six Commandments God gave us.
In David’s prayer he even asks for his judgment to be swift and sure concerning his evil treatment of those who were at peace with him. I would say we ought to always be a good neighbor, no matter who that neighbor might be. Difficult? With some neighbors, NO! With other neighbors, Sometimes, and maybe always. The responsibility of being a good neighbor is mine, the Christians, not the neighbor’s.
If we mistreat someone who is peaceful toward us, then, we need not complain when we are treated likewise by someone else. There is still, and always will be application of Paul’s words, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7).
Even the apostle Paul; maybe I should say, “The apostle Paul” needed prayer just as any of us do. Prayer must not be something we do only when we have an emergency situation. We “…ought always to pray and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). Sometimes we get requests for praying for specific personal needs from others, and that is good. Paul had need in the following request because he sensed, that the word and gospel of Jesus Christ were being attacked and hindered.
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 (KJV)
I am certain Paul had other more personal needs, but this request shows that his heart was on the things of Christ, not of the flesh. Note that he first asked that the word have free course; that it would spread throughout Thessalonica, and surrounding areas freely, in power, and with speed. He requested that we pray for the glory of God, and His word, and to be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for there are people in the world who get hateful toward the word of God, and the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, and His cross. That is true in 2017 as well.
He tells us that “…For all men have not faith”, and the state is a continuation of the “Unreasonable and wicked men” in the areas we live. Some of these unreasonable people do not want God in anything, even to the point of using law to oppose God, who is the One who has given us law.
Let me end by encouraging you to stay faithful to the Lord in His word, and prayer, living for Him; being a faithful witness of His power and glory; knowing that He is coming soon. Let us wait patiently for Him.
Remember He loves you so much He willingly went to the cross, died for our sins, was buried, and He rose again, and He is returning.
Making decisions involving others is not an easy task. There are people out to take advantage of you, to get all they can get from you. The Great and Awesome God who has made all things gave us a mind and heart to use, but we do need help at times.
I want to take us today to an event in the life and leadership of Joshua and Israel after they had conquered Jericho, been defeated by Ai due to their sin, conquered Ai after dealing with the sin in their midst.
There was a tribe of people from Gibeon who were inhabitants of the land of Canaan, and tried to deceive Joshua into believing they were from a land outside of Canaan.
“Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us. This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: and these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.” Joshua 9:11-14 (KJV)
These Hivites had heard of the victories of Israel on the other side of Jordan; the defeating of Sihon and Og. They were frightened for their lives, and practiced deceit to win their lives. Not any different than many people today. “Whatever it takes” we will often do to save our own lives, and that of family.
The sentence of the verses above I want us to focus on is verse 14…
And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.
Joshua and the leaders took their word, their food, as a gift of assurance that they were from outside Canaan. Had they prayed, and asked the LORD’S counsel the outcome would have been much different.
These Gibeonites would eventually be found out; made servants for Israel; and would be a pain, sorrow, and thorn in the side of the people of God.
When it comes to dealing with others; making deals, promises, and such we ought always go to God in prayer first. Prayer should not be the last resort; it should be the first thing we do when making decisions of life’s importance.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
Pray. Seek God’s counsel. Always.
“Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, He will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.” Daniel 6:11-17ff (KJV)
DANIEL IS FOUND PRAYING, ACCUSED, AND CONVICTED (vv. 11-17). The spies went back to work as soon as the decree was signed. Spying on only one man it seems. What treachery and deceit.
Daniel was guilty as charged. Oh that we might be found praying. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Is there enough evidence in your life; in mine; to prove you guilty of being a Christian? If I were to die on my knees in prayer, witnessing to a lost person, or preaching from the pulpit; I could not think of a better place or way to go home to Heaven from.
These men are very persistent in getting the king to fulfill his own decree. The laws of the Medes and Persians are not altered (v. 8). What was the king to do? He tried all day to find a way out for Daniel. The king loved Daniel. Finally, with much pain of heart, disgust, and probably discontent toward himself for decreeing such a law, and toward these others the king declares Daniel guilty and sentences him to the lion’s den.
THE KING’S NIGHT OF UNEASY FASTING, SLEEPLESSNESS – AND DANIEL’S NIGHT WITH THE LIONS (vv. 18-23). Darius spent the night tormented by what he had done. He would not eat. He refused to sleep. “No musical instruments” implies he refused to sleep. The music was used to sooth a troubled soul – he refused it.
The king was probably first to the lion’s den the next morning. He cries out to Daniel. There must have been some faith there. He had some hope that Daniel was alive or he would not have called out his name. Notice the king’s testimony, “Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God whom thou servest continually able to deliver thee from the lions?” Living God; as opposed to the dead gods of the Medes and Persians.
Daniel was alive. God had sent “His angel”. Who was this? It is most likely the same one who walked in the fire with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah [Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego]. (Remember I am wanting the readers here to know there God given names). None other than the pre-incarnate Son of God. A Sunday School teacher was teaching a children’s class the story of Daniel. One little girl said she knew why Daniel was delivered from the lions. She said, “Because, the chief lion was ‘the Lion of the Tribe of Judah’”. What a wonderful answer. With Daniel in the lion’s den the lions – by God’s power – reverted back to their pre-fall condition; non meat eating, but rather eating of grass, roots, fruits and such. I can sort of imagine Daniel sitting down and one big male comes walking up to him, not growling, but purring like a kitten, brushing his side up next to Daniel’s leg. Daniel gets cold during the night and a lioness comes and lays next to him to keep him warm, and Daniel using one as a pillow on which to lay his head.
The king spends the night in a comfortable castle, with a comfortable bed – if there was such a thing in that age – but cannot sleep. Daniel rests in peace, and is warmed by the one’s who were supposed to slay him and have him for the last evening’s supper.
There was no mark or hurt found on Daniel. He was taken out of the lion’s den in the same shape as he was cast in. Most likely with a stronger faith in God now, than when he was thrown in the den.
JUDGMENT COMES ON THE SCHEMERS AND PLOTTERS; THE JEALOUS ONES (v. 24). The conspirators are judged with the same judgment that they judge – “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” Matthew 7:2 (KJV).
In the book of Esther Haman schemes to have Mordecai hanged. His scheme is revealed to the king and Haman is hanged on his own gallows. Schemers will be found out and judged. Even if they are politicians, kings or presidents.
THE KING RECOGNIZES AND YIELDS TO THE POWER OF DANIEL’S GOD (vv. 25-28). Darius, like Nebuchadnezzar, makes a decree declaring Jehovah, the God of Daniel, as the only living God. His kingdom “Shall not be destroyed” as opposed to the kingdoms of men. God’s sovereignty is forever and over all that is.
Notice the final verse of chapter six. Daniel prospered during the reign of the Medes and Persians. WHY? Because of His faithfulness to God
FOUR QUALITIES OF DANIEL, THAT CHRISTIAN’S NEED IN EVERY AGE:
He had a consistent attitude;
He was consistent in his performance;
He had a consistent purity;
He was consistent in prayer.
Let us pray to be consistent in these practices, and watch God be glorified.
A life like this (the life of consistency) begins by believing in Christ Jesus through His death on the cross for our sins, His burial – carrying away our sin, our shame, our guilt, our condemnation, and death; and He was gloriously raised from the grave, and He forever lives. Believe Him, and live with Him forever, beginning the moment you believe.
“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.” Acts 12:5-9 (KJV)
Prayer, in the early Church was not a means for changing the will of God, but the means of getting into the will of God, and doing it. God works and moves when His people pray.
Puritan Preacher Thomas Watson is quoted
“The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that fetched the angel.”
Peter’s life lay in the balance; yet he lay peacefully in prison, lying in chains, and bound to a prison guard. He had confidence in the Lord God, and peacefully slept while God was at work delivering him from a cold dark, damp and dank prison. Yet, he slept so soundly the angel needed to smite him on the side to awaken him, and it seems “Raised him up”.
There is no place the child of God can get where God is not there. God was in prison with Peter that day. Why was Peter in prison? For preaching Jesus and Him crucified, buried and resurrected fulfilling the will of God for His life.
Peter was being an obedient servant of the Spirit of God. We must learn to be praying for all those who do the will of God; and pray that we be doing the will of God, and glorifying His name.
Warren Wiersbe has written
“God works when churches pray, and Satan still trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.”
Peter was delivered from prison. When the Church prays, when we who love the Lord Jesus Christ prays, heaven pays attention, people’s lives change, things change, and God is glorified.
“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:4 (KJV)
In chapter six there was some contention over the neglect of some of the Grecians because their widows were not being cared for; at least the way the families thought they ought to be.
The Church in Jerusalem was growing. People were being delivered from sin and condemnation. The apostles were loaded with many responsibilities, thus the accusations of neglect.
The apostles were chosen by the Spirit of God to be preachers of the gospel; so in that they would, and should give themselves to the ministry of prayer, and the preaching of the word. O that the preachers of God’s word today would get that burden; for if we are not in the word of God and prayer we will be powerless, and find ourselves struggling with emptiness of heart and soul, wondering about if we are doing what we are called to do or not.
It is not that the apostles, or the preacher today would be neglecting their duties of service, and ministry; they are rather giving themselves to the greater responsibility of calling people to Christ, and His work in and through them.
With every Christian gifted by the Spirit of God to serve one another, the Church is blessed and it grows as God blesses and leads. See Romans 12:3-15; 1 Corinthians 12.
The Church chose seven men. The most remembered one is Stephen. These seven men were full of the Spirit of God, they did the work they were chosen to do, and the apostles were able to do the work they were called and chosen to do, and the Church was blessed…
“…Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:6-7
You will note also, that, many priests of the Hebrews became believers as well. Is God good, great, marvelous or what? He is. He is indeed.
What do I want for Christmas today?
To be the man of prayer that I ought to be; praying in the will of God, for His glory, power and praise; to pray continually, earnestly, diligently that His purposes may be accomplished in my life and the lives of others.
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:2-4 (NKJV)
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want to always be in the heart and mind of prayer to the GOD Most High, for my family – my children, grandchildren; and as my wife and I prayed for our children’s spouses from the time they were babies crawling on the floor, or before; so too pray for our grand children to have born again, and godly Christian spouses who love God, and His Word.
“And judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth fails; and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment.” Isaiah 59:14-15 (KJV)
The above verses are a part of Isaiah’s prayer confessing the sins of God’s people, and they had forsaken truth; which the prophet was confessing as their sin as well.
What do I want for Christmas today?
For courage in the midst of evil and wickedness; to stand faithful to God and His Word no matter what the wicked ones may do; even if it means my life; to always remember that God’s Word is the truth, even when others forsake it, trample it under feet, deny it, or twist it; God’s Word is sure; and every word of it will be fulfilled just as He has spoken it.
What do I want for Christmas?
With today’s “Want” I am being a bit selfish. I have a problem with my right knee which is in pain.
I want to ask those who read this, those who have a heart for God, His Word, and His Son, and prayer; to pray for healing. In addition I want to ask God to heal your hurts and pains today as well. God bless you, and Thank you.
Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.” Psalm 25:18 (KJV)
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16
What do I want for Christmas?
Remember today is the LORD’S Day; if you love the Lord GOD you will be in worship services somewhere where the Word of God is preached.
I want to always remember that no matter how bad I sin, or transgress God’s law; or no matter how bad others sin or transgress God’s law we cannot thwart the word of God, nor avert Him from His plan for our good or His glory.
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure. Yet have I set My king upon My holy hill of Zion.” Psalm 2:1-6 (KJV)
What do I want for Christmas?
I want power with God in praying, and prayer; to pray for a soul to be saved, and they are; to pray for God to show Himself strong and He is; to pray for healing in marriages, and they are.
This is another LORD’S Day; let us pray now and when we are in our houses of worship.
Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25 (KJV)
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:15
What do I want for Christmas?
I want my family, friends and neighbors to be blessed, in peace, comfort and wealth; most of all to be blessed with the peace and presence of the Lord in their lives.
“The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)
What do I want for Christmas?
Whenever I am prosperous, or whenever I am afflicted, and mourning, and without the material blessings of God; that I will always be before the “face of God”. That all those who are called Christian might always be aware that we are always “before the face of God”.
Many times, even as King David, when we are blessed we forget God; and it can be so when we are grieving too.
Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.” Psalm 30:6-7 (NKJV)
What do I want for Christmas?
I want all my family, friends, neighbors, and enemies to be at peace with God, one another, and themselves in the New Year of 2016.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2 (NKJV)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
It seems every December people start talking about Christmas, and the “Christmas spirit”. My thoughts this Christmas season was this,
If I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, and wear the name “Christian”, then shouldn’t I [we] be living with that ‘Christmas spirit’ every day?
So I determined to see what the mind and heart of Christ would be for each day from the first day following Christmas 2015 until Christmas 2016 (providing the Lord wills that I live that long, or the rapture does not occur).
I pray they will lead me to follow Jesus even more faithfully in the year ahead. I also pray that for you and all who may read these pieces.
“Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NKJV)
What do I want for Christmas?
In the coming year I want to see many who are the enemy of God [Jehovah]; those who refuse the gift of God in His Son Jesus Christ; to have their eyes opened to the truth of who Jesus is; and that they will fall on their knees in repentance believing Him, trusting all that the Word of God says of Him, that He died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and that He rose from the dead, for our eternal salvation.
As I said on the previous post on this matter; this may be tedious, but I will do my best to keep it to the point.
What do I want for Christmas? I want my life to be full of the Spirit of Jesus Christ; which is the Holy Spirit; so that others may see Him in me, and desire to know Him.
I am basing these wants on Scripture such as Psalm 37:4; Mark 11:24; and John 15:7
On the first day of December of 2015 as I was writing in my journal I had a thought of counting down the 25 days til Christmas with the question “What do I want for Christmas?”
The first day the “want” was, “A fuller heart and life for my Lord and Savior.” In those 25 days I have thought of counting down until next Christmas with the same heart and mind; which I believe is the wants God gives me.
This may get tedious, draggy, and maybe some would say “Boring”; I do not believe in boring. I never use the word in my vocabulary, except as here, to rage against it.
This being day 366 before Christmas; What do I want for Christmas? I want the Spirit of God who has created all things to reach into the hearts and minds of all who come here, convict of sin the hearts of those who do not know Him and draw them to Himself for salvation.
Prayer is something many people talk about. Prayer: just what is it? Is prayer not one speaking with God?
Can an unredeemed individual pray to a holy God; and get an answer? The Psalmist has written, “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18).
How important is prayer? It was important to Jesus. It was His time with His Father, and provided solace, strength, and wisdom in decision making. When He was overwhelmed by masses of people; He would go away to pray (Luke 5:12-16). Hear what Luke says…
“And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12 (KJV)
Let me just close by adding this comment. If Jesus the Son of God, God the Son needed to pray; so do I. I cannot live, breath or have any being without Him.
To whom do we pray? To the Father through the Son; because He made the way possible into the very throne of His grace; to find help in the time of need. (See Hebrews 4:16).
NOW, Let us go pray, and pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
We are looking at a recorded prayer of Daniel today. Daniel is confessing the sins of his people, his nation while they are held captive in Babylon. He has read the prophet Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2), and saw the great need for the repentance of the people. The place to begin repentance is with myself.
Hear the heart of Daniel and read through chapter nine, but for this post hear the heart of the man:
“As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all His works which He doeth: for we obeyed not His voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought Thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten Thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.” Daniel 9:13-15 (KJV)
Daniel sees that the LORD is righteous, and that He watches over us even when evil is prevailing; so that the evil that is upon His people might work to make His people a holy, and righteous people.
One of the things that seems apparent to me is that evil is its own destruction. Evil never triumphs at anything. Evil causes fear in the hearts of people, and God’s people too. Evil causes us to move away from God, then it is brought to destruction; and the people of God return to Him.
We must confess our sin; for we have sinned. We must ask for forgiveness from God. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Through the cross, the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His burial, and bodily resurrection there is forgiveness, and everlasting life in the presence of the Lord our God.
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: but verily God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.” Psalm 66:18-20 (KJV)
Have you ever noticed a time when it seems as though you are not getting through to God, as you pray? It just seems to feel as though your prayers are not even getting past the ceiling? That is; should I say; a painful, sorrowful feeling.
When God hears our prayer it is due solely to His mercy and grace. He hears your prayer, my prayer every time we pray. Yet, it seems as though He does not.
Part of the problem is addressed by the Psalmist when he writes, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me…” To “regard iniquity” is to hold on to it; refusing to let it go; even to the point of rejecting God, His word and His direction for our lives.
There are things which is within the realm of “regarding iniquity” which hinders our prayers. One is for the husband not to treat his wife well (1 Peter 3:7), and I am almost certain that that would include the wife not treating her husband well. Another thing is praying with lustful desire which would include greed for things (James 4:3).
The prayers God hears are those we pray in His name. Jesus said, “What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24). Also, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7. When we have received the change which comes with receiving Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour our heart’s desire changes too. We desire what God desire, and so pray accordingly “In His name”.
Jesus said, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
God hears the prayer of His people whose hearts are directed toward His heart by the cross of Jesus Christ.
“O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!” Job 16:21 (KJV)
Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar had come to Job with good intentions. Their silence for those first seven days was more comforting, caring, and supportive than any of the words they spoke thereafter. Job even states in verse 2; “Miserable comforters are ye all.”
Job’s words in the text is as a man, or a woman could stand before God; like in a court; and plead for their friend or neighbor. Job’s thoughts were pleading for a reprieve from suffering, judgment, pain. If the shoe was on the other food, that is what Job would have done; if it were possible.
Can we make a plea to God in behalf of our friends, neighbors; even our enemies? If we can should we? The answer is yes on both counts.
Because of the wondrous grace of God through the cross of Jesus Christ we have access to the very throne and presence of God. Those who have come to God through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the priests of God; therefore we can come before Him with our pleading, supplications, prayers, and petitions.
We come before the court of our LORD, and plea for our neighbor’s salvation; their health which may be failing; their wealth; their family; and any other thing or need they may have. It should be a privilege, honor, and duty of love to do so. Even if your neighbor is an “Enemy” we still must pray, and plead for them.
“Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech Thee, save Thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD God, even Thou only.” 2 Kings 19:19 (KJV)
The king of Assyria had sent Rabshakeh his commander of the Assyrian army to threaten, to defame, to despise, to show contempt for Judah, her king, and her God.
Being the man of God king Hezekiah was he went to God in prayer, laid the letter of mockery out before the LORD and prayed.
An ongoing theme through out all of the Old Testament, is “Know that the LORD is God” or that “GOD is the Lord”. That phrase can be found at least 63 times in the prophecy of Ezekiel. Here it is again in the prayer of Hezekiah.
The LORD God is our only help. He alone will hear prayer. We access His throne only through the sacrifice of His Son.
Since it is so readily mentioned throughout Scripture, then, we should get the strong impression that the world needs to know that the He is “the LORD God”, and that there is no other; and that He is known solely through His only offering for sin. That is His Son Jesus Christ.