Pray As You Go – 2020/03/23

You Prayed – Now open the door

 

“Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—let him rescue the one in whom he delights!” Psalm 22:8

The world literally is gripped by the coronavirus pandemic. World leaders have likened the pandemic to a war situation where we are under attack and have declared war against the virus. It looks as if this crisis could go on for weeks or even months. There is a shortage of staple items, businesses are closing, schools closed, churches going online for worship, the stock market in the deepest decline since 1987 and retirement accounts struggling. I never imagined such a crisis of this magnitude. Christians are praying. But what are we praying for?

There is an interesting encounter in Acts 12 of how God intervened when God’s people began to pray. The early church finds itself under a life-threatening siege by King Herod who is out to destroy the church to please the religious leaders. He had James and other believers killed and imprisoned many others, including Peter. The day before Peter is to be executed, the church responded the way it should be responding now, “the church prayed fervently to God.”

At a time when fear and panic should have gripped Peter, you find him in the dungeon, curled up next to two guards, sleeping like a baby. Suddenly a bright light shines and an angel appears. A pretty dramatic entrance to be sure, but not enough to wake up Peter. Peter is snoring away without any thought to what is ahead for him. The angel finally walks over to Peter and hits him on the side, waking him up from his deep sleep. The angel tells Peter to get dressed, they are leaving. Walking pass two sets of guards, then out a locked gate; Peter is out. “Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod.”

Peter heads for the house where the people are praying fervently for his release. Peter gets to the house and bangs on the gate. A young lady goes to the gate and recognizes Peter’s voice but, overcome with excitement, she forgets to let him into the house. Rhoda runs into the room and interrupts the prayer meeting telling them Peter is at the gate. Instead of being met with excitement, she is told, “You are out of your mind!” They probably immediately went back to praying. Finally, after repeatedly banging on the gate, Peter is let into the house. So, have you ever prayed so fervently you didn’t know when God was at the door with the answer?

So, what are we praying for? Will we get up and answer the door? It is often a challenge to put voice to what we are asking God. Thankfully God has provided the help you need when you don’t know what to pray. Romans 8:26-27 tells us, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Each of us have lived through dark days which now should give us the confidence to be able to stay hopeful and look forward to what God will do through this situation. These days will be one of the many milestones of our life when we someday look back and tell the next generation: God is able. We will then share together, “Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.” Psalm 21:13

God is great,

Pastor Lynn

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