Friday, May 15, 2009
Prayerfully Minded Fridays: Hang in and be strong
Have you ever had one of those weeks where Satan is coming at you full blast because he knows you are making a difference and he wants to stop that from continuing. That’s been my week. Some of it has been seemingly innocent. Some of it hasn’t.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us outright that, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” People think that it is others or other events that cause a tough day, but it is Satan acting in these things and people to make it so.
A DJ friend came on the air one day talking about how the toothbrush snapped off in his mouth. It ruined his day. But he did his show like nothing bothered him. He explained to me later in an interview that I did with him that radio personalities are expected to come on like the sun is high in the sky and it’s a beautiful regardless of what happens. It is truly similar the expectations of Christians in the face of trials to non-believers, but even moreso sometimes to believers. Why is this?
I think a lot of it has to do with people believing that Christians should be rock hard when it comes to bad times or even an expectation that nothing bad should happen to Christians. We’re supposed to shrug it off like a boxer does when hit by Mike Tyson. Unfortunately, hits from Mike Tyson aren’t that easy to shake off.
Even the story of Job has the men that sit with him asking what he did to gain God’s wrath, as if he had to have sinned to be beaten down. Solomon tells us that in Ecclesiastes 9:2 that, “All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.” So if there is no difference when it comes to how things happen to the saved and unsaved here on Earth, why are people so ready to point the finger?
So how do we stand against things that will come against us no matter how good we are? The answer is prayer. Here are a few verses to look at.
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.
He was merciful to David as he prayed. Psalm 66:19-20
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
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. 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 explains how effective prayer is in James 5:15-16
And finally, this nugget of truth is found at Phillipians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
So know that the difference is prayer and that God takes action on that prayer. You may still suffer, but you won’t suffer alone.
Here are a few things I am praying for this week.
Traveling mercies next week for my family and my mom. Mom is coming up from Florida to meet us in West Virginia to celebrate my 40th birthday.
Pray that we will be a beacon to people as we travel and as we are visiting family and friends. I do want to be the same person amongst the people who knew me and the people who know me now.
Pray for continued success for our church. During my little mini-vacation, the church begins a series on Sexual Revolution. This is to explain how sex is seen by God. It’s a two-parter and I pray for wisdom for not only Van and Tyler as they speak, but the hearers as they listen.
Pray for people who are struggling with unemployment or underemployment. May every person find the work that God intends them to do. It’s not about a J-O-B, it’s about finding enjoyment while you work.
Pray for students that are going to start enjoying their summer. Pray for their safety and that they do more than sit around. May then stretch their minds as much as their bodies.
Finally, pray for a friend of the ministry. If you’ve heard the story of Clay Crosse and his wife Renee, you know how phenomenal a couple they are in ministry together. Clay has been sick this week and struggling with his voice. Pray that he recovers quickly and that God shares with him the desires of his heart.
As always, I do love you guys. If you need prayer for anything, please list it below in the comments or if you’d like to not have as many people know what you’re praying for, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I keep your emails private and only share them with my accountability partners to pray for your needs.