Just a glance at the headlines around the world is enough to strike fear into the heart and cause us like the ostrich to bury our head in the sand! Gaza has been fiercely attacking Israel for years, escalating in 2012 and almost non-stop in 2014; Israel is rightfully defending her land and it’s people; Christians all over the world are being tolerated less and less, in many areas they are put into prison for their beliefs, still others they are being executed. Children being beheaded by ISIS. Threats also from them to kill every Christian they see. Genocide; 250 Nigerian girls abducted; persecution in Ukraine; speculation over Russian bomber flying in U.S. Air space…just to name a few headlines. No wonder so many people today avoid watching the news and many news stations are reporting little more than blips of these stories. Wars, threats of wars, nation rising up against nation and double standards within the national community. Comments like “you should just leave them alone and let them have their land ignoring that they are constantly bombing you.” Yet that very same people group would defend themselves to the hilt!
Interestingly, it sounds a lot like what Jesus said should happen before His return in Matthew 24:
“3 As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered them, “Watch out that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Make sure that you are not alarmed, for this must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 For nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these things are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. 10 Then many will be led into sin, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will appear and deceive many, 12 and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the person who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
This passage makes it clear, if you read further, that no one knows the time of His coming but we can know the signs and we can be educated and informed. You might wonder if you are like many of us, why be informed and aware because we think there isn’t any thing we can do about it. First let’s look at Revelation 1:3 for a minute…I know we avoid Revelation, it’s hard to understand and scary… But just hang in there this verse isn’t and it is very interesting…”Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy aloud, and blessed are those who hear and obey the things written in it, because the time is near!” Now think about this, whether Jesus return is imminent, twenty years away, or 2,000 more years away; one thing is true. We are closer today than we have ever been and we are not powerless nor helpless. If we are awake, alert and watching we can make a difference in our world today! Jesus Christ did not leave His people here powerless! He armed us with the Holy Spirit and power, with God’s Word and with Spiritual Armor so that we could fight. There is great power in our bending the knee in prayer and petition, interceding on behalf of Christian and Jewish believers around the world and on behalf of our own nation.
“and if My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Prayer is powerful! Elijah prayed down rain from Heaven, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land.” James 5:17 and “Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go get something to eat and drink, for I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!” So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees. Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.” The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.” Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.” Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’” And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. Then the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.” 1 Kings 18:41-45.
Many other examples include the prayers of Moses, David, Daniel, Jesus…just to get started. There are many powerful examples of prayer in the Bible and the power of prayer has not diminished in our day! God has also given many promises in His Word that we can hold on to. Let’s just look at one for now. In Leviticus 26, this is His promise to those who were obedient to Him…”
“3 “‘If you walk in My statutes and are sure to obey My commandments, 4 I will give you your rains in their time so that the land will give its yield and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. 5 Threshing season will extend for you until the season for harvesting grapes, and the season for harvesting grapes will extend until sowing season, so you will eat your bread until you are satisfied, and you will live securely in your land. 6 I will grant peace in the land so that you will lie down to sleep without anyone terrifying you. I will remove harmful animals from the land, and no sword of war will pass through your land.7 You will pursue your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you will pursue a hundred, and a hundred of you will pursue ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword. 9 I will turn to you, make you fruitful, multiply you, and maintain my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating stored produce from the previous year and will have to clean out what is stored from the previous year to make room for new. 11 “‘I will put my tabernacle in your midst and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you, and I will be your God and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, from being their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and caused you to walk upright.”
Our God has provided everything we need for life and godliness, He has placed within us His Holy Spirit and He will guide us and help us deal with anything that comes our way if we trust Him, hear. His voice, seek His face and learn to surrender our lives to Him. For He is humble and His yoke is easy, His burden is light. If we allow Him, He will direct our prayers, our words, our ways and our paths! I love how The Message words this passage from 2 Corinthians 2:
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Jul 7, 2009 – Uploaded by whitestone84
A Hero comes from the wilderness to cry out to the captives, pleading for them to awaken. This …