1 Kings 8:37-40 – “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; 38 whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), 40 that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.” NKJV
Individuals, families, communities, states, businesses, and nations all face times of difficulty and distress. There are no exemptions! Some have more stress and distress than others but all face tests, trials, temptations, and difficulties. God, in numerous places throughout Scripture, gives a clear and definitive prescription and remedy. It is a remedy that is too often ignored, overlooked, or unknown and people are left to struggle in perilous times unnecessarily and needlessly.
We often insist that if enough people would unite in prayer, God would turn the tide and release us from the captivity of the distress. I want to suggest to you that is correct but also incorrect. There is one specific element in this prescription that I missed for years and once I saw it a spirit of rejoicing leaped in my heart. How could I have missed that? We know and quote Isaiah 59:19, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, God will raise up a standard against him.” Not IT, but Him! The enemy is not it, the enemy is a him and that him, is the devil. God has promised to build a hedge of protection around us and keep us in all our ways. Yet, so often we feel that the blame for the tide not turning is that there are not enough concerned and praying and we languish in that difficulty. Let me offer a word of encouragement and hope.
Notice in verse 37, the prophet describes some incredibly difficult times for a nation that could be applied to individuals and churches. Then notice in verse 38 an amazing statement and promise from God through the prophet. Read it. It says, “whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by ANYONE, or by ALL your people…” Did you hear that? Whatever prayer or supplication is made by ANYONE or by EVERYONE. Read on, “…when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple…” His prayer was that God would HEAR IN HEAVEN the prayer of ONE or the prayer of MANY and turn the tide and release from the captivity.
I believe that the troubles in America and the world today can be changed, healed, and restoration can transpire if ONE WILL PRAY or if ALL WILL PRAY but the key is that we PRAY and pray with 1 John 5:14-15 in mind and as a foundation. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” Remember the declaration of Isaiah 55:10-13 that the rain and snow come and waters the earth causing it to bud and produce so that it gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater. That reality is a reminder that God’s word will not return to Him without fulfilling His purpose and promise. The result is that we can then go out with joy and be led by peace!
What are we do in the time of trouble – CALL UPON THE LORD! We enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. We sing to ourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We run to Him, our high tower. We are gathered under his wings as a mother hen gathers her chicks. Rather than despair and lament about the trial rejoice in the promise of God and PRAY! Remember the Bible says that it is the effective and fervent prayer of the righteous that avails much. Declare with your mouth and believe in your heart that what God has promised He will perform and accept the invitation to come boldly before the throne of God and ask what you will, knowing He hears you, cares for you, and loves you!
God, bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!