Pray with Purpose & Intensity

Question: If you were in a desperate situation and needed help, how would you want people to respond?

I would want people to recognize that without their help and intervention, the desperate situation I’m in will only get worse.

Case in point: When someone shares a request for help on Facebook, like the report of a missing teenager, or someone suffering with a critical disease, how do you respond?

I have caught myself posting the common, “Praying!!!!” response, but am I really PRAYING EXCLAMATION POINT, EXCLAMATION POINT, EXCLAMATION POINT.

I had to admit this morning that I have not been interceding this way lately, and I repented.

I lifted up my prayer to God on behalf of the missing teenager as if she were my child. I cried out, knowing how desperately I would want my daughter kept safe and returned to me unharmed. I asked the Lord to protect and keep her from all evil, and that if she had run away, her heart would be softened to call her family and ask them to come get her.

Next I prayed for a precious 4 year old little boy battling cancer. Of course I would want my child healed! What loving parent wouldn’t? I asked God to heal him and give him back strength, health and wholeness. I prayed that God will strengthen and encourage the child’s parents, knowing how helpless they must feel watching their child suffer.

I identified with each of the people I prayed for, imagining what would want the Lord to do for me in a similar situation.

We serve an awesome, powerful and GENEROUS God, who wants us to pray about everything! (See also Luke 18:1-7)

So be bold in prayer! Ask for God’s best and highest when you are praying on behalf of others, keeping in mind that you may be the link in the prayer chain that helps bring good, or more accurately, GOD, into a bad situation.

I’m leaving you with 2 scriptures that confirm the truth of this principle. Be a warrior with God in prayer! He will honor your passion & faith!

Blessings!

“Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” James 5:16 Amplified Bible

Yes,truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.
Now the Lord saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.
 And He saw that there was no man,
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him.” (Isaiah 59:15-16)

strength for the battle

The Positive Purpose of Suffering in Christ

The bad things that come into our lives have different intended purposes, depending upon whose point of view we identify with and adopt.

 Satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy, whereas God wants us to experience His abundant life (John 10:10). There is a choice we have to make when we are confronted with trials and temptations. Satan’s plan is that we will cave into fear, depression and pressure, whereas God wants us to turn to Him for wisdom, comfort and grace. When David wrote, “He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3), he was saying, ‘The Lord helps me to live according to what He says is right and correct, so others can see that He is real, faithful and true. By God’s grace, I will not bring shame or reproach to His Holy name!’

 Our loving, Heavenly Father wants us to have a testimony that we can share to encourage others. Satan wants to destroy our witness for Christ and cause us to be ineffective in God’s kingdom.

 If we grumble and complain when things don’t go our way, we sound no different than the rest of the world. If we lie, cheat and steal when things get tight, we fit in with the enemy’s plan, not God’s.  When we are suffering with pain, sickness or fear, God does not intend for these things to take us down. His intention is that we will be victorious in these battles through His power, strength, wisdom and love.

 When you are going through difficult or painful circumstances, who would you rather speak with– someone who has never experienced what you are dealing with or someone whom God has brought through difficult times and can share the wisdom they gained? Someone who can only offer cliches and sympathy or someone who can speak words of life and truth, encouraging you to hang on to God because He is faithful—and their lives can prove it by their testimony.

 It’s a no brainer.

 When you come up against a wall, go to God and ask Him for help. Cry out to Him for wisdom, insight and grace. Seek Him in the word and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you and strengthen you. Sometimes the battles are so intense you need constant help throughout the day just to stay focused and functioning…but it’s ok. He doesn’t mind our repeated requests for help. He knows we can’t make it without Him.

 Trust God to bring you through, whether you are dealing with a rebellious, strung-out child, a failing marriage or facing foreclosure on your home. God has your answer. He is your answer. He will strengthen you and help you. And when He does, then you will be able to turn around and help someone else in a similar situation.

 Blessings and strength for the battle!

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

strength for the battle

What is your assignment for today?

“The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” Isaiah 50:4

When you pray, do you expect to hear from the Lord? Do you believe that He speaks, or that He still speaks today?

He most certainly does! And as followers of Christ, we are called not only to be disciples, or learners, but also ambassadors and bright lights, offering hope to the hopeless and leading people to Jesus- the One who loves them and can set them free. What an awesome and joyful privilege!

Before you become overwhelmed, frightened, discouraged or anxious let me just assure that the Lord knows what He is doing and He knows who He wants to reach through you. There are hurting, lost people all around us but that doesn’t mean they are all ready to receive His help. Many people don’t want His help, at least not yet…which is where prayer comes in. Keep praying for people, for difficult situations, for seemingly impossible circumstances. Trust that God hears you. If He wants you to do something further, He will let you know.

Back to the assignment part…

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He preached to multitudes of people but He would also seek out the one person who desperately needed His help. Jesus always sought the will of God.

One of my favorite examples is found in Mark 4:36 – Mark 5:20. Jesus had been preaching to the crowds but as evening came He told His disciples, “Let’s go to the other side” (of the Sea of Galilee). There is a companion lesson with the storm and Jesus calming the sea but I will save that for a later post. Bottom line is that Jesus and His disciples disembarked in the Gadarenes region and were met by a demon possessed man. He was in terrible bondage, so much so that he howled, cut himself with rocks and ran around naked like an animal. Human attempts to restrain the poor man no longer worked. The man ran to Jesus and fell at his feet, where upon the demons inside him began to speak. They recognized Jesus. They know who He is and what authority He wields. Jesus commanded the demons to leave the man, the demons entered a herd of pigs and promptly caused the herd to stampede down to the sea and drown.

The good news was that the tormented man was restored and found fully clothed, sitting next to Jesus. Jesus had rescued and delivered a person who had no other means of getting free. I would guess that most people had given up on him…but not God. Possibly not the man’s family, either, which you will see later.

Anyway, there were also some herdsmen who witnessed what happened. They ran and informed the townspeople. The people came out to see what all the commotion was about, then recognize the formerly demon-possessed man and notice how he has changed. They become frightened and beg Jesus to leave their area. That’s another story also, but suffice to say, Jesus doesn’t stay where He is not wanted, which is why we don’t have to “make” people accept Jesus. He told us how we are to respond when His message is rejected- just don’t do it with a haughty attitude or in anger.

So, back to the passage: As Jesus is leaving, the man begs him (Jesus) to allow him to travel with them, but Jesus says no. Rather, He instructs the man to return home to his own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for him and how much mercy he has been shown.

Awesome! This man was restored to his family & community- a living example of the mercy and power of Christ! Perhaps someone, his mother or father, sister, brother or friend had been crying out to God on that man’s behalf, pleading with God to have mercy, to heal him and set him free…and at the right time, God sent Jesus.

Someone, somewhere is crying out to God for someone you know; someone in your realm of influence. Perhaps the person is crying out himself, pleading with God to have mercy—or crying out to the air because they are not sure if God is real, and if so, does He care….does He see…

You are their answer. You know Jesus. You know what He has done in your life. You have seen and heard what He has done for others. You can lead them to Christ. You can offer words of hope, truth and encouragement. You can be His hands that comfort and heal, feed and clothe. You can speak the truth that sets people free.

Be a willing vessel today. Allow the Lord to lead you to people who need and want His help. Something in your testimony, in your experience with God, will be a blessing to someone else today.

God bless you all!