Tag Archives: widow

When Heaven is Silent

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Have you ever prayed about something near and dear to your heart for a long time and all your spirit hears are crickets?  Yeah, me too.  It’s times like those that it is easy to believe two lies:  1.)  God doesn’t hear us.  or 2.)  God chooses not to answer.

When I’m feeling spiritually weak, I am prone to believe one or both of these lies.

The Bible says that we walk by faith, not by sight, right? I’m so glad our spiritual walk is based on what the Bible says and not on how we feel or what we see.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” ~ I John 5:14-15

Over the course of my life, I have prayed countless prayers.  Some have taken years before I saw the answers come to fruition.  That just makes the answer that much more sweet.  Ah, the delays.  Why the delays?  We may never know this side of heaven but what we do know is that God wants us to pray, expecting that we will receive.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~ Hebrews 4:16

Probably my favorite parable of all is that of the widow and the unjust judge.  She kept beseeching his help and finally because this widow was relentless – She would NOT give up – The judge granted her request!  (lest she weary him)  I love this because it illustrates the power of standing firm in prayer, never giving up – no matter what!  Tenacious praying!

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” ~ Luke 18:1-8

Now, God does not have the attitude of this unjust judge, but rather, Jesus was drawing a contrast to our heavenly Father.  If this was the response of the unjust judge, what do you think the response of our Abba Father would be when one of His children calls?

I recently received a glimpse of the beginnings of an answer to one of my heart’s cries and I was indeed humbled once again.  Humbled because it showed me that despite my faith, maybe sometimes I doubt whether God is working behind the scenes.

Just because we cannot see the manifestation of the object of our prayer does not mean there isn’t movement!

It is possible that some answers to prayer may not be visible or made known to us during our lifetime.  It may be that future realities will be born out of today’s prayer.  And these realities may be birthed long after we are gone.  That should give us cause to pray even more fervently because I do not believe that prayers die.  I believe that God remembers our petitions to throne of grace and that He will cause His perfect will to be accomplished.  But the vehicle for this to be carried out is prayer.  In this regard, I believe prayer is a great legacy.

So, don’t give up on those prayers that are near to your heart, my friend.  God knows.  He hears.  He sees your tears and knows the cry of your heart.

“Rejoice evermore.   Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ I Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

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 5:16

 

 

 

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Intercessory Prayer

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What is intercessory prayer and why is it important in the Christian’s life?  Intercessory prayer is one that we offer on behalf of another.  It is “standing in the gap”, pounding the gates of heaven in stead for our family, friends, our nation, our leaders, etc.  It is vital for a variety of reasons:

  1. It shifts the focus from your circumstances to another’s.
  2. It allows God to honor the seed (of prayer) that you are sowing to bring a harvest in due time in your own life. (Job 42:10 and James 5:16)
  3. We are to carry each other’s “back packs”. (Romans 15:1)
  4. It is an encouragement to others to know someone else cares enough to pray.

 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” ~ Ezekiel 22:30

First of all, we all should pray for our country, those in leadership, that righteousness will be restored and that many will turn to Christ during these last days.  The story of God’s conversation with Noah when he sought for sufficient righteous (those in right living) men comes to mind.  (Genesis 18)  He looked for men who had a heart toward Him so he wouldn’t destroy the land.  Noah repeatedly begged God not to destroy man because of his sin, and they had this “tug of war” of sorts going on.  Oh, that we would rise up and be like Noah, standing in the gap for our land!

“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12

In Job 42:10 it says, “When Job prayed for his friends, his captivity was turned.”  I have seen this principle work so many times in my own life.  I know it works without a doubt.  Whenever I need healing, I begin to pray for friends who also need healing.  When we spend time in earnest prayer, asking the Great God of the Universe, Who made us and Who holds all things in His hands to intervene on another’s behalf, I believe it moves the heart of God.  I believe it is at that moment we connect with our Abba Father and He is well pleased with us.  When we offer prayers out of compassion and concern for others, I believe it is God’s good pleasure to pour out blessings in our own lives as well.  This is not the sole reason we pray, of course, but it is a by product of intercessory prayer.

“We who are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves.” ~ Romans 15:1 AMP

In the above Scripture the strong are compelled to carry the weak.  How do we do this?  It certainly is not in our own fleshly strength.  No, we must carry their needs to the Lord in prayer and place their concerns at the foot of the Cross.  I love the picture I often view in my mind of a rustic altar at the foot of a huge, wooden Cross.  It is there I bow my knee in prayer and offer to God all the burdens of my heart.  It is there I worship God in the majesty of Who He truly is.  It is there I leave the weight this world so easily bears upon my soul.  And it is there I find rest in place of weariness, peace in place of angst, and hope in place of despondency.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  ~ James 5:16

My favorite parable of all time is the “Widow and the Unjust Judge” found in Luke 18.  Here we find a persistent widow who could not be stopped.  She petitioned this judge continually, and, despite the judge’s neutrality of faith, he finally granted her desire…just to shut her up!  The twist in this story is that you and I are that widow, however, we do not serve a God who is unjust.  No, he is ever fair.  (God keeps accurate records.)  We serve a just God and a high priest,  who “is touched with the feelings of our infirmities”. (Hebrews 4:15)  We know that if He hears our prayers (and we know that He does), He will answer.  (I John 5:14-15)  Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, and, often times, wait a while.  But, rest assured, the answer will come.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9

God is searching for one who will stand in the gap.  Will it be you?  No special skills required.  Only faith.  Faith the size of a mustard seed will do.  Will it be you?

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