Saturday, April 14, 2007

Prayer Is Also a Weapon -- Use It!

Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him reprove me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked. --- Psalm 141:5

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. --- James 5:16-18

The concept of prayer for a large number of people consists mainly in seeking something from God -- it boils down to asking God for blessings and if one is in some kind of "crisis" dilemma, then you ask God for help and that He would get you out of the trouble in which you find yourself.

Some may go a bit further and say that we ought to give God thanks and express gratitude for good things He has granted. At that one special time of the year, in between a turkey dinner and a plethora of football games, we may be reminded to pray a bit and offer up an expression of gratitude!

Prayer is much more than what has been mentioned, and that includes use of prayer as a "weapon." Note the statements in Psalm 141 as mentioned above -- about praying against the "deeds of the wicked." Then we are informed of one person who did this very thing -- Elijah prayed that it would not rain and for 3 1/2 years God turned off the spigot when it came to rain events in the northern kingdom of ancient Israel. Its king was Ahab with a rather notorious wife named Jezebel -- she was a good missionary -- she brought all her heathen deities with her when she married Ahab and Baal worship was widely promoted and accepted -- perhaps the people were excitedly proclaiming the fact that now they were a "diverse" people with different ideas about belief systems and worship just as has been happening in the mainline denominations today -- you hear a lot about celebrating "diversity" in the United Methodist Church at the present time!

Ahab confronted Elijah and accused him of causing trouble in the kingdom -- it's a fascinating encounter -- I'll let you hunt it up and see what adventures Elijah had as he used prayer as a weapon.

There is a lot of wickedness in our culture and even big name people can be a part of it -- they live it and actively promote it at times! So pray "against" them -- that God will return upon their heads the "fruit of their doings!" This last expression is Biblical by the way -- you can see references to it from time to time.

Try that approach for instance with the guys who mutilate and murder unborn children! Or with elected officials who act more out of self-interest and self-preservation than they do for the interests and well being of the citizens they are supposed to represent! Or with those in the entertainment industry with their repulsive display of immorality and ungodly influence upon our young folks! And don't forget other ways those who are wicked in their ways have a destructive influence on our young -- those who traffic in drugs and alcohol -- those who influence the young with "music" (term used loosely) laced with lyrics encouraging immoral and violent conduct -- those who teach our young that we have "evolved" from lower life forms rather than being a special creation, with each person known and identified by God before conception in the womb and for whom there is a special place in God's overall plan for His creation. This last problem on origins is to be compared to an intellectual cancer which is out of control in the majority of educational institutions throughout the U.S. starting at the elementary level and continuing all the way through the graduate school level!

And just maybe with the resulting calamities that come about, there may be some who will actually repent of their wickedness and seek the mercy and forgiveness of God so wonderfully offered in and through His Son, Jesus Christ!

But we also are sobered with the historical record that in Elijah's case, it didn't do any good -- the kingdom continued down the slippery slope toward impending judgment and ultimate collapse. It doesn't exist anymore.

So, shake the dust off that weapon and be sure to use it every day -- you have to keep working at it because it's virtually impossible to fully identify all the wickedness which exists within a republic known as the United States of America! But sensitivity to what God has revealed in His Word about the patterns of wickedness and enlightenment provided by the Holy Spirit, we will be able to see more clearly where it is concentrated and then pray against it!

In a sense we who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord find ourselves surrounded by the "lions" of wickedness in a variety of forms -- and we are constantly pressured to go along with the ungodliness of our culture without objection or saying something that may "offend" somebody! Nonsense! Get out that weapon and use it -- see what great things God can and will do -- if He shut the mouths of hungry lions in the presence of His servant, Daniel, He can bring all manner of chaos into the lives of those who live and promote the ways of wickedness!

And a PS: Do you remember what happened to that bunch which conspired against Daniel with the result that he was thrown into the lions den? They and all the members of their families were pitched into the den and this time the lions had a feast -- God allowed them to gorge themselves. Yes, wickedness does pay off, but not in a very pleasant way ultimately!

It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way. --- Psalm 119:126-128

No comments: