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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why I Never Stop Praying

 Sleds, saucers, and four rambunctious kids crowded our van. Pursuing Mt. Baker’s 11,000-foot summit, huge snowflakes began to fall.  The higher we ascended, weaving around the steep mountain, on a narrow paved road, the heavier the snow fell. The kids cheered.

Suddenly, the van started to fishtail, tires spinning. The speedometer nose-dived….25 mph…15 mph…10 mph…5 mph…we slid backwards! I swung to the rear and commanded the kids, “Pray!”   Panic triggered my prayer, “God, please keep us from going over the edge. Stop the van!”

We stopped. Our van’s rear wheels teetered on the edge of a 200-foot ravine. Fearful that any slight movement would capsize us, we sat motionless.

Somehow… my husband maneuvered the van to safety. The kids spent the afternoon throwing snowballs and sledding down the base of Mt. Baker! God rescued us on the summit.

God’s chosen people, the Jews, following their captivity and deportation to Babylon, remained prisoners for two successive empires. Meanwhile, their once-beautiful temple in Jerusalem lay in ruins. Years rolled by. A frustrated people must have wondered, will we ever escape this situation? Will our temple always remain in shambles?

 Have you ever wondered if you would escape a situation that seemed destined to destruction? Destined to never change?

Pray, and don’t stop praying!

Suddenly, when movement stands still, and when the ruins of our life fail to rise, the Lord moves. With His finger, He’s able to touch stuck gears, frozen obstacles, collapsed bridges… and life changes. When God moves into a situation, nothing can stop Him. "O Sovereign LORD! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!” (Jeremiah 32:17)

Change did come! Just as suddenly as God stopped our van from capsizing, God mysteriously and prophetically moved the heart of a pagan, powerful king.  Cyrus proclaimed these remarkable words, “The Lord, the God of heaven…has appointed me to build a temple for Him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of His people among you… go up to Jerusalem and build the temple of the Lord” (Ezra 1:1-3).

I believe God’s people prayed and God heard. Praying according to God’s will (1 John 5:14) coupled with God’s power changed His people’s destiny. “God has designed prayer as an occasion when He and the Son will be glorified as the source and agent in doing good to His people.” John Piper

Have you grown weary praying? Do you have nothing but tears to offer? Perhaps frazzled emotions and sour assumptions squelch praying.

A seasoned prayer, Charles Spurgeon, says, “Though your words are broken, and your sentences disconnected, if your desires are earnest, God will not mind how they find expression. If you have no words, perhaps you will pray better without them than with them.”  It’s OK to run out of words to pray. The Spirit intercedes for us in our weakness with groans that words cannot express. (Romans 8:26)

David said, “O Lord, consider my sighing” (Psalm 5:1). When hearts sigh our good Shepherd listens. He reads our heart. And He helps.

No matter how long God chooses to leave an obstacle intact, He never forgets His promises.  “No word from God will ever fail” (Luke 1:37). That’s why I never stop praying!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Pam. I appreciate the reminder. And I can definitely relate to the human desire to stop praying when don't see results or when we just know what to say.