How about a little encouragement? I’m no expert nor am I a famous motivational speaker but I know that we all need a little pick-me-up every now and then. And more than a few times in the past year, I’ve found myself leaning on others. I am grateful for brothers and sisters in the faith!
For the past month, we’ve been praying for a sweet sister in Christ from our church and their 11 year old son, Pasha (we call him Paul). He was diagnosed with Leukemia last month. It has been a harrowing experience of hospitals and quick diagnoses and chemo treatments for this little boy. We were finally able to pray with them after he was allowed to come home for a few days between treatments.
My husband and I anointed him with oil and prayed for him that God would heal him and when they returned to the hospital for his test results and to begin another round of treatments, they would have good news.
When his mom, Olga, texted me this afternoon, I could barely hold back the tears! She said the doctors did have good news! Praise the Lord, Jesus! He did not have any cancer cells and he would receive the least amount of chemo treatments over the next few months! God is so good!
Andrew Murray said to the point of the need of prayer in this hour, “The great work of intercession is needed. Let there be with every minister and worker, the great searching of heart, as to whether they are ready to give as much time and strength to prayer as God desires. Let them give themselves in secret to take their place in the front ranks of the great intercession host.”
In his book, “With Christ in the School of Prayer”, Murray states, “God rules the world through the prayers of His saints. Prayer is the power by which Satan is conquered and the church distributes the powers of Heaven.”
Prayer is undoubtedly amongst the essential disciplines and practice of our faith.
I spoke to our Women’s Prayer Group this week and said that prayer shifts the atmosphere. It transforms culture. When the lockdowns began last March, we could never have imagined that the coming year would create a culture of prayer in our church. God used the incredibly difficult situation of our best friend and leader in our church who was battling for his life with Covid19, to drive us to our knees and storm the throne room of heaven for his healing.
Now, every time he enters the doors of our church for Sunday service, my heart can’t help but rejoice that God provided a miracle for him. A complete turn around, taking him from the very edge of death back to life!
When we pray, God releases His supernatural power and sends answers in ways He sees fit. This is a spiritual war we are engaging in. Why would God prescribe an entire armor we would need to learn to use, if there was no war? Why would Jesus Himself teach us to pray by asking God to allow His Kingdom to come and His will to be done here on earth as He has it Heaven, if He didn’t need His people to ask for this. He uses us in conjunction with angelic hosts to meet out His will here on earth.
In January, 2020 little did I know that when I preached on the upcoming year that 2 Chronicles 20 would have such a powerful meaning for us. King Jehosaphat was given 4 commands for the nation of Judah, by God Himself, as they went out in battle against an enemy stronger than they.
2 Chronicles 20:17 - “But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
The first command was to take their position, meaning to station yourself or to stand with someone. This is what an army looks like on a battlefield, gathered before their commander, standing side-by-side.
The second command was to stand still. The meaning infers that the troops are standing still, ready to receive their battle assignment. Standing at attention, allowing no distractions.
The third command was to see the salvation of the Lord. The word for salvation and deliverance here is “Yeshua” which is also Jesus, Messiah. Set your eyes on Jesus! He is the Commander-In-Chief.
The fourth command was not to fear or be dismayed. The meaning is: terror, to be shattered, dismayed, broken. We are to cast off fear even when we are face-to-face with our enemy.
These are powerful lessons to apply to our own lives.
Further along in the story, in verse 20 it says, “Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”
As the appointed singers went first, singing praise to God, it was at that very moment the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting amongst themselves. The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.
Only God could do such a thing! I believe God is still in the miracle-working business. He proves Himself time and again. When we suffer through many difficult situations, we can become disappointed and disillusioned. Our faith may waver since discouragement can kill faith. These are the times to look to these 4 commands God gives us to push through to all that God may have up ahead for us.
Joshua 1:9 - “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Be encouraged today, friend!