Archive for August, 2013

PREVAILING IN PRAYER(Pt.3)

“But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? …Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened”(Exodus 32:11, 14 NIV).

The prayer of Moses is truly one of the great examples of prevailing prayer recorded in scriptures. Recall at that time the children of Israel had so continually turned from God by their rebellious actions that the LORD God said, in essence, “Enough is enough!” He offered Moses a deal of a lifetime! “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation” (Exodus 32:9, 10 NIV).

Moses in meekness passed the ultimate test as a leader…he did not seek for more power or to leave a great name for himself in the earth. He rather moved further into the heart of God, willing to suffer with and on behalf of his people rather than leave them to their certain doom. “Lord,” he said, “if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.” (Exodus 34:9 NIV)

GOD RELENTED

God changed His mind. This does not sit well with our rigid theology of a God Who takes neither council or advice from man. And yet…the scripture records that “Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God”(Exodus 32:11). Moses was acquainted with God like no other at the time and could speak to God face to face as friends.

Moses had learned that through persistency and obedience to God’s commands even the might of pharaoh and his empire must bring glory to God. Moses, although the LAW-giver, was moved with the compassionate self-giving of the LORD God. His sun shines on the evil and the good alike. He rains on the just and the unjust alike. Moses understood the prophet Jeremiah’s words, “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love”(Lamentations 3:31, 32 NIV).

What was the secret of Moses having power with God? It was the SECRET OF ABIDING fellowship with God. Our Lord Jesus would later say to his disciples, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you”(John 15:7 NKJV).

Moses prevailing prayer was based on the revelation of the heart of God, “Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin…” (Exodus 34:5-7 NIV).

REDEMPTION

Moses identified with His Lord, having prayed “But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.(Exodus 32:32 NIV). He understood that redemption is costly. He was willing to make the supreme sacrifice. What an example of one who prevailed with God!

God’s way is to use human beings, created in His image, to alter the course of history and the destiny of nations. His desire is that we become co-laborers with Him. God is looking for those who will prevail in prayer and intercede that He may bring deliverance not destruction. Perhaps this is why Moses is honored in heaven with his Lord, “They sang the song of Moses and of the Lamb”(Revelation 15:3).

 

(c) Copyright 2013, Walter Fletcher,Jr. All rights are reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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PREVAILING IN PRAYER(Pt.2)

 “The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there? …He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” (Genesis 18:22, 23, 27, 32 NIV)

Abraham, who is called “The father of the faithful” and “The friend of God”(3x’s), positioned himself before the LORD to intercede. God knew he would intercede regarding Sodom’s imminent judgment. After all Lot, his nephew, along with his family was living in Sodom! Furthermore, as a friend of God Abraham is given an inside track on what God’s intentions are regarding this defiant city. The angelic visitation he had received was for more than a social visit. They were sent on assignment. Heaven’s interest in the earth required their visit. They were sent from God to see firsthand if things were as bad as reported. Had people become so spiritually indifferent that they forsook the ways of God and replaced His internal image written upon their conscience? Had they really turned from what they knew in their heart & mind and chose rather to pledge their allegiance to the creation rather than the Creator?   Apparently it was true.  When that happened (the rejecting of God-Factor), they apparently thought they could write the script for their lives and future any way they pleased. But there was one problem. When they sought to forsake God they were not aware, by their choice…they were forsaken by Him (Romans 1:18-26).

Abraham as God’s friend understood that by the consequences of the people of Sodom’s own choices and behavior they were under God’s judgment. But he also understood what was deep in the heart of God. He knew that even in times of great darkness, God never leaves Himself without a witness and a prayer warrior! When the angels had left heading toward Sodom, he remained in God’s presence. He humbly but with the confidence and persistency of a true friend petitioned the LORD God not to carry out this final solution to mankind’s rebellion.

As the story continues, Abraham is allowed to argue his case before the highest court in the universe! In the presence of God he gained the assurance that the city of Sodom would be spared for the sake of a handful of the righteous. God promised to show His mercy “if only ten righteous could be found”.

The persistency of Abraham, our father of faith, shows us that the LORD God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. The apostle Peter, who had seen, walked and talked with his Lord, Yeshua, wrote, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8, 9 NKJV)

A TRUE NEIGHBOR

Abraham prevailed through his persistency in prayer. How much more should we who have tasted of the goodness and grace of God? We must have compassion on those who “do not know their right hand from their left”. But we are not to leave them in their bondage. Jude admonishes us to prove our true neighborliness. He wrote, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh”(Jude 1:20-23 NKJV).

Let us prove, like Abraham, who although a pilgrim and stranger in the land, that through persistent prayer he was a true neighbor.

(c) Copyright 8/2013, Walter Fletcher,Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided it is not altered in anyway from its original contents. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com.

PREVAILING IN PRAYER(Pt.1)

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:16-18 NIV)

Someone  said, “These are the days of Elijah!”  The question we must ask ourselves, If these are the days of Elijah…Where is the God of Elijah?  Further more we should ask, Where are the exploits of Elijah?  I think the answers to these questions are one and the same.  Without the prayers that Elijah prayed, we cannot expect to receive the answers from heaven that Elijah received.

ONE DIFFERENCE

Elijah was said to be a human being just like us…with one difference.  Elijah persisted in prayer in his day but how tragic… today we do not.  The spiritual battle requires prayer and yet for most…Prayer IS the battle!  One day after Jesus had cast an evil spirit out of a child, the disciples wanted to know why they could not rid the tormented child of the demonic influence?  Jesus replied, “This kind comes out only by prayer and fasting”(Matthew 17:21).  In other words, prayer that is effective in dislodging the enemy requires persistency and spiritual focus.

The key to the victories that Elijah witnessed was his prayer life. Out of the Blue, as it were, and into the courts of a wicked and corrupt government(Ahab & Jezebel) he stood and pronounced God’s judgment, “There will be neither dew nor rain… except by my word”(1 Kings 17:1b).

THE SECRET OF HIDDENESS

What boldness with which he dared to declare, “The LORD before Whom I  stand ”(1 King 17:1a).  The secret of his power?  Prior, he was hidden away in God’s presence praying and listening in heaven’s court.  He now was fully equipped to boldly stand in a lesser court of earth announcing that Heaven rules.   Leaving the court, he again is hidden away in prayer by the Brook of Kerith. There he RECEIVES the miracle provision and care of God (See 1 Kings 17:2-4).  Later, hidden under the nose of the enemy he is sent to PERFORM miracles!  He provides for the widow and her son in Zarephath, Jezebel’s homeland(See 1 Kings 17:9-16)!

Elijah was preserved from his enemies. He was hidden, as it were, in the quiver of God. In spite of king Ahab’s bounty for his capture he was not found(See 1 Kings 18:10).

Through prayer, Elijah had been hidden waiting to be revealed—An instrument in the Day of God’s power. Two things we can learn from Elijah.  First, His human weakness didn’t disqualify him.  Our Father loves taking the weak to confound the mighty. Hebrews Chapter 11 gives the secret of those who did great exploits and routed foreign armies in the Name of the LORD. “In weakness they were made strong”(Hebrews 11:34).  

Secondly, Elijah refused to compromise with the prevailing culture around him. Locked-in, as it were, on God’s radio frequency he prayed until something happened! Although the heavens were like brass he persisted until heaven’s vibration began to be felt in the earth once again. “He prayed and it did not rain…he prayed and the rains came once again”(James 5:18).  We read of the way in which he prevailed (See 1 Kings 18:42-46).  Having dealt with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he goes up with his servant a little higher up the slope.  Placing his head between his knees ( Not judging things by their appearance), he sends his servant to look out for the rain that he knew would come.  Elijah persisted in prayer, in spite of the fact that it took seven times sending the servant back to SEE.  Elijah was confident, HEARING something in the Spirit.  And the heavens opened and the rains came.

Let us not grow weary in prayer. If we meet the spiritual conditions God will meet with us. “He rewards those who diligently seek Him”(Hebrews 11:6).

(c) Copyright 8/2013, Walter Fletcher, Jr. All rights are reserved. This article may be copied free of charge provided that it is not altered in any way from its original content. Please address any correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com