15. THE POWER OF JOY IN THE PRISON OF PAIN IN PHIL. (part14)
PRAYER AND OUR PROVISION V.19-20
THE PRIVILEGE OF DELIVERANCE V.19 For I know that this
shalt turn to my salvation
THE POWER OF DELIVERANCE through your prayer,
In the prison of pain most of us realize we can’t do it on our own, and that without Christ we can do nothing. We get reduced, or in reality, expanded, to the fact that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We accept that there is no defeat in Christ. But how does that work out for us practically?
Do we really believe, and by believe I mean, do we live day by day in the conscious reality that God is coordinating everything and His compositions are perfect. The orchestrations of the Lord are impeccable, but that doesn’t imply that a few challenges aren’t thrown into our life experiences to test out that that’s what we really believe.
Our real beliefs are demonstrated by how much reliance we put in prayer. I’m not defining prayer as verbal gyrations into an empty abyss, but prayer as praying to a loving Father who is the aggressor in lifting us up to Himself in our need.
Not just in our own personal prayer but as the phrase renders it;
“ Through your prayer”
We are to surround ourselves in a community of others who believe in the power of deliverance through prayer.
There is a balance between saying everything is going to work out and the striking fact that we have not because we ask not.
I’ve kept an evolving prayer journal for 43 years and through many doubts, uncertainties and suspicions, as to my effectiveness, I keep trying to learn how to pray and walk with God. It’s a challenge to claim to believe that prayer is the greatest bridge between God and us, and to come up with an explanation for the way certain things have played out from that journal record. But the last chapter hasn’t been written. All we have to do is read the book of Revelation to realize that it doesn’t appear right now the way it is all going to end up.
I’ve developed a greedy yearning for God’s best in my life and the lives of those I pray for. It is horrible to think that we could be missing out on what should be because we haven’t asked for the things that are needed to change; or, am I blocking the blessing through my own inadequate adjustments to impact the alterations.
Asking is not begging and it’s not demanding. But asking is probing and examining our all-powerful Father for answers and solutions, with a persistent penetration into His will for what we are facing.
When we don’t know what to do it’s actually easy to figure it out.
We need to Pray, and pray again and pray again, until the answer comes. If the answer is still more impossible burdens, then God is saying, “Keep praying,” and ask for God’s power to be demonstrated and unleashed on the ache of our hearts.
A.W. Tozer writes: “Ask for His power on behalf of His people. The world situation is such that nothing less than God can straighten it out. Let’s not fail the world and disappoint God by failing to pray.”
Lord, I know my faith needs to grow, so please help me to exercise what faith I have and anticipate that growth and stretching.”
We can’t afford to stop praying. We need to pray and seek to get closer to God who has told us to ask and seek and keep knocking on His door with everything.
We read in Acts 12:5 “But prayer…” Peter was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
Peter was in an impossible situation. He was sleeping between two soldiers, two chains shackled him, plus there were soldiers standing at the door of the prison guarding the outside. King Herod was reigning. But the church prayed without ceasing.
What happens: A light shines into that dark prison that night, an Angel hits Peter to wake him up and his chains fall off as Peter walks out free.
What if the Church decided not to ask? They wouldn’t have seen the power of a supernatural weapon. The impossible stuff is not supposed to chain us, darkness shouldn’t hide us, and King Herod shouldn’t scare us. What happens to Herod? Worms eat him. We’re to expect the unexpected and anticipate the unpredictable.
Are we limiting God by not asking? Did Israel limit God by getting baffled with the giants in the Promised Land? What a mess making an 11day trip into a 40-year-old graveyard. When we look at the dimensions of the Promised Land we see that the Israeli’s never possessed their possessions. The northern border was to be the Euphrates River, which is eastern Turkey and southern Iraq. Yikes, they still have some possessing to do and all the nuclear arsenals in the world will not stop what God has promised. We need to ask. We are to possess what He wants for us.
God says open your mouth wide and I will fill it. God comes to Solomon in the book of Kings and says; ask what I shall give thee. He says the same to each of us; ask what I shall give you.
Our prayers are God’s opportunities.
Farrar wrote: Are we in sorrow? Prayer can make our affliction sweet and strengthening. Are we in gladness? Prayer can add to our joy a celestial perfume. Are we in extreme danger from outward or inward enemies? Prayer can set at our right hand an angel whose touch could shatter a millstone into smaller dust than the flour it grinds, and whose glance could lay an army low. What will prayer do for us? The answer: All that God can do for us. “Ask what I shall give thee.”
“Wrestling prayer can wonders do,
Bring relief in deepest straits
Prayer can force a passage through
Iron bars and brazen gates.”
Does it matter that we pray so little? Would it make a difference if we spent more time in prayer? That’s like asking would we understand more if we read and spent more time studying and meditating more in what God is saying to us in His Word?
If you want to get to know me, you’ll need to talk to me and listen to me. Ask me some questions, spend some time and don’t avoid me acting like you have no interest in me. I’m sure I’d be more popular if I had more to offer others. But the more time we invest in each other the better our relationship will be. Well, God has done His part. He’s exposed Himself deeply and shared His every thought and feeling. Now we have to prove that we believe that He has a lot to offer. We need to ask more.
THE PERSON OF DELIVERANCE and the supply of the Spirit
of Jesus Christ,
THE PROBABILITY OF DELIVERANCE V.20
INTENSE ANTICIPATION According to my earnest expectation
IMPERISHABLE ADVOCACY and my hope,
INCREDIBLE APPROVAL that in nothing I shall be ashamed,
THE POISE OF DELIVERANCE
but that with all boldness, as always,
THE PURPOSE OF DELIVERANCE so now also Christ shall be
magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.