Power of prayer time

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I forgot completely about the barley bread story found within the Gideon story.

When Gideon arrived, he heard a man telling a friend about a dream. He was saying, “I dreamed that a loaf of barley bread rolled into our camp and hit a tent. The tent collapsed and lay flat on the ground.”

His friend replied, “It’s the sword of the Israelite, Gideon son of Joash! It can’t mean anything else! God has given him victory over Midian and our whole army!”

When Gideon heard about the man’s dream and what it meant, he fell to his knees and worshiped the Lord. Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up! The Lord is giving you victory over the Midianite army!” – Judges 7:13-15  GNT

I love how Spurgeon comments on this story – just reading it revived me and reminded me of the power of prayer.

But, then, God ever uses effectual means. Even if He works by barley-cakes, He makes a clean overthrow of His enemy. A cannon-ball could not have done its work better than did this barley cake. Wherefore, be not afraid, ye servants of God, but commit yourselves into the hands of Him who, out of weakness, can bring forth strength. Do you not think that this smiting of the tent of Midian by the barley cake, and afterwards the actual overthrow of the Midianite hordes by the breaking of the pitchers, the blazing of the torches, and the blowing of the trumpets, all tends to comfort us as to those powers of evil which now cover the world? When we are thinned out, and made to see how few we are, we shall be hurled upon the foe with a power not our own. Were things worse than they are, we should still cry, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” and stand each man in his place till the Lord appeared in strength. Another lesson would I draw from the text as to our inward conflicts. You are feeling in your heart the great power of sin. The Midianites are encamped in your soil; in the little valley of Esdrelon which lies within your bosom there are countless evils, and these, like the locusts, eat up every growing thing, and cause comfort, strength, and joy to cease from your experience. You sigh because of these invaders. I counsel you to try what faith can do. This seems a very poor means of getting the victory, as poor as the barley cake baked on the coals; but God has chosen it, and He will bless it, and it will overthrow the throne of Satan within your heart, and work in you holiness and peace. Once again, still in the same vein, let us try continually the power of prayer for the success of the gospel, and the winning of men’s souls. Prayer will do anything–will do everything. It fills the valleys and levels the mountains. By its power men are raised from the door of hell to the gate of heaven. – C. H. Spurgeon

Another reminder as to why revenge never works – it belongs with God.

But, Almighty Lord, you test people justly;
    you know what is in their hearts and minds.
So let me see you take revenge on my enemies,
    for I have placed my cause in your hands. – Jeremiah 20:12  GNT

I am committed to making time to be alone with God in my prayer time.

At once Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida, on the other side of the lake, while he sent the crowd away. After saying good-bye to the people, he went away to a hill to pray. – Mark 6:45-46  GNT

It keeps me centred and keeps me in a place where my trust is not in me but in God.

“Oh Lord when I fall into coldness and irritability with people I remember this, that in the garden just before you died you were so gentle and affirming of us when we went to sleep on you. On the cross you were giving yourself to people who abandoned you and mocked you and the more I thank and rejoice that you did that for me it melts away my hardness heart and makes me able to be patient and attentive to the people around me.” – Timothy Keller

 

 

God answers when I come with prayer

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All answered prayer can be seen as miraculous, but some are quite obvious – Joshua asking for the sun and moon to stand still would be such a miraculous answer to prayer.

On the day that the Lord gave the men of Israel victory over the Amorites, Joshua spoke to the Lord. In the presence of the Israelites he said,

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon;
Moon, stop over Aijalon Valley.”

The sun stood still and the moon did not move until the nation had conquered its enemies. This is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stood still in the middle of the sky and did not go down for a whole day.

Never before, and never since, has there been a day like it, when the Lord obeyed a human being. The Lord fought on Israel’s side! – Joshua 10:12-14  GNT

I believe God honours bold prayers.

“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers.  If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.”  Mark Batterson 

Is there not a correlation between God being moved and the level of faith I bring to my prayers? Is my prayer life too small and is my life a witness to the smallness of my prayer? I believe my prayers reflect how big or small I believe God is. Maybe I believe that I am offering God a prayer I have no business praying – maybe this is where my faith gets stretched.

Bold prayer requires bold faith believing God is able. All impossible things that He does comes in response to prayer. Do I believe that God fights for me in the battle?

“Anytime our Heavenly Father intersects our earthly lives, and answers our prayers by any means He chooses, it is a miraculous occurrence. And I believe He desires to do this in a bigger way in our lives — here and now — than most of us have ever imagined.” — Pastor Steven Furtick, Elevation Church

No matter what my trials and troubles are I have a choice – fall away from God or take them to Him, in prayer, so that I may endure and grow. Psalm 143 is a greater psalm of prayer teaching me how to pray correctly when facing serious trials.

It reminds me that praying is not something I consider to manipulate God to get what I want. It is place for me to repent, and to trust Jesus to be my Saviour. It is where I know God as my God and I want to follow and obey Him as His servant.

For the particular mercies bestowed on us. Ways God has been patient with us; ways he has helped us change and break bad habits and patterns of thought, heart attitude, and practice; ways he has protected us from the fuller consequences of our own blindness and foolishness; ways he has revealed himself to us, giving us communion with him; ways he has answered our prayers; ways he has walked with us through pain and suffering. – Timothy Keller