Wednesday, December 30, 2009

the real world, the real battle

The Word for today:
Isaiah 36, 37

mark this: Isaiah 37:14-15 --
Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD.

Scripture sometimes seems to lack a sense of the dramatic--or does it?

We read today of 185,000 Assyrian soldiers struck dead. Read carefully, or you will miss this miracle altogether. Scripture gives exactly one verse to its description:
And the angel of the LORD went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. (Isaiah 37:36)

You'd think that something this remarkable deserves to be, well, more remarked upon!

And you'd be thinking correctly, because the real battle which defeated 185,000 soldiers is thoroughly described in verses 14-35 of chapter 37, where we hear the prayer of Hezekiah and the answer of the LORD through Isaiah, His prophet.

The real drama takes place in the real world. Hebrews 8:5 tells us that the physical world is just a copy and shadow of the spiritual world. The physical devastation of 185,000 soldiers is but an after-effect of the real battle which was waged through prayer. As an after-effect, it deserves but a verse.

E.M. Bounds, the great thinker and pray-er, wrote that "Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God."

Join the battle. Don't worry too much about methods of prayer. Just get down in the trenches and fight. Prayer warriors are the infantry, the "grunts," of spiritual warfare. It's hard, dirty work, and nobody's getting rich or famous doing it.

But if you've tired of all the nonsense; if it's reality you're after; if you've had it with the pussyfooting and the preening and the posturing that passes for "spiritual," if you're through shadow-boxing, then pray.

Pray specifically for what you need. Pray for specific needs of specific people by their specific names. And don't get swept up in this current notion that prayer is all about praise and thanksgiving and meditation and confession. That pendulum has swung too far.

There's some of that and should be, but that's not the bulk of the warrior's prayer. When the warrior prays, he asks and keeps on asking until he gets an answer.

Fill your prayer with supplication and petition; ask away! Ask God to save souls and to save the day. Then keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. (Luke 11:9/AMP)

Let the blog writers write and the preachers preach and the singers sing. Let 'em all out-pretty one another.

But if you want to be worth 185,000 of the enemy in the service of the LORD Jesus Christ, pray.

The answer is up to God, but the asking is up to you.

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