Sunday, September 27, 2009

Good and Right Prayers

Dr. David Jeremiah told an interesting story about prayer in his book Prayer: The Great Adventure. In that book, he recounted the following:
While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, I traveled every two weeks by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This required camping overnight halfway. On one of these trips, I saw two men fighting in the city. One was seriously hurt so I treated him and witnessed to him about the Lord Jesus Christ. I then returned home without incident. Upon arriving in the city several weeks later, I was approached by the man I had treated earlier. He told me he had known that I carried money and medicine. He said, “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We waited for you to go to sleep and planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. Just as we were about to move into your campsite, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards. I laughed at this and said, “I was certainly all alone out in the jungle campsite.” The young man pressed the point, “No sir, I was not the only one to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.” At this point of my church presentation in Michigan, one of the men in the church stood up and interrupted me. He asked, “Can you tell me the exact date when this happened?” I thought for a while and recalled the date. The man in the congregation then gave his side of the story. He stated, “On that night in Africa it was day here. I was preparing to play golf. As I put my bags in the car, I felt the Lord leading me to pray for you. In fact, the urging was so great that I called the men of this church together to pray for you. Will all those men who met to pray please stand?” The men who had met that day to pray together stood... there were 26 of them!
It is no secret that prayer has power.  When you pray effectual and earnest prayers, things change.  What things in your life would you like to see changed?  You can -- if you pray the right way... and, with the right heart.  If Dr. Jeremiah’s life can be affected across the continent... then how much more can our prayers take affect on things affecting our lives right here at home?

This is particularly true in terms of the current political and economic situation.
The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
James 5:16b [AMP]
That being the case... shouldn’t we as Christians spend time praying for our political leaders... and not speaking negatively about them?

Yes, there are things that our current president has said that a lot of people disagree with. But then again... every president in history has had detractors over one thing or another. But what is our responsibility as Christians?
FIRST OF all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, Who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth.
1st Timothy 2:1-4 [AMP]
This evening I heard a Christian making condemning statements towards the President. On the news, I heard about a pastor who has been preaching that he wants the President to die and go to hell.

That is not what the Bible teaches. In 1st Timothy, we are told to pray for those in positions of authority so that we may live quiet and undisturbed lives. That type of prayer... positive prayers for all men to be saved and to know the Truth, is what Paul calls in this passage good and right.

When those scriptures were written, Caesar Nero was having Christians crucified, burned alive, and wrapped in skins to be mauled to death by wild animals.  And yet, the admonition was not to pray that Nero die and go to hell... but rather that he and others in authority be saved and come to know the divine Truth.

Let’s focus on praying good and right prayers.

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