Apr 5, 2017

Stop!....

I cannot get the images out of my head.

I was casually drinking down my coffee this morning, catching up on world news and I saw the footage.

Like a horrific accident, I could not turn away.

Syria being bombed by chemical warfare.

Sickened. I am sickened by what I saw.

Babies, children, teenagers...

All in the path of evil.

These are innocent children. Innocent people.

Being ravaged by evil.

In a horse whisper, my mouth began speaking these words to our Savior....

"Lord, come. Please come!"

I don't think we can take another day of this.

I see the kids faces...

And, all I see are the faces of the children under my roof.

These are our children.

 Our children.

God's children.

No matter what religion, race, color....

These are our children.

So, besides jumping on the nearest jet to Syria, what do we do?

How do we fight this evil from our warm and cozy homes?

We pray.

And pray.

And pray some more.

We must put away all distractions...

Our cell phones..

Our social media apps...

Our online games...

And open our eyes to a call of the greatest kind....

To pray.

We must hit our knees.

Today.

Tomorrow.

Every single day until Jesus returns.

We cannot pretend like this doesn't affect us.

It does.

And it will.

I am reminded of the story in Mark Chapter 9. Jesus heals a demon possessed boy. The disciples had tried to heal him to no avail. Jesus steps in....read the story.
 
14 When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them. 15 When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him.

16 “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked.

17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk.

18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid.] So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

19 Jesus said to them,] “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.

21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.

He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
2
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil[ spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!”

26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?”

29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”

Two things stand out in the story.

My mind wants to ask Jesus, just like this father did..."If you can...please do something!!"

Then, I am reminded of Jesus' words to the father..."Anything is possible if a person believes."

The second thing is the absolute power and necessity of prayer.

We have no power without prayer.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

Jesus told the disciples that there are some evil in this world and in the human mind and body that can ONLY be diminished by praying.

The disciples had no power, because they had no prayer.

"The measure of our prayer is the measure of our power." [Andrew Murray]

Yet, we become numb to the call to pray.

Our eyes dart and divert to things that grab our attention and pull us away from the ONE thing we need most.....

Prayer.

I am also reminded of the disciples with Jesus on the morning of His crucifixion...

 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”  Luke 22:39-46

I  can relate to the disciples, can't you? I get tired. Exhausted. Weary.

OR, I can get sucked into my phone. Texting. Emails. Instagram.

{I bet if the disciples would have had smart phones they would have had the same problem!}

Yet, we stay up for the things we want to do. If we want to watch our favorite t.v. show, or if we want to hang out late with our friends, or see what is happening on social media...

We will drink coffee and push through.

Let's have that same fervor about praying. Let's not get sleepy and tired, or distracted,  when it is time to hit our knees. Let's set our minds to pray and to keep on praying.

I bet if I took an honest poll of all of you readers, including myself,  we would discover that we are not praying enough. I bet it is the one thing lacking most in our lives.

Friends, let's stop.

Wherever we are.

And pray.

Let it become the first thing we do when our eyes open in the morning...

Let it be what we do when we are in the car, even with a car load of kids...

We can pray wherever we are.

But...we must pray.

Prayer releases the will of God down from Heaven unto Earth...

"Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as in Heaven..." Matthew 6:10

May we all open our eyes and see the needs of those around us. The one thing they need more than anything we can offer them is our prayers.

Stop. Pray. Repeat.

jill