In the lead up to The National Day of Prayer this Thursday, Rev. Mark MacLeod encourages us to pray earnestly.
What’s the point in praying? Does it even do anything? Is God even listening to me? We are a people who get very easily discouraged, particularly when it comes to prayer. It doesn’t take much for us to take heed of the devil’s discouraging tactics. He will creep up on us in our daily devotions and tell us that our prayers are a waste of time.
However, before you let the evil one drive you from discouragement to despondency, open your bibles and flick through the pages of scripture and see the incredible ways in which the Lord hears and answers the supplications of his people.
We see Moses earnestly petitioning the Lord and finding mercy for the Israelites after the ‘golden calf’ incident (Exodus 32).
We see Hezekiah praying for deliverance for Jerusalem from almost certain destruction (2 Kings 19) and praying for his life to be extended (2 Kings 20) and both prayers are answered in a remarkable way.
Is it just the petitions of the spiritual leaders that God hears? Do I need to be a king or a prophet or a minister or an elder to have my prayers heard? No – We keep flicking through the Bible and we come to the likes of Hannah, a young woman who is childless (1 Samuel 1). With tears, she prays for a child and the Lord answers, and not only does He give her a son, but a son who would be one of the greatest prophets in Israel’s history. This is a reminder that the Lord does exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.
Then there’s a common thief hanging on a cross praying those simple words ‘Remember me’ (Luke 23:42) and the Lord answers and does for him more than he could ever have imagined as he would go on to open his eyes in paradise that very day. The list of examples could go on and on.
There is no limit to what can be done when God’s people pray. The devil knows this and that is why he will try and do everything he can to discourage us from praying on this ‘National Day of Prayer’. But we come to our Father with our petitions knowing that the power of prayer doesn’t rest in ourselves but in the One we pray too.
We may feel small and insignificant, but the incredible promise of scripture is that the Almighty’s ear is bowed down to us; He hears our petitions and He will answer according to His will. So let us pray with faith and, as we pray for our nation and beyond, let us pray for great things for we have a great God.