IT'S TIME FOR UNCEASING PRAYER
1 Thessalonians 5:12-20 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
That verse is chalked full of wisdom. We have clear instructions as leaders and as followers of Jesus Christ in this sacred text. And the exhortation ends with Paul reminding the church in Thessalonica to rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
We are living in evil times beloved; these are days of lawlessness, where people are continually dismissing God and not acknowledging his sovereignty or authority as Lord of all and as King of the Universe. The love of many is waxing cold as the bible said it would.
Psalms 14:1-7 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord. But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
Psalm 14 is a wisdom psalm. And boy do we need wisdom now more than ever before to navigate this present age. I must continue to say this- we are not where we once were. The age has changed and we must now stop and re-evaluate where we are and what God is requiring from us in this new age. And as we look at this passage in Psalm 14, must not dismiss this it's wisdom as though we too are not guilty of forgetting who God is.
Every one of us needs God’s mercy every single day. We sin in ways we don't even know we have and we must continually be asking God for his mercy. We do not love him with our WHOLE heart and we don't love our neighbor as ourselves, and we need to be truly sorry for this. We need to daily acknowledge this and seek him for mercy. Specifically this Psalm is giving us wisdom and insight to remember we haven’t reached perfection yet, but that we should earnestly seek God daily, relying on him to show us how we err and are in need of his mercy.
The word mankind here is talking about people in general-so we must find ourselves in this text. We can't look at scripture and only find ourselves in the good passages. We like sheep have all gone astray and to say to ourselves that we have no sin-is the first sign that we are deceived. We must continually pray and ask God to create in us pure, clean, and loyal hearts. Hearts that do not turn away to idolistic things of this world but hearts and minds that cling to him for our very existence.
We must set our affections on the God who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and whose Kingdom will never end. The God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and blessed throughout all ages.
This is the God we must turn to, submit to, worship and pray to.
We are living in days where people are claiming to be wise...but are fools..
Romans 1:20-22 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools....
The Hebrew words for fool in this psalm is nābāl, a word which implies an aggressive perversity, epitomized in the man Nabal of 1 Samuel 25:25. "Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him.."
The assertion, There is no God, is in fact treated in Scripture not as a sincere or misguided conviction, but as an irresponsible gesture of defiance.
Because lawlessness and evil are abounding in the nations we must pray without ceasing. It's a time to lift up holy hands and ask God to shelter us from the present dangers of this world. Repent where you need to repent and go forth in prayer. If you're not making prayer a priority-repent. Prayer keeps us in his presence and near to him. Psalm 91 is a scripture we must continue to pray.
Psalm 91 "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Take time to refuge in our God-He is your shelter and shield. Also be praying that God will raise up a great hedge of protection not only around your family and friends but around all ministers, pastors, and spiritual leaders in the world. I have asked our church members for sometime now to cover me and my family in a concerted way. We have an Adversary. I ask that you do that as well with those who minister to you week in and week out. Cover them and their families in prayer. Pray Psalm 91 over them DAILY. Ask God to send his angels to protect them from all evil, infirmities, disease and pestilence. Ask God to secure their dwellings and surround them with his salvation, healing and deliverance.
Put on the Full Armor of God everyday-so you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
Ephesians 6:10-20 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Beloved, we are in a fight, and we must make prayer a priority in our daily lives. We must be more alert, more watchful and more prayerful, now more than ever before.
God's grace to you as you persevere in prayer and in faith,