God’s got the devil, evil and all Satan’s minions surrounded, but have we noticed our ‘call-up papers’ to join the prayer frontline?
In Revelation chapters 6 & 7, Jesus’ Supersonic-7 Sermon illustrates the awful raw reality of: social evil in ‘blood-red war’; ecological evil in death-black famine; biological evil in sickly-pale ‘plague & pandemic’; the cruel evil of persecution, believers tortured and murdered for their faith; the earthquaking evil of natural catastrophe. Every evil is named and shamed and shown to be sandwiched between the first image of victorious King Christ on His white horse and the seventh picture of our ‘prayers’, rising like incense from earth to God’s throne of grace and authority, where our prayers ‘in Jesus name’ are processed and returned to earth in impactful thunderclaps of action.
What comfort and courage these two chapters offer our world of pain and suffering, God has evil surrounded and contained! But what adrenalin flows when we realise that we (God’s People) have a critical place to play in realising the vanquishing of personal, local and universal evil. Were we not participating in Jesus prayer ministry and God’s Spirit not inspiring us, such responsibility would be too heavy to bear. Jesus does not lay anything heavy on us (his yoke easy and burden light), but does our view (personal & corporate) and estimation of ‘prayer’ come anywhere near the importance given in Revelation?
Do we perhaps underestimate the importance and power of united prayer in Jesus’ name? Thankyou David for handing me this poem & hymn of William Cowper yesterday:
“What various hindrances we meet, in coming to the mercy seat!
Yet who that knows the worth of prayer, but wishes to be often there!
Pray’r makes the darkened clouds withdraw; prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw;
Gives exercise to faith and love; brings every blessing from above.
Restraining prayer, we cease to fight; prayer makes the Christian’s armour bright;
And Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.
Have you no words? Ah, think again: words flow apace when you complain,
And fill a fellow-creature’s ear with the sad tale of all your care.
While Moses stood with arms spread wide, success was found on Israel’s side;
But when, through weariness, they failed, that moment Amalek prevailed.
Were half the breath thus vainly spent to heaven in supplication sent,
Our cheerful song would oft’ner be, “Hear what the Lord hath done for me!”
O Lord, increase our faith and love, so shall we all your goodness prove
And gain from your own boundless store, the fruits of prayer for evermore.”
Oh Lord Jesus, teach us to pray and to be faithful in prayer!