Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash
Jeremiah 33:1 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying, 2 Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name;
3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
6 Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. 7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.
God’s people have found themselves in various kinds of trouble throughout history, but the Lord has been faithful to deliver them by His almighty power. You can and should refresh your memory by reading some of these stories in your leisure, but there is a simple message for all of us today. During difficult times we need to raise our level of faith and return to the life changing power of prayer. If there is any consolation in going through dark times it is that we are reminded of our duty to pray to God for change.
It’s not like the church doesn’t pray anymore, but I think we have gotten away from praying like our lives depend on it. This is probably because throughout the ages mankind has advanced, and we now have technologies that take care of many of those life or death situations that we only read about now in history books. But then along comes ‘corona’ and we are reminded that there are some things that we still can not control ourselves. We are reminded that we still need God’s help, and that prayer can sometimes be the last defense.
The global social unrest that has been smoldering for centuries sometimes comes to a boiling point, and we see things like we have been seeing in our country recently. These things also should serve as a reminder that we have always needed God, and that we still need Him today. Times like this remind me of what Jeremiah said:
Jeremiah 10:23-24 23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself:
it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. 24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment;not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
Yes, we need Jesus. And yes, we need to pray for help, guidance, strength, protection, healing and deliverance. This is something that all of us already know, but today I want to remind you that just one prayer can make a world of difference in your life, and even in the world. Today I am asking you to continue to pray those reckless, radical prayers in faith. The kind of prayers that dispel demons, summon angels, and turn things around immediately.
Prayers prayed in faith, and the prohetic words that have to come from outside of the situations are in. Those, ‘By this time tomorrow’ prayers. (See. 2 Kings 7:18). I want to remind you that God hears your prayers, so don’t stop praying.
You may not think that just one prayer can make a difference, but the bible is full of examples of the awesome results of prayer.
Moses cried out to God, and God spared Israel from judgment.
- Joshua’s prayer made the sun stand still giving him more time to defeat his enemies.
- Hannah’s prayer was answered with a child, one of the greatest prophets ever.
- Solomon prayed one prayer and God gave him enough wisdom for the ages.
- Fire came down from Heaven when Elijah prayed burned the water doused sacrifice.
- Elisha received a dual portion of the power of Elijah on his life simply by asking.
- Jonah’s prayer got him out of trouble with God, and out of the belly of the whale.
- Jabez prayed for God to bless him, enlarge his coasts, for God’s hand to be with him, and keep him from evil, and guess what? God granted his request!
- Ten lepers prayed and were healed right on the spot
- Peter prayed, and Dorcas was revived from death.
- The thief on the cross prayed one small prayer and guaranteed his place in heaven.
- The early church prayed, and God showed up with earth shaking power.
- The saints prayed Peter got out of jail in one day.
- Hezekiah prayed one prayer and got 15 years added to his life.
The prison doors were opened as the result of the prayers of Paul and Silas, and a lot of people were converted because of their powerful prayers.
So, here is the question. We have read of thousands of examples of answered prayer in the bible. When did we stop believing in prayer? Don’t we serve the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
It is riveting to read of the accounts of the prayers of the saints of God in the Bible, but don’t we serve the same God? We have read so many examples in the New Testament about God’s moving after believer’s prayed radical prayers. Don’t we still believe that He is God?
The bible speaks to us about the need for prayer in many places.
John 14:13,14, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
1 John 3:22 “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
1 John 5:14,15 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
Matthew 7:7 reads, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
In Matthew 21:22 we read, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
James 5:16 “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
James 4:2 “Ye have not, because ye ask not.”
The bible is also clear about when we need to pray.
When in Trouble. The psalmist said, “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (Ps. 34:6).
When you need wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).
When you need Holy Ghost Power. “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13).
Zech. 4:6 Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
When you want revival “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chron. 7:14).
When you need cleansing “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23,24).
When you want to know the way – Moses prayed, “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people” (Exod. 33:13).
When you want to Be Saved – Peter cried out, “Lord, save me” (Matt. 14:30).
In fact we need to be praying all the time since Jesus said; “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
I believe that God is waiting on us, not the other way around. I believe that God is waiting to answer that prayers of believers on earth. Prayer is our greatest weapon and our most useful tool. Prayer is the key to God’s storehouse and His treasures. Prayer is the switch that releases God’s awesome power. In fact praying is the single most important thing you will ever do for yourself, your family, and your community because prayer give you power with God.
Even when you can’t pray all night, or even for one hour, you would be amazed if you knew the power that just one brief prayer can release! So pray that one prayer!
Bishop Horace Ransom Jr. is the Senior Pastor and Founder of New Covenant Church International in Detroit, Michigan. He is a Jurisdictional Bishop and serves on the Board of Presbytery for the Jabula International Network, North America. Bishop Ransom is an outstanding teacher of the Word of God with a passion for challenging believers to become the best that they can be. Faith, Purpose and the Kingdom of God are frequently the subject matter of his dissertation.