FOR WHAT DO WE PRAY?

April 2, 2020

The world is in a state of emergency. What do we do? If all else fails, pray. Maybe we wouldn’t be in such a panic if prayer wasn’t a last resort. How did we get to this point? Can we blame God, or should we blame ourselves? Many of us like to do whatever we want with no consequences, but when we get into trouble we run to God. “Bail us out!” we scream. “How can you do this to us?” we ask. If you blame God for causing this virus to shut down the world, then you don’t understand Him. People caused this, not God. God lives outside of time and has seen what will happen today and gave us warnings of future events through Scripture. All prophecy was about future events when it was written, but people never seem to think it describes events of the time in which they live. “That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:2-4. Peter knew exactly what the attitude of people in our day and age (“the last days”) would be. He knew Old Testament Scripture and understood that God warned the people who lived prior to the Flood that judgment was coming. They could have changed their minds about sin but ignored the warnings and refused to change. Judgment came and people were destroyed. God has given us rules for our own protection, and when we ignore Him there must be a judgment in order to save all of humanity. The blame is in our own lack of repentance.

Lately there’s been a loud call to prayer. Prayer is a very important part of a Christian’s life, but what do we pray for? Is there any examination of our own short comings and need to change our ways, or do we want God to answer our prayer despite our sin? The world is in the grips of a judgment. A virus is sweeping the world and shutting down everything from mom and pop stores to major industries. The entire world is affected, and sin is a major factor. When Christians are asked to pray for our nation, how do we pray? “Dear Lord, please make this problem go away”. Do we ever repent of our sin and honor God first rather than expecting Him to jump to answer our request? Jesus had a lot to say about evil within the heart of a person. “And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Mark 7:20-23. Look up the words He used to understand what Jesus called evil. Then, look inside your own heart and see which of these wicked ways do you partake in, or even condone. We want God to answer our prayers and heal our land, but we don’t want to give up our sin. The morals in America, and the whole world, are comparable to Sodom and Gomorrah. Accepting the sin is as wrong as participating in the sin. People will live down to any standard the bar is lowered to. Drag queens having story time in libraries is not acceptable. Elementary school children are allowed to dictate what gender they are, despite facts that make it clear which gender they truly are. We murder inconvenient babies in the womb, and call it a woman’s right. Yet, we expect God to answer our prayers. It’s time we repent of the idiocy and sin that permeates this nation.

World judgment has started, and this is just the beginning of sorrows. “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these things are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:4-8. Don’t think that the things we’re seeing right now are the end-time judgments described in Revelation. We are just seeing a preview of the judgments. As the world becomes infatuated by sin, the judgments become stronger and more frequent. It’s a sin to reject God as the Creator. That’s when the morals of a nation disintegrate and one of the worst judgments follows. That is homosexuality. Is it fair for God to judge us because we reject Him? A human artist will seek judgment against another person who plagiarizes his creation, so why should we question God’s judgment upon evolutionists plagiarizing His handiwork? “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21. Evolution didn’t happen. Our Schools teach this theory (i.e.: idea, fable, folklore) as fact, but God’s truth is forbidden to be mentioned in a classroom. Christians have turned a blind eye and have even bought into this lie. “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their woman did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26-27. Homosexuality is a judgment on a nation. We haven’t heeded God’s warnings and we accept sin as normal. Now we face pestilence and yet we pray that God will take it away. We don’t repent but expect God to make it all right.

Sexual immorality is destroying us. School children are taught about sexual promiscuity then when a baby is created it’s murdered. Shame upon parents for allowing this. The filth that comes out of Hollywood is disgusting. Shame upon anyone who watches this “entertainment”. Musicians sing the praises of Satan, killing, and sin of all kinds. Shame upon anyone who listens to this music. The loony left promotes legalizing sin. Shame on anyone who votes for leaders who legalize sin. Movie idols advocate abortion, homosexuality, and many more degenerate lifestyles, but God tells us to turn from idolatry. We pray for God to remove this disease from our nation but continue to embrace sin. Christians know better, but too many ignore God in favor of following the idolatry of a sin-filled world. “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:32. Shame upon any Christian who takes pleasure in sin, then expects God to answer prayer.

When Solomon completed building the first temple, he called for the nation to repent. “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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. This was a promise to Israel, but it casts its shadow over our day and age. Christians are called by God’s name. Have we humbled ourselves before the Lord and recognize that He is sovereign in our life? Do we follow His ways, or do we want to make our own wicked ways? When we want something, we give Him a list of our demands, but we seldom follow His guidance for our way of living. God will forgive any sin, but the repentance must be sincere. Then, brothers and sisters, we can go before the Lord with a clean heart and ask for His forgiveness and to heal our land. Then, we need to stand up for Jesus. We need to speak out and demand that schools go back to teaching truth and morals. We need to refuse to vote for lawmakers who promote sin and evil. We need to turn from our wicked ways, then help others to turn from theirs. We need to reach out to the unbelievers and tell them about the love and forgiveness they are missing.

The shepherds of the flock are failing. Shame upon preachers who preach warm-fuzzy sermons that soothe the ears of the congregation, but don’t encourage a closer walk with Jesus. Why is it more important to be politically correct and keep the tax-exempt status than to preach God’s truth? Instead of making the congregation feel comfortable, God’s truth needs to be declared. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a sermon spark the congregation to repent of the sins they hold onto, and walk close to Jesus? “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:3-4. I would love to see flames dancing on the heads of Christians, igniting the desire for the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us. When that happened on Pentecost, Peter stood up and gave a Holy Spirit inspired sermon. Many people repented and were saved on that day. Peter’s words spoke truth and brought conviction. Sadly, we’d rather “play church” than be convicted of sin, repent, and live for Christ. Yet, when bad things come along, we pray for God to do something.

This coronavirus is just a small preview of the wrath of God that will come when the seals begin to be opened. Things will continue to get worse, but Christians won’t be on earth to endure God’s wrath. “…and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9b-10. Have you turned from idols to serve the living and true God? If you haven’t, then how can you pray for His intervention in the coronavirus? If you’ve truly accepted Jesus for salvation, then you will be taken to Heaven prior to the wrath of God. Christians shouldn’t want anyone to be left to face the wrath of God, but everyone must make their own choice. As we sit in our homes, isolated from people, not allowed to gather together, not allowed to stand within 6 feet of another person, not allowed to attend worship services, it’s time do some self-evaluation using Scripture as our standard. First humble yourself before the Lord and repent of your own sin. Only then can you expect that God will listen when you ask Him to remove this virus from our nation and from our world.

So, what do we pray for? I pray that I will see my own sin and repent of anything that comes between me and God. I pray that He will open doors for me to share the Gospel and that the person I share with will humble themselves and turn from their evil ways. Then, I pray that God will have mercy upon this nation.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries just drop me an email and let me know.