Good morning! This is Ray Anchan, one of the elders at Good News Bible Chapel with your Prayercast for October 11, 2017. Today’s headlines indicated that after `1000 leads later, probe still stumped by shooter’ referring to the tragedy in Las Vegas. While reading the news, I quickly noticed another report of a new hurricane, the most hurricanes in a season since 1800’s followed by a report on the increasing death toll from the fires in southern California. It seems that peace of mind evades us at every turn. While we begin to pick ourselves up from one catastrophic event, yet another occurs. It is but natural to be rattled and disconcerted. But then The Lord speaks to us out of the storm: `Be still, and know that I am God’ Psalm 46:10. As he calmed the seas in the midst of a storm ` And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.’ Mark 4:39, we find His soothing and calming presence in our midst. While in Exodus 14 we read that there was a sense of urgency, as Moses led the people of Israel towards the Red Sea with the Egyptian army on their heels, where God parted the waters and the people crossed over; however more often than naught, God asks us to trust Him and be still.
As we go through our frantic daily schedules, it is important to be still and in the stillness and quietness of the moment hear His voice speaking to our hearts comforting, reassuring, strengthening and guiding. I was thinking how is it possible to be `calm and still’ during some of the most difficult times in our lives, and The Lord reminded me to look back at His great providence, faithfulness, love and caring over the entirety of our existence. Indeed, if we count our many blessings and name them one by one we would be surprised and encouraged to see His faithfulness when the way seemed dark and dismal. This is exactly why when the children of Israel led by Joshua came to the river Jordon, God instructed the priests bearing the ark to be still ` And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.’ Joshua 3:8. God then asks them to establish a memorial of rocks. ` They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan…’
`In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD’ JOSHUA 4.
Time spent in prayer, meditation and reflection can encourage, strengthen and equip us to boldly face the day and whatever it may bring. My prayer today is that God will help each of us to be still, regardless of the raging waters and storm clouds that surround us; when we cannot see, we can rest assured that our ever-loving God can see for us and carry us on His shoulders as a shepherd carries his lost sheep. Let us remember in prayer our brothers and sisters in hurricane ravaged parts of the US mainland and Puerto Rico as they recover and rebuild. Let us pray for the families of the bereaved and wounded in Las Vegas. Let us pray for the bereaved, homeless and many who are in harm’s way of the raging fires in southern California. At some of the darkest and most difficult days of our lives my prayer is that we can be encouraged knowing God is with us `for in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength’ Isaiah 30:15.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him Psalm 37:7.
Years ago I listened to a sermon titled “The gold, the girl and the glory!” The gist of the message was this: young shepherd boy David’s motivation for coming up against Goliath was impure but he still prevailed. I hope you can understand how deep the offence was in my spirit! Goliath stood up against the kingdom of God and David would have none of it!
In teaching his disciples to pray, Jesus began “’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
In Isaiah chapter 37 we read Hezekiah’s prayer after the king of Assyria had openly threatened Jerusalem’s destruction if the people refused to join his kingdom. Hezekiah took the right posture when he prayed “Now, O Lord, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”
When sin destroys our loved one’s lives, or evil rears its head in our midst, when news of unjust suffering comes to our ears, should we not be offended as David was when he heard the blasphemy of Goliath! Should not our first course of action be to appeal to the God who can, the Great I AM?
“Give us this day our daily bread” Jesus taught us to pray. When the disciples found Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well they urged him to eat something. His reply? “I have food to eat that you know nothing about”….”my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” Is this what we pray for when we ask for our daily bread, that we could share in the coming of his Father’s kingdom?
May all our prayers emanate from a desire to see his Kingdom fulfilled, and may we know God’s forgiveness as we forgive others, and escape the temptations that can render us powerless!
Blessings to all in Christ’s name!