Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, February 22, 2014


     Sometimes, as Randy Smith was standing behind the pulpit speaking on Sunday mornings he would be interrupted. And almost every time he was interrupted, it was by a kid in the pews and almost every time, it was Harold Peterson, But this time it wasn't Harold for he was not even in town, and it wasn't even a kid. This time it was his wife.

     Walking down the middle aisle to the pulpit, Daisy stopped right in front of her husband and let out a loud “AHEM!” to get his attention. “I know,” Randy said as he looked at her, “ Everybody who went into Harold’s room has been found.” Un-phased by the remark, Daisy looked him in the eye and said “I need you to make an important announcement for me?”

     “I must be important.” Randy, said, “If you're interrupting the morning sermon like this.” “It's extremely important.” Daisy said, “The ladies of the church are going to be meeting this coming Tuesday evening.” “Nice Dear.” Randy frowned, “What are you going to be doing? Sewing? Cooking? Cleaning? That doesn't sound important at all.”

     “We are going to be praying.” Daisy said, “And furthermore, all husbands are welcome also. Harold is missing.” “And do you have a meeting time and place for this prayer mee....” Randy said and then froze. “Did you say Harold is missing?”

     “Yes.” Daisy exclaimed, “But not only him, several others from the monastery are missing too.” “So,” Randy asked, “What has Harold been up to now?” “I don’t think this can be blamed on Harold.” “If Harold's not to blame,” Randy went on to ask, “Then what happened?” “An earthquake hit the monastery.” Daisy said starting to quiver.

     “An earthquake!” Randy exclaimed out loud catching the attention of everyone in the pews. “An earthquake destroyed part of the monastery.” Daisy said out loud and people started to murmur behind her. “How bad is it?” Randy asked. “It took out the entire wing where Harold slept.” Daisy said starting to cry.

     “When did it happen?” now asked with great concern. “Last night.” Daisy said, “Which means Harold would have been in his room sleeping.” “Did you say others were missing too?” Randy asked looking for more information. “At least six others sleep in that wing.” Daisy said, “And it’s several stories high or at least it was.”

     “How soon before they will know anything?” Randy asked. “It could be several days.” Daisy told him, “They can’t get rescue equipment up the mountain side.” “That's bad.” Randy said forgetting all about his sermon. “Let's not wait until Tuesday. Let's pray now!” and with those words, everybody in the congregation got down on their knees and started to pray.

     In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 2 Kings 18:13 (ESV) How do you react when troubles comes your way? Do you try to take care of things your way? What if you know you can't take care of the issue at hand like Hezekiah? Let's see what he did....

     As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz. They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the LORD your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the LORD your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left." When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, "Say to your master, 'Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.' " … Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said: "O LORD the God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone." Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. … And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh. And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
2 Kings 19:1-37 (ESV)

     Somethings are beyond our control. Sometimes the only thing we can do is pray and what a defense prayer can be. The last part of the Armor of God found in Ephesians is that of prayer. Ephesians 6:18 reads Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God’s people. (NCV)

     When it comes to prayer we need to:
  • Pray without ceasing, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV)
  • I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 1 Timothy 2:8 (ESV)
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
  • Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 (NASB)
  • But when you ask God, you must believe and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown up and down by the wind. James 1:6 (NCV)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • Do you use prayer as a defense, to keep you from harm?
  • When you pray, do you wait until it's too late?

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