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Monday, July 11, 2016

PRAYING FOR EMERGENCIES II

I am writing a second WATCHING IN PRAYER blog this week, rather than my THINKING IN THE SPIRIT blog. I apologize to you who may prefer the other. I intend to return to Thinking in The Spirit next week.
Thank God, I did not receive another Amber Alert this week. But this week a series of national tragedies unfolded. Two more black Americans were shot by police officers. That is a tragedy whether those two armed men or the policemen were in the wrong. Who can defend either all police who see every black man as a threat or people who grow up with hatred and resentment toward police.
And who of us was not horrified by the sniper who shot eleven police officers who were helping to keep the crowd safe at the protest rally in Dallas. We heard person after person who had come to the rally to protest police shootings, as they cried out in shock against the murder of the peace officers.
We face a host of national emergencies in these days. We see moral and spiritual emergencies in America. The political and social divisions are a crisis in. And who would say our sins have not offended the holiness of God who has so richly blessed us?
The first thing we must do in the face emergencies is cry out to God. The Lord told Abraham as He sent the angels to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. And Abraham interceded for the wicked cities. Are you interceding for America? Are you searching for ways to intercede in accordance with the righteousness of God? Are you crying out for the power of God that alone can turn our hearts around? Are you praying for God's glory to be magnified by His intervention in our government, in our institutions, in the police, in the media, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, in our homes, and in our lives? I am praying for an army of prayer warriors who will cry out to God night and day for our nation.


Monday, July 4, 2016

PRAYING FOR EMERGENCIES I

I intend to post two watching in prayer blogs in a row, rather than alternating next week with my THINKING IN THE SPIRIT blog. So this is PRAYING FOR EMERGENCIES I.

This week I received an Amber Alert on my phone. This is a new function of my phone. In fact, after I received it I got a message asking if I wanted to receive such messages in the future. I automatically keyed in "yes." But, of course part of me wanted to say, "No." I don't ever want there to be kidnapped children. I can rejoice that that day will come. But until that day I want to know about such terrors so I can pray as they unfold.
Of course an Amber Alert or a screaming siren, even a honking horn can be a distraction. We are tempted to try to find out what is happening. That of course is natural. But let me suggest that we start praying before we do anything else.
Romans 12:12 is one of those Scriptures that God has often used to speak to me. The King James Version concludes that verse with the words, "continuing instant in prayer." William Carrie said he was able to bring people on the mission field to Christ because God helped him be "instant in prayer." Our English word, "instant" comes to us through Middle English and French from the Latin, "in stare," which meant to stand at the ready."
The secret to being instant in prayer is to be immersed in prayer. If I am already praying when I hear the alarm, I will automatically pray for the urgency.