Perilous Times Primer #17

The Most Critical Element in Prayer

“Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you;
but I will teach you the good and the right way …” – words of Samuel, 1Sa 12: 23
Samuel is a unique figure in the history of Israel. First, he served as a priest since he was a small boy (1Sa 2:11, 1Sa 2:18, 1Sa 3:1, 1Sa 7:9), though he was not a Levite. Second, he was a prophet, bringing word from God to His people from his youth (1Sa 3:1–4:1). Third, Samuel acted as a judge over Israel (1Sa 7:6, 1Sa 7:15, 1Sa 7:17) in a time of great apostasy, and brought the nation back to the Lord. Fourth, he was a teacher of truth and honor (1Sa 12:23b–25) as the way to national deliverance from evil. In his greatest sphere of ministry, he was an intercessor for his nation, as indicated by the quote above. His prayers were a means of comfort to the children of Israel in a time of corruption, violence, and spiritual upheaval. By his prayers, God intervened in behalf of Israel to deliver them from their enemies (1Sa 7:9–17).
The same God, who used the prayers of a single man to deliver a corrupt and defeated people in the days of Samuel, reigns today. If only the people of God—those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ—would recognize the power of prayer, it may be that God would be merciful to America and raise up such a man, or a number of men and women, by whose intercession America could be saved from the dark hour of corruption, shame, and evil into which this nation has fallen!
In December, I posted an urgent call to prayer—urging other believer-priests to join me in interceding for America before the Throne of Grace. In that post, I suggested that we should pray that our God would expose the evil and corruption taking place in this land, specifically with government cover-ups in the areas of Barack Obama’s proof of citizenship, the truth about “Operation Fast and Furious,” and the cover-up regarding Benghazi. I made the statement that if the truth on any of these matters came out, it might change the course of events for this country prior to the swearing in of Barack Obama for a second term.
Since that post, two amazing things have happened. First, I have received more requests to be dropped from our mailing list than at any time in the history of Basic Training Bible Ministries. It was apparently offensive to some readers to even suggest that action should be taken in so quiet a way as in prayer to beseech God to reveal the truth about these matters. This was not a call to arms, nor even a call to acts of civil disobedience, but a simple call to believers to do what we are commanded to do. We are to pray for an enlightened government that will lead us into conditions of peace and godliness, where the Gospel message can thrive (1Ti 2:1–6). But what hope is there for a nation where even children of God are afraid of the truth?
The second thing that has happened is that evidence now suggests that many believers took the challenge, and joined in that intercession for our country. It is now clear that there were many other areas of corruption and cover-up than we even imagined at the time of that post. May God richly bless those who had the spiritual courage and concern to join in intercession for this land! Their prayers are being vindicated. The most succinct proof of this is the one-minute indictment of this administration by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) [] (5 June 2013).This was a courageous stand by a true statesman, which left little room for doubt as to the “state of the union.”
It is crucial for us to understand the fundamental principle upon which powerful prayer works. It is not that we somehow “work up the faith” to convince God of our position and gain His answer. Rather, it is to have the scriptural orientation and discernment to pray according to His will.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything
according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask,
we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1Jo 5:14–15
When we pray according to the will of God, our prayers are united with the intercession of the Holy Spirit, who only prays “according to the will of God” (Rom 8:26–27). The expressed will of God for His children is that we become, by sanctification, “the light of the world” (Mat 5:14–16), and as soldiers of the light (Rom 13:11–14). As children of light, we are to play a vital role in the exposure of the things of darkness to the light—first in our own lives, then in the world around us (Eph 5:8–14).
This “exposure” is done, not by becoming self-righteous and nosey judges, running around sniffing out evil. Rather, we are to act on the evidence at hand and, in regard to our nation and our leaders, specifically in the arena of prayer. When we assert the authority of believer-priests, we go boldly before the Throne of Grace (Heb 4:16), that our judgments may be either confirmed or refuted by the authority of Jesus Christ Himself.
The Church-Age believer is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek, under the high priesthood of Jesus Christ (Psa 110:4; Heb 5:6, Heb 5:10; Heb 7:21; 1Pe 2:5–9). As such, our role is illustrated by Melchizedek (Gen 14:18–20), who is acknowledged by Abram as having played a vital role in his victory over the overwhelming forces of Chedorlaomer. That crucial role was obviously his private intercessory prayers for the outcome of the battle.
Today, America is engaged in the most crucial spiritual battle of her brief existence on the stage of history. The response of believer-priests to the many calls for prayer for national repentance, revival, and deliverance will soon determine whether this blessed land will reclaim the spiritual heritage bestowed by our Founding Fathers, or go the way of tyranny and enslavement. Each of us must choose on which side we will stand. It has been said that silence in the face of evil is a form of consent. This is particularly true regarding silence in Bible-based and Spirit-filled prayer.
The greatest need in America today is for the unceasing prayers of believer-priests—both individual and collective. In those prayers, the most vital ingredient is that the prayers offered are according to the Word of God. How we need God to raise up a Samuel among us—to teach us to pray! Better yet, we need those who believe in Jesus Christ to wake up and realize that even the weakest among us has a standing and power that Samuel could not have dreamed of (Mat 13:16–17; Col 3:1–4; 1Pe 1:10–12). We live in a time when the prayers of God’s people are the invisible factor that will determine the course of the nation.
But in many cases, the most crucial and critical element in regard to prayer is to just get believers out of their apathy and indifference, to wake up to the danger of the hour, and to even pray at all!
“Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Eph 5:14
In the secret place,
Psa 91:1

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