Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Bring Out the Big Guns"

Schwerer Gustav (public domain photo courtesy of blogspot.com)
800 mm rail gun.
     During World War II, a huge cannon was built by the Germans to break through the French Maginot line on the eastern border between Germany and France.  This system of underground forts was made up of seven layers of concrete and special armor plating to defend from any attack by Germany following WW I.  The French were determined to protect themselves against another invasion.  The Maginot line went from Belgium in the north to Switzerland in the south.  France believed that Germany would never violate the neutrality of these countries so the special fortification didn't extend beyond that.
     However, around 1937, Gustav Krupp developed a gun of phenomenal size called the Schwerer Gustav which was capable of sending shells 29 miles away.  The gun was 30 meters long and sent 7 ton shells racing to destroy targets.  Adolf Hitler was impressed that this railway cannon could blow through 36 feet of earth and concrete and go another six feet through armor plating.  This would solve his problem of how to invade France through the Maginot line.  After invading Belgium and the Netherlands, though, Hitler had no need for the cannon as he had easy access through these countries to France who quickly gave up in surrender to Germany.  Nevertheless, the cannon was deployed and used during the invasion of Russia and destroyed the town of Sevastopol leaving it in utter ruins.  Fortunately for the Russians, the cannon needed refurbishing after firing on this area so it was sent back to be repaired.  A second huge cannon named Dora was also constructed to carry on the battle but was never used.
     While these "big guns" were impressive in their day and time, there is a weapon far more powerful than any devised by man then or now.  It is called prayer.  When we call upon God through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ our righteousness, He will hear from heaven and answer.  Knowing that He is our Creator and the Sovereign over all the affairs of men, we can rest assured that we have tapped into the greatest power source that exists.  This does not mean that God will give us everything we want but He will supply all that we need according to His divine will.  So how do we pray?
     First, we need to realize that prayer is simply communicating with God daily.  According to I Thessalonians 5:13, we are to "pray without ceasing".  Romans 12:12 reads:  "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."  In both cases, these Scriptures tell us that we are to look to God through prayer on a regular basis.  Prayer does not have to be spoken aloud, but it can also be inward allowing us to pray all through our day.  No where are we given a prescription for how often we are to pray, but we know that the psalmist who wrote Psalm 119 prayed seven times a day (Psalm 119:164).  Daniel prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10) and our Lord prayed often all night long.  Even though we have no specific directions for when or where to pray, we are told to bring all our concerns to God in prayer and not worry about them but give God the thanks for His many blessings (Philippians 4:6-7).
     There are a few things which our Lord did tell us to avoid during our times of prayer.  We are not to use vain repetitions as the pagans do when they pray (Mathew 6:7).  Likewise, the Lord told us not to stand on the street corners while we pray as the hypocrites often did to draw attention to their piety (Mathew 6:5).  Instead, we are to pray to the Father in secret.  This time for private prayer and meditation on the Word are invaluable to us as believers.  However, corporate worship, prayer for one another, or grace at the evening meal are times when we vocally proclaim our prayers to God before others.
     Prayer not only draws us closer to the heavenly Father but it also changes us.  It is hard, if not impossible, to pray for someone and continue to dislike them.  We may have enemies or those we do not care for but once we begin to intercede for them, God often brings about a change in our own hearts.  This is part of the miracle power in prayer as we give the Lord access to our own hearts and minds.  
     Our prayers can also unleash the miracle working power of God into a situation.  Take for example the prayer of Elijah the Prophet.  James 5:17 tells us that Elijah prayed that it would not rain and it did not for three years yet he was a common man just like us.  In my own life, I prayed that God would heal me of polio when I was six years old.  I told Him that I just wanted to go home again and after six weeks, I was able to go home and recuperate.  God has been good to me and answered that prayer.  However, there are times when God does not heal us or intervene in the way we think He should.  This is when we must realize that He knows the beginning from the end of all things.  He works all things together for good even if we do not see it at the present time.
     With the state of our nation, the world and culture at large, we need to be a people of prayer.  We need to unleash the "Big Guns" of prayer and ask the Father in heaven to heal our land, our lives, and our culture.  We need to ask His forgiveness for our sins that Christ might be glorified in our lives.  Likewise, we need to pray for the salvation of family, friends and leaders.  Our God, our Father, Our King hears the prayers of His people who call upon Him in Jesus' name.  All we have to do is cry unto Him and then watch what He does.  He is faithful, unchangeable, trustworthy and holy.  His name is justice and peace in this dark and sinful world.  Jeremiah 33:3 says:  "Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."  We have our invitation.  Now lets get busy and pull out the "big guns" of prayer.   Selah!

I welcome your thoughts on how God has used prayer in your life and the lives of others.

2 comments:

Christina said...

Amen! And now more than ever before!

Barbara Thayer said...

I agree my friend. Prayers, action in witnessing and sharing our faith and values with those who are lost in our world. The only way we will impact our culture is by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ!