||2015-11-08 21:01:51, 조회 : 1,124, 추천 : 265
| Turning the Tide |
The Tide-Turning Power of Prayer
In chapter 12 of “Turning the Tide”, author Charles Stanley opens the chapter by writing on the importance of “Doing the will of Heaven on earth”. Stanley uses the Saint Nicholas Church in Leipzig, East Germany as an example. East Germany was also known as the German Democratic Republic, the members of Saint Nicholas gathered together on Mondays and offered “Prayers of Peace” for their nation was under the oppression of communism. The group began in 1982 and started with six members, by 1988 the group had grown larger, meeting the daily in the main sanctuary. By 1989 the group had become so large that they were now being monitored by GDR authorities. Secret police were sent to attend these meetings and they had begun to imprison the attendees. This tactic ignited by the GDR did not hinder the members of Saint Nicholas for they continued to gather and pray daily, though police and soldiers were sent to disband the members. The GDR’s efforts came to a halt by November 9, 1989 when the Berlin wall was knocked down. As written in James 5:16: “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much”. We can see in this case it was the collective prayer of righteous men and women that helped change this nation.
Stanley reminds us once more of the importance of “a time for prayer” he writes, “The time has come for us to pray—as the faithful intercessors of Saint Nicholas Church in Leipzig did—believing the Father can mightily reverse the tide assailing our nation.” When battles are fought with prayer, as Stanley writes, “we win every time”. This can be seen in the story of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah and his family had been held captive; he was taken from Judah to Babylon and this lasted from 605 B.C. to 586 B.C. In 539 B.C. Babylon was defeated by Cyrus who was King of Persia. After the 70 years of exile the Jews were finally able to return to their land, sadly their land had laid in ruins. Nehemiah was a cup bearer for King Artaxerxes I, whose reign lasted from 465 B.C. to 425 B.C., when Nehemiah heard the conditions of Jerusalem and of those who were there he was deeply troubled. This turmoil brought Nehemiah to prayer, when Artaxerxes asked what was wrong Nehemiah was able to explain the troubling situation. Stanley writes how Nehemiah had “the words, courage, wisdom, and favor to explain the problem to the king and receive the help he needed” (read Nehemiah 2:1-8). Through prayer Nehemiah was able to have Jerusalem’s wall rebuilt in 52 days, a task that had previously taken 90 years (Read Nehemiah 6:15).
The author then goes into the significance of “learning how to pray”. In Ephesians 3:20 we read how God “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.” First we must recognize God’s sovereignty and Holiness. Secondly we must know who God is and the power of His majesty. Thirdly, we must be willing to be used for service, with this mindset our actions begin to go in accordance to His will. Lastly, we must be in submission to “God’s timing, purpose, power, and direction” as Stanley suggest. Through prayer we can begin to intercede for our leaders. Pray that our leaders see their own sin, carry out responsibilities, reject unrighteous behavior, restore righteousness, and their accountability to God. Ultimately we must ask God to either “change them or remove them” as Stanley writes.
Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever he wishes.” God can truly influence our leaders and lawmakers, so long as we ask for through prayer. As Christians we must also “join in faith and prayer with others”, as the author states. Jesus had said in Matthew 18:19-20, “If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am in their midst”. This passage shows the power in both prayer and unity amongst Christians. God is able to do anything we ask for, as long as we seek Him in all we do, and hold fast to His word, we will be able to see the “Tide-Turning Power of Prayer”.
1. Have you been energized by the Lord’s presence? If so how do you use the energy to honor and serve Him?
2. What part of the of Saint Nicholas Church example touch you the most? How has it inspired you?