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(Part 43)


August 13, 2017

Today’s readings:
1 Kings 19:9-13
Psalm 85:9-14
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:22-33

Today we have one of the more basic stumbling blocks for holy warriors, and that is inadequate prayer. We are supposed to pray every day. Do we do so? Or perhaps we might do so, but is our prayer adequate enough and pleasing to God?

We can become lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life and even spiritual work. We are to see and seek God in all circumstances, but we best meet Him in the solitude of our hearts. For Elijah the prophet, the Lord was not in the “strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks …. not in the earthquake …. not in the fire” (1 Kgs 19:11-12a). Because of the majesty of God, we look to theophanies. But we can best hear Him in “a light silent sound.” (1 Kgs 19:12b).

Jesus himself prayed to the Father. He knew the importance of doing so. After ministering to the crowds and even as he was tired, “he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone.” (Mt 14:23). Alone with the Father. In the silence of the night. Undisturbed by the burden of ministering to the crowds.

It is by prayer that our faith increases, as we speak to God and He speaks to us, as He assures us of His love, as He makes clear what is our task. We have seen that with faith we can do humanly impossible tasks. Peter “began to walk on the water” (Mt 14:29b). But then, seeing how strong the wind was, he faltered, became frightened and began to sink (Mt 14:30). Jesus rebuked him. “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Mt 14:31b). It is in prayer that God can erase our doubts. It is in prayer that holy warriors can truly recognize their Commander-in-Chief. “Truly, you are the Son of God.” (Mt 14:33b).

It is in prayer that God opens our eyes to the glories and wonders of our faith. We are the new Israel. What did God do for the Israelites that we now are recipients of? “They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah.” (Rom 9:4-5a). We have them all!

It is through prayer that we enter into the mind and heart of God, as we listen intently to Him. “I will listen for what God, the Lord, has to say” (Ps 85:9a). Then we will truly know and realize why He raises His holy warriors. We wage war in order to bring God’s peace, as “surely he will speak of peace to his people and to his faithful.” (Ps 85:9b). We wage war in order to help bring salvation to His people, who have been enslaved by the evil one. “Near indeed is his salvation for those who fear him” (Ps 85:10a). We wage war in order to establish God’s dominion over the whole world. In prayer we are assured that “glory will dwell in our land.” (Ps 85:10b). We wage war in order to demolish the rule of the enemy, to overturn the idolatry of the zeitgeist, and to bring back authentic values of the Kingdom, that of “love and truth” and of “justice and peace” (Ps 85:11).

In prayer, God will ask us the question He asked of Elijah: “Why are you here, Elijah?” (1 Kgs 19:13b). And in prayer, may holy warriors be able to answer well: “I have been most zealous for the Lord” (1 Kgs 19:14a). Then may our God say to us, “Then go forth, my holy warrior.”

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For discussion in household groups:
Share about your prayer time. Just go quickly on the basic details, such as place and length of time. Focus more on whether God truly speaks to you, to your heart and mind. Does your prayer time increase your faith? Is God able to teach you things, especially the values of the Kingdom? Are you encouraged to go forth as a holy warrior to do His will?

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