JUST PRAY ABOUT IT Andy Hollifield 7-26-18
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Just pray about it. Those are quite often the last words spoken to you before you make a huge mistake. I was blessed to have been raised by a mom and dad that both had wisdom and weren’t shy about sharing it. But, being a hard-headed teenager, I wasn’t always as good at following it as they were at giving it. Unfortunately, I didn’t completely grow out of that bull-headedness until well past my teens and it still flares up at times. I can remember having long conversations, especially with dad, trying to reach a decision about something. When his advice didn’t seem to be having the desired effect, he would resort to something he knew I couldn’t ignore: “Just pray about it.” I hated hearing those words because after hearing them, you no longer have an excuse for making a stupid decision. At that point you are accountable.
I have gotten a little better as I have gotten older but I am still bad at times to want to jump the gun if I am not careful. The sad part is that you can jump the gun real quick but you may never outlive the consequences of a stupid decision. Some people might be offended by the word “stupid” but the fact is that I made some stupid ones and there is no getting around it. At some point while studying, I realized there were a lot of folks in the bible that made some decisions they would have liked to be able to go back and do different.
Abraham was one of the first ones that I really began to notice it with. I realize that I have written on this subject before but I felt drawn to write on it again. The unusual thing about Abraham is all of the altars that he built. In Genesis 12:7 he built an altar because the Lord had appeared to him there and made the covenant. In 12:8 he went to another place to camp and when he got there and had set everything up, he built another altar and prayed. In 13:18 he moved and dwelt in Hebron and built an altar there also. Genesis 22:9 was probably the hardest one he ever built. It was the one that he would lay his son on to offer him as a sacrifice unto the Lord. If you count the grove that Abraham planted unto the Lord, that is five places that he prepared and prayed. Five throughout the bible is the number of grace. You would think with all of these altars, Abraham would be the last person you would ever think would have a problem praying about stuff. In Genesis 13:4 he also returned to Bethel to the first altar he had built.
He was definitely a praying man but there were also some things he did without praying that resulted in permanent consequences. The first one of those was in Genesis 12 when the Lord told him to leave his country, his kindred, and his father’s house. Before I go on I want to say that until you are willing to leave your stuff, God cannot bless you with his stuff. (1) The Lord didn’t tell Abram to take Lot with him. Looking back on how things turned out I’m sure he wished he hadn’t of taken him. (2) Abram had Saria to claim to be his sister when they went to Egypt rather than his wife because he was afraid they would kill him to marry her. This lie was later revealed to Pharoah by God afflicting his house. This lie almost got Pharoah judged by God. (3) In chapter 13 we find the day that Abram and Lot separated the land. If you notice, nowhere in their conversation did Abram ever consult God. Lot wound up in Sodom and Gomorrah and the consequences were the death of Lot’s wife, drunkenness of Lot, incest with his daughters, and the death of his older daughters and their families. Both resulting nations were pagans and the Ammonites even refused Israel to pass through their land to go to the promised land. (4) In Genesis 16, Abram never prayed before taking Hagar as his wife. (5) In chapter 20, Abraham again told the sister story, this time to Abimelech. God told Abimelech he was “but a dead man” because she was a man’s wife. Fortunately for him, Abimelech had not touched her and returned her to Abraham. She was Abraham’s half-sister having the same father but different mothers. (6) In chapter 21, after Sarah had gotten jealous of Ishmael, even though by now Isaac had been born, she told Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away which he did. Again, he did not pray.
In spite of the fact that he was a praying man and was called in 2 Chronicles 20 God’s friend, he still had his times when he got in a hurry, or scared, or trying to keep peace, and didn’t pray. A lot of these had life-altering results. Such is the case with each of us. When we fail to seek God’s counsel, we may wind up causing great harm to those we love as well as strangers. Whatever you face and whatever decisions you have to make, just pray about it. It’s still good, godly, advice and it still works. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!