IF NOBODY PRAYED Andy Hollifield 4-14-19
Daniel 10:12 Then he said unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
Did you catch the last sentence? “I am come for thy words.” What do you think would have happened had Daniel not have prayed? In chapter nine, he had just seen the vision of the seventy weeks which were an outline of what would happen to Israel in the latter days. He mourned after seeing this for three full weeks even fasting and praying for his people. He understood what it all meant at least to a point and that is why the angel came. He was to make him understand the vision and that it was for a long time away. There were other men with Daniel but only he saw the angel and the vision. Why do you think that was? I believe it was because he was the one that got serious with God concerning his people. He was weak from fasting and praying after twenty-one days but the angel came and strengthened him. Without trying to get too deep, I believe that Daniels persistence in prayer, concern for his people, and willingness to be used by God is why the angel was hindered so hard getting to him. If Satan would have been able to discourage Daniel and make him quit, look at all of the scripture and history we would have missed out on. How would he have wound up if he hadn’t prayed?
The story of Lazarus death in John 11 is a really good example of Christian persistence. It demonstrates that sometimes what we want from the Lord may be far less than what he wants for us. Just think if Mary and Martha had of gotten what they asked for. They sent for Jesus to come because Lazarus was sick and they wanted him healed. Jesus tarried where he was for two more days. Verse four of the chapter tells in a round-about way that God had something more in mind for them. Nothing is said about a multitude being present at Lazarus’ house when his sisters sent for Jesus. On the other hand, two days had passed and they were on the third day when Jesus arrived. By then, Lazarus had been dead four days without question, possibly having died the same day they sent for Jesus. To add to the assurance of his death, Martha advised Jesus that after being dead four days, Lazarus’ body would be stinking. This just added one more layer of impossibility for the Lord to overcome. After four days of being dead, it would no doubt be a miracle for Lazarus to ever live again. If you notice in the stories of many of the patriarchs, God fixed things in a way that there could be no other answer but him and no one else could possibly take credit for what he had done. He could have come and healed Lazarus in his sickness but then who would have known? People recover all the time but it’s not every day you see someone raised from the dead. Lazarus become pretty well-known after he had been resurrected. God definitely had a lot more of a story for them than just being healed. What if nobody had sought the Lord? In your situation, what if God has written you a better story than what you’re asking for?
Gideon was a man like probably a lot of us. When first called upon by the Lord, he made every excuse he could come up with, from his occupation and his upbringing to his family’s social standing, as to why he couldn’t do the task at hand. God talked to on several occasions concerning the number of his soldiers. Each time, Gideon went away disappointed because instead of getting what he wanted, he always got less. Have you ever thought about when it was that he actually got willing to do what God had for him? He had suffered disappointment more than once. It wasn’t until he had been all the way to the edge of the enemy’s camp and heard the story of the enemy that he returned to his men, finally willing to take what God had for him. God made it so impossible that man couldn’t accomplish it. But God could and would deliver against impossible odds. There was no mistaking that God delivered in that battle. We may wind up on the edge of utter impossibility in our situation before we get willing to accept what God has for us. In Gideon’s case, what if nobody prayed? What if he hadn’t of sought God? It wouldn’t be much of a story would it? What about in your case? What kind of story would it be if God just took your advice and settled everything how you wanted it? It probably wouldn’t be much of a story would it? But, alone in the darkness the night before the battle, God will give you what he wants you to have and it will always be far better than you could have ever imagined. It has to be better because God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours because he “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” But he does it “according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3 20). He will come for our words just as he did for all of these that called on him. But what if nobody prays? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!