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Emergency Help

Ephesians 6:18a
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests... (NIVUK)

Modern warfare is highly dependent on telecommunications.  Ancient armies used more primitive signals (trumpet, flag, torch, fire or smoke - as well as human and animal couriers).  Without an interactive command structure, you lose the battle.  In this verse, Paul leapfrogs over millennia of communication methods and says that the hard-pressed soldier, even the one isolated in the thick of the battle, can personally call up the King for help.

The privileged facility of prayer is the right of everyone who wants to submit themselves to the Lord.  If we are not able to cry out to Him, we are on our own, left to make up our own solutions to impossible problems.  But when we pray, we have immediate and direct access to the God who made us, and who has saved us out of the grip of the devil.  God will certainly not want us to fall back into his clutches.  Prayer is the answer to anxiety and the reason for confidence in times of danger.  Philippians 4:4-7 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."   The 'guarding' provided by God is described as Him inserting a military garrison into our hearts and minds: to protect the desires and will, and settle the mind so that it is ready to make good and godly decisions.  

All effective prayer is 'in the Spirit' (Jude 20).  In the same way that God's Word is permanently issued to every soldier of Christ, prayer is not just a human invention, but is energised by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit knows exactly what is in our hearts and He understands our needs even better than we can explain them.  Romans 8:26-27 says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God."  So, God's response to our need does not even depend on our ability to get all the words right.

'Prayer' simply means 'cry'. Babies do not have logical words, whatever the need - they just cry.  It is the parent's responsibility to interpret the sound, and to act accordingly.  It is like that with God.  He is our Father and takes full responsibility for understanding every time we cry out to Him.  Those who know that they belong to Him, will call out to Him: that is the nature of our family and military relationship with our Father and King.  2 Peter 2:9 says, "... the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment ..." So, today, when you cannot see your way through, and Satan is stirring up fear or even despair - cry out to the Lord.  Tell Him what you know and feel, and then trust Him for the answer.  He hears you at work or home, just as well as when you are in church!

Dear Lord. Thank You for hearing and answering every prayer. Forgive me for failing to pray, relying instead on my own resources. I often do not know how to express myself to You. But today, I cry out and ask that You will interpret the confusion and pain of my heart, and the fear that Satan has stirred up by his lies. Please hear my cries for help and answer me. In Jesus' precious Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams