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By: Angela Watkins, Mon Nov 26th, 2007
Sickly King Hezekiah lay on his death bed. He cried out to God in prayer. God gave the king fifteen years. (II Kings 20:5) Acknowledge, thank, and celebrate every victory that God sends our way. There are many wonderful things we can learn from the Old Testament saints. Theologian Graham Scroggie put it this way: "The New is in the old contained, and the Old is in the New explained!" Elijah, is commended for the way he prayed (James 5:17-18). We all want to pursue God with the passion of David, a man after God's heart, and with faith like Abraham. God interrupted Moses and the children of Israel at the Red Sea, where they were trapped by Pharaoh and the world's greatest army. They cried out to God about their circumstances. What was God's response? He essentially said, "Folks, this is no time to pray. Moses, raise the rod and split the sea. And Moses did! (Exodus 14:15-16). When Jesus arrived, HE did things on the Sabbath that the Pharisees couldn't accept. Then came the day when, with HIS disciples, HE lifted the Communion cup and said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood" (Luke 22:20). God responds to the prayers of those who love and honor HIM. We don't throw out the Old Testament and its prayers. We approach God's throne of grace "with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). I Corinthians 10:13 -- God carefully measures our trials, and HE promises that we won't face more than we can bear. (But we must also keep in mind that when we choose to walk in darkness, we move out from under God's protection). Matthew 5:43-45 -- Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. Jesus was no ordinary teacher. HE was the Prince of Peace. "Mercy triumphs over judgment!" (James 2:13). The prayers God answers are those prayed in accordance with HIS will. The Holy Spirit "searches all things even the deep things of God," and "knows the thoughts of God." God has told us to call on HIM and he will show us great and mighty things. (Jeremiah 33:3) As Moses prayed with his hands raised to heaven, Joshua's army was victorious. Prayer worked! (Exodus 17:8-13) Sickly King Hezekiah lay on his death bed. He cried out to God in prayer. God gave the king fifteen years. (II Kings 20:5) The author's daddy, Dr. Robert E. Smith (a pastor) laid at death's door in a Tyler Texas Hospital. The medical team advised the family to make his funeral arrangements. In answer to prayer, God raised him up and gave him four and a half more years. God has created all things for his pleasure. Everything is about the kingdom. Jesus Christ is the rightful ruler of a spiritual Kingdom, and on day, all men will bow before HIM (Philippians 2:9-10). What do we know about any king? He's born into his position. He rules those in his kingdom with absolute authority. Those who are chosen by the king to serve as his ambassadors do everyting to symbolize the kingdom. Scripture calls us "Christ's ambassadors" (II Corinthians 5:20). The author shares in his book that "New Science Magazine" reported a world values survey that analyzed the levels of happiness in more than sixty-five (65) countries. Of the nations surveyed, the United States ranked sixteen (16) on the list, even though the standard of living in the U.S. far exceeds that of the fifteen (15) happiest nations. Joshua 6 -- Praise preceded the fall of Jericho walls. II Chronicles 20:14-21 -- Praise preceded Jehoshaphat's victory. Mark 6:30-44 -- Praise preceded the feeding of the 5,000 Acts 16:20-34 -- Praise preceded the earthquake and jailbreak in Philippi "It is said of Leonardo da Vinci, the great artist, that he wold sit practically motionless for days at a time, meditating and getting the inspiration for his masterpieces." Celebrate the Small Stuff! We are to celebrate God's smallest responses to our prayers. The psalmist David said, "I will praise God's name in song and glorify HIM with thanksgiving" (Psalm 69:30). Jesus said in John 14:13, "I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father." In Exodus 15, after crossing the Red Sea and escaping the wrath of Pharaoh and his army, the children of Israel threw a praise party to celebrate God for bringing them safely out of Egypt. Sometimes, after God has done something wonderful that we are celebrating, the enemy throws discouragment in our path. The author and his wife had finished teaching at the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, and were headed toward the airport, when they began to witness to the cab driver, who was from Ghana. After a few minutes he prayed to receive Christ as his Lord and Saviour. When the cab stopped, the driver jumped out, hugged them, and thanked them for sharing Christ's life with him. At the ticket counter the author's wife was given a boarding pass. Then the woman looked at the author and told him, "Sir, I'm sorry, but your ticket has been cancelled. You don't have a seat on this flight." He told the woman, "I did't cancel my ticket." She told him the airline cancelled his ticket. She then told him that he would have to buy another $471 ticket if he planned to fly home on the flight with his wife. The author was fuming inside as he pulled out his credit card and purchased another $471 ticket. The author said God asked him, "Eddie, why did you sell my praise for $471?" All it took was one setback, one disappointment, to shut down his "praise party" for the salvation of the cab driver. He had allowed the evil one to crash his praise party and rob God of the praise HE was due - for a measly $471. Let's acknowledge, thank, and celebrate every victory that God sends our way. The author shares he does not promise to teach you how to get what you want from God. But he do hope that the readers of his book will know how to be heard in heaven. Eddie Smith, Author of "How To Be Heard In Heaven." He is also co-founder and president of the U.S. Prayer Center, equips intercessors worldwide through articles, books, and his international teaching ministry. Angela Watkins, http://www.e-angelswisdom.com , Book Reviewer, Public Relations, Mgmt, Consulting, Christian Life Coach - Biblical Coaching, Internet Coaching - Internet Consulting