Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake. Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee:…."
- Psalm 31:16-17a
David prays a desperate prayer for desperate times, echoing what we've all prayed in our dilemmas.
I received a wonderful phone call yesterday from a person who has been praying a similar prayer in desperation for some time now. Many of those prayers in tears. Her family appeared to be shattering apart. Numerous times she put the call out for prayer and any wisdom anyone might have.
In our previous message of May 5th, we spoke of focussing too much on the outward man, but this family's natural life was the fallout zone for a raging spiritual battle. The focus couldn't be helped. Yet she was focussing more on the spiritual side, understanding that was where the real battle was.
It was about a year ago when I received the first email. Her family has been in a spiritual warzone ever since. Desperate prayer became the norm. That is until recently. Through humility and lot's of prayer, the answer finally came twelve months later, almost to the day. The Lord was healing them. He didn't just reset the family as one would a computer. He is rebuilding it better than it was and making changes only He can make.
God sees differently to us. We see our future plans in God, whereas God sees His future plans in us.
The war is not entirely over for them, but the changes that occurred make the heart weep for joy.
When we read in scripture that God is amazing, we can believe it. This is the story of a woman who didn't give up. She knew her God would win; it was a matter of time. Is she perfect? By her own admission, no! Was she valiant? Yes.
When we engage in prayers of desperation, we are not to give up. We must learn what the Lord is trying to teach us, which is difficult when the battle is raging. This woman stepped up her program by degrees. Starting out with basic prayer, she then increased her knowledge of the situation by reading, googling and communicating. She changed her type of prayers, then fasted, then added the authority of Christ within her. As the war got more serious and winning seemed distant, instead of falling down crippled in what is called Learned Helplessness (a sense of powerlessness arising from a traumatic event or persistent failure to succeed.), she rose up and made sure of her armour, pulled out her Sword of the Spirit and waded deeper into the battle.
In her times of very real agony and anguish, and there were plenty of those, God was not aloof, distant or ignorant of this family's situation. He was out to win a great overcoming in various areas of life. He had to bring things to pass. Our role is to support Him in that by having faith and a fighting spirit, and not to think He is deaf. Often we have to change ourselves to affect the outcome. God turned what Satan thought was his victory into a victory of His own.
Is that the end of the war for this woman and her family? No. A Christian's battle in this life is a series of peaks and troughs until we are with our Lord. But this family's battles might now be fought together as a unit.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the way you strategise victories. Please help me to have faith over the long haul so I can enjoy the victories together with you instead of absorbing Learned Helplessness, which I think I've had in the past.