Hey, this is Mike Zwick from If Not For God Podcast, our show.
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Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast today on Encouraging Prayer. We're going to talk about praying through the storm.
And that's a timely topic for a lot of our listeners as the remnants of Hurricane Ian, which has been described as a real epic storm in Florida, is now making its way through our area. So James, you know, one of the hardest things I think people face when they're in the path of a storm is, you know, do my prayers make a difference? And I mean, I know, you know, you were praying that the storm would dissipate or turn out to sea, and that didn't happen. And what's so hard about this is that we know that Jesus is able to calm the storm, but sometimes he chooses not to. And when you've prayed about that and the storm is still bearing down on you, I mean, that's a hard place to be.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you mean. I think the best model for prayer at a time like that comes from Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3, when Nebuchadnezzar sets up this golden image and orders everyone to bow down to it or be thrown into a blazing furnace, and they refuse, and they tell him, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, but even if he does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods. You know, that even if he does not, even if you don't turn the storm, you're like, wow, we will worship you. You know, and of course the king didn't like that, and he made the furnace seven times hotter and threw them in, but God delivered them.
Oh yeah, he did, but it didn't look like it at first, right? Because, I mean, they were literally thrown in the fire. Yeah, yeah, and you could call that a storm, even though they didn't get singed, the men who threw them in were killed, and you know, you can't miss what happens after that. King Nebuchadnezzar says, look, were there three men that we tied up and threw in the fire? I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of a god. So, you know, I think you could say that even if you have to go through the storm, the god that we serve will be there with us.
Oh yeah, I really, really love that. But at the same time, you know, God altered the laws of nature, and he doesn't always do that. In fact, the exception and not the norm, really, even though, you know, we should always ask, right? Yeah, we should always ask, because God is able to do amazing things, and we should pray with faith about that, but again, our faith is in him, not in the circumstances themselves. And the real question is, how do you pray under those circumstances? And this is where, again, we have to hold on to faith, not that the circumstances will work out the way we want to, but instead with faith that God is good no matter what, you know, that we'll know that, that we'll hold on to that, because the challenge that we all face is that sometimes we want to measure God's goodness by the things that happen to us, and we can't, because God is so much bigger than that, and his plans and designs are so much larger than we know. But I think what we can do in those moments is pray as honestly as we can. Wow, yeah, it helps so much to keep our focus on God, if we can keep our hearts right, you know, but sometimes that's a challenge too, because sometimes things that we don't deserve that aren't right, and we feel like, you know, God is far away in those times. Yeah, that really is the challenging thing. We've been looking at it from the perspective of our going through the storm.
What about if it's someone else? Good question, Robbie. This is where we really have to love others with our prayers. You know, praying from the heart, praying faithfully, consistently, getting down on our knees, and praying energetically about anything that we can think of, and really giving ourselves to prayer for them. So as we were just praying for this actual storm, right, for their safety and first responders and for food and shelter and anything else they may need. Right, right.
That's all an important part of it. I mean, just anything that God brings to mind and let him lead you, you know, as you pray through that. But also given what we just talked about, I think it's important to pray that they won't lose their faith as well, you know, that they won't get angry with God or blame him for allowing it to happen. Oh, wow.
That's awesome. I'm glad you bring that up because really, you know, that's a significant thing, wondering why God has allowed something to happen. I mean, we might understand that if we were sitting or running from him like Jonah was, but you know, when you're not doing any of that and trying to serve him, it's really tough.
It really can be. And sometimes it seems that if we're especially trying to serve God, that's when the storms really come. And that's where I think we have to look at what Jesus did and pray, not my will, but yours. And, you know, set our face toward obeying God and believing him and loving him no matter what. And as we do, he has ways of drawing near to us.
And when he does, it's so good. Oh, yeah. And I know that's more than just words for you, right? Because of all the things that I know you've been through.
It really is, Robbie. And sometimes, you know, it was in the toughest times that there were some of the sweetest moments with God, because you knew that Jesus was calling you to go through this. And it was somehow making you more like him, even though you never wanted to go through it.
And you would change it if you could. But that momentary awareness of his presence, even if it was just a glimpse, you know, somehow it made it all worthwhile. And it really is amazing how God can do so much with just a moment, because it's always like it was the worst of times, but it was the best of times.
Yeah, yeah, that's right. And that's a truth that's often hard won, but we don't want to miss it because then you know that he really will be with you and you really will get through no matter what happens, you know, because you'll be with him. And Robbie, as we finish up today, would you pray for our listeners and ask God to encourage them in any storms they may be going through right now?
Oh, I'd love to. Jesus, thank you so much for this insight today. And as we all are facing storms and we don't understand or think we don't deserve or those things, Lord, I love that idea that you would help us all to see you more clearly, to have faith, that you have us and that we will be with you and increase our faith, increase our belief, Lord, because we know we struggle with that. So I pray that you would come comfort those who really need you and those who look for you and help them to see your goodness through what may not look so good. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website, jamesbanks.org, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-29 00:31:15 / 2022-12-29 00:34:49 / 4