The Long-Range View of Prayer (Part 1)

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Next year, we will have a new president. This new leader, whether we voted for this person or not, will transition into the White House, create a new Cabinet and appoint their own leadership.  We as voters will have no control over who they choose.  The decisions are largely their own to make as they decide who to surround themselves with for wisdom, counsel, advice and information.

A similar transition of leadership is recorded in 1 Kings as David dies of old age and his son Solomon secures the throne.  I’m going to unpack a little Bible history here, so stay with me.  I promise it will all come together powerfully in the end!

As the curtain rises in the first chapter, palace intrigue is unfolding as, just before his death, one of David’s sons, Adonijah, attempts to usurp control of the kingdom. In his last act as king, David trumps the upstart by placing his other son, Solomon, on the throne.

As the new reigning king, Solomon begins making transitional changes.  An action we should note involves one of the two high priests, Abiathar, who had sided with Adonijah, when he tried to take the throne by force. Years before assisting in this rebellion, Abiathar had been promised protection by David, yet he repays the kindness with treachery.

Interestingly, Solomon doesn’t kill Abiathar for this rebellion, even though most kings of his day put to death all those who were found to be enemies of the state.  What Solomon did do is very telling of his wisdom and prophetic leading from God.

Solomon removes Abiathar from the position of high priest.  Now for people who hold religious positions without a respect for the Lord, stripping them of the power and prestige of position is a fate worse than death!

But even more importantly, this act of removing Abiathar from the priesthood fulfilled the word of the Lord against Eli the high priest spoken decades earlier.  In 1 Samuel chapter 2, a prophet tells Eli that the priesthood is being taken from his family line because of atrocities committed in the temple.  Eli’s sons were raping women in the temple yet Eli didn’t correct them or stop the behavior.  Because of this evil, the prophet declared that not one of Eli’s descendants would continue in the priesthood and now, decades later, Abiathar is the last in the family line to go.

Here’s our take-away from this story: Solomon may not have been thinking about the prophecy from decades before his birth and he may not have even been aware of it; but his actions fulfilled the word of the Lord nonetheless.   God is faithful to His word and he doesn’t forget over time. He is outside of time.  He works not only in our lifetimes, but He continues to work in generations that follow us.

Now fortunately for anyone who is in Christ, the judgment of God has been removed by the cross, and the only words that we wait on for fulfillment are promises of healing, deliverance and salvation. Therefore, we can stand on the fact that even if we don’t see the complete answer to our prayers in our own lifetime, God is STILL WORKING and his word contains its own self-fulfilling power.

When I put a seed in my garden, the energy that the seed requires to grow is inside it.  The sun and water activate the energy-food in that seed which it uses to grow.  God’s word is a seed that we plant into our lives.  But we must remember that our lives are not just the 70-80 years we live on this planet. We are eternal.  Therefore, we are extremely short-sighted when we get discouraged that we don’t see an answer to prayer after one week or one month of praying about it.  For that matter, even one year of our lives is less than a drop in the ocean of our eternal existence.

(To be continued…)

Now You: 

  • What prayers are you praying that might take a while in their fulfillment?
  • Does this understanding that God sometimes works in time frames that are beyond our own lifetimes give you confidence to stay in faith?
  • Our faith and thanksgiving are the “sun and water” that the seed of God’s Word uses to germinate and grow.  Keep watering the Word by speaking out your faith, praise and thanksgiving. You will not be disappointed!

 

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