Ezra believed God’s hand was on them, so rather than ask for protection from men, he prayed.
The Bible tells what happened: “We fasted and implored God for this, and he listened to our entreaty” (Ezra 8:23).
Take prayer, and God’s answers, seriously.
God is under no obligation to answer our prayers. He hears prayer because He is good, and for no other reason.*
Truly God is good (Psalm 73:1).
*adapted from A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, The Pursuit of God, God’s Pursuit of Man, p. 143.
On May 16, 2017, a beloved friend passed into eternity. We miss her. A lot.
Yet we know she is with the Lord.
How can we be so certain?
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal live (John 3:16).
Guilty, you enter God’s throne room. Jesus sits beside our Father, pleading for you. His sacrifice atoned for your sin. The Holy Spirit is also there, praying for you, with groans that can’t be expressed in words.
You rise up, forgiven! (from 1 John 2:1-2; Romans 8:26; I John 1:9)
Afraid of an approaching army, Jehoshaphat prayed, “We are powerless . . . we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).
The Lord responded through the prophet Zechariah, “Do not be afraid. The battle is not yours but God’s. Stand firm, hold your position and see the salvation of God” (from 2 Chronicles 20:15-17).
Jehoshaphat appointed singers to lead his army singing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever” (2 Chronicles 20:21). They defeated the enemy and called the place the Valley of Beracah.
Prayer and praise turned a battleground into a place of blessing.
Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.
(Psalm 91:14-16, bold mine to highlight what God does)
We do so little. God does so much.
Our first grandson* (I love him so!) was born a preemie. At first, we could not hold him. “Being held is stressful,” the nurses said.
So we watched him and we prayed, continually asking the Lord to hold him.
The next morning I noticed a book in a restroom. I picked it up and it fell open to this: “People were bringing little children to Jesus . . . and he took them in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them” (from Mark 10:13-16).
It seemed to me the Lord was saying, “You don’t have to keep asking. I heard you the first time. Holding too-small babies is what I do. It’s who I am.”
My tear-filled pleas became prayers of thanksgiving: “Thank you, Lord, for holding baby boy!”
*Baby boy, born to our middle daughter, is now 6+ weeks old. He’s home and doing well.