And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly.
They were utterly astonished, saying, “He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.
By: Charles Spurgeon
‘And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.’ Romans 4:19–20
Suggested Further Reading: Exodus 5:22–6:13
If your heart has been set upon any special object in prayer, if you have an express promise for it, you must not be staggered if the object of your desire be farther off now than when you first began to pray. If even after months of supplication the thing should seem more difficult now of attainment than ever it was, wait at the mercy seat in the full persuasion that although God may take his time, and that time may not be your time, yet he must and will redeem his promise when the fulness of time has come. If you have prayed for the salvation of your child, or husband, or friend, and that person has grown worse instead of better, do not cease praying. If that dear little one has become more obstinate, and that husband more profane even, still God must be held to his word; and if you have the faith to challenge his attributes of faithfulness and power, assuredly he never did and never will let your prayers fall fruitless to the ground; and I repeat the word, that you may be sure to bear that away with you, let not the fact that the answer seems farther off than ever be any discouragement to you. Remember that to trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust him in the dark—that is faith. To rest upon God when everything witnesses with God—that is nothing; but to believe God when everything gives him the lie—that is faith. To believe that all shall go well when outward providences blow softly is any fool’s play, but to believe that it must and shall be well when storms and tempests are round about you, and you are blown farther and farther from the harbour of your desire—this is a work of grace.
For meditation: The assumption that smooth progress indicates God’s favour and that trouble is a mark of his displeasure is not a safe one. Our circumstances often prove the opposite to be true (Luke 6:20–26).
A Funny Thing about Prayers
By: Pauline Hylton
A chicken landed on my head. “Ladies, be patient, I’m getting your food.”
Who knew two years ago I’d be feeding 75 hens, collecting eggs, and selling fresh produce at farmers markets?
The truth be known, I prayed for it. Not necessarily for the chicken on my head, but I prayed the Lord would move us to a new state, a new ministry, and a new life. I asked Him for a deeper faith in Him, and that my husband would be known in the gates — not me.
He answered, but not like I thought He would.
A friend of mine said, “If you can figure out how God is going to do something, that’s not how He’s going to do it.”
Ain’t that the truth.
He moved us to 66 acres to start a farm and a new business. We’d never grown anything, much less made a living doing it. In fact, until college, I thought olives grew with the red things in them. We are completely dependent on God for everything — so are you friend, you just haven’t realized it yet.
Then, He plunked us down outside of Mayberry RFD with my 94-year-old mom who needs a lot of my attention. So it’s not me the people at our church know — I can’t get there as often as I’d like — it’s Tom. In fact, he’s teaching a Sunday School class on Hebrews. Go figure.
My two prayers answered, just not how I would have done it.
Prayer is powerful.
This year, I’m praying for three things and they’re not even original. Moses prayed them after the golden calf incident. They’re found in Exodus 33:12-23.
The first request of Moses is in verse 13. He asked to know the Lord. That’s my heart, too. I want to know him like I know a close friend.
The other day while driving the 50-mile trek to Bible Study Fellowship, I turned off the radio to speak with God.
“Okay, Lord, I know you are glorious and I want to begin with praise, but before I forget, I’d like to pray for the lady who lost her son this year. I know she’s hurting and since I’m 55 and will forget to pray for them later, I’m letting you know now. I know You understand.”
Then I noticed the fog resting in the valley alongside Pilot Mountain. My grandmother’s favorite scripture came to mind—Psalm 121:1-4:
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (NIV)
“Thanks, Lord for the mountains and all the creatures on them. When I view your creation, it makes me appreciate and love you more. And by the way, I’m glad You don’t sleep.”
Our conversation ebbed and flowed and contained times of relaxed silence. What I’m trying to say is that it was comfortable. I’m getting to know Him better and I’m glad.
Moses next request in verses 14-16 was for the Lord to go with Him. In fact, he tells the Almighty that if He doesn’t go with Him, Moses would rather not go.
I’m praying the same. Often in the rush of the morning, I forget my dependence on Him. I rush off with my agenda in hand instead of His presence — not only that, when I don’t depend on His presence I only have my power, which is puny.
My desire is to experience the joy of His presence and the strength of His guidance.
Moses’ final request is in verse 18 when He asks God to show him His glory. And God says yes.
That is a big prayer. It was so big that God had to hide Moses in the cleft of the rock and only showed him His back. (I can’t wait to see that instant replay in heaven.)
I’m praying big prayers, too. How will He answer?
I don’t know. I do know one thing, if I can figure out how He’s going to do it, that’s not how He will.
And that’s okay by me.