< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: The Red Sea Rules – Part 4

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Red Sea Rules – Part 4

Exodus 14:10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD.

Pray! That’s Rule #4. Matthew Henry a well known Bible commentator wrote, “God brings us into straits that He may bring us to our knees.” We can panic, but prayer is the means by which we can if we choose, stay even-tempered, self- possessed and strong spirited even in a crisis.

In a time of uncertainty, Jacob said:
Genesis 35:3 “Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone."

Referring to his days as a fugitive, David wrote
2 Samuel 22:7 “In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.”

In this chapter the author is talking about crisis time prayers. Not our daily talks with God, but prayers during life-threatening or soul-shattering events. The Israelites prayer was urgent and united! They cried out! There are many prayers recorded in scripture which are cries.

This is storming heaven. Or praying through. Sometimes there’s little you can do, but plead with God. And in James 5:16 it says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results."

And it’s even more powerful when two or more pray. The author wrote that God won’t always say yes to all our requests, just like we don’t always say yes to everything our children ask us, but He listens with unusual attentiveness when two or more unite in prayer and responds in His own way and time with power and wisdom.

Also, the Israelites weren’t reciting some prayer from a book or church bulletin. They were panicked and their prayer was real and from the heart.

Here are some of the prayers like that in the Bible:

Job 8:5-6 But if you will look to God and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place.

Mark 5:22-23 "Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live."

Luke 7:44 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this,

Luke 22:44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

James 5:17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

Back to the Israelites – even praying to God like that, they didn’t really expect Him to answer. Look what happened. “The children of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses “Because there are no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?”

We often pray all our fears. Just listing our problems, instead of claiming God’s promises as we should. Pray in faith!

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