Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit (James 5:16-18). And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, they made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awakened out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here (Acts 16:23-28).
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations, or dire straits, that are more than we can handle. We try everything, and everything seems to fail. We become shackled and bound by our circumstances, as if we are imprisoned. There doesn’t appear to be a way out. Our backs are against the wall, and it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders! We try everything within our powers, and we exhaust all of our resources, only to fail miserably! Instead of trying Jesus first, sometimes we try to solve issues ourselves, or we rely on another person, for advice. For some reason, Jesus is the last option, when He definitely should have been the first option! However, that’s when we can see a light at the end of the tunnel! That’s when it’s time to P.U.S.H., or, Pray Until Something Happens! No doubt at some point in time, you have dealt with a “desperate situation” wherein you did not simply utter a familiar prayer in which you said a few sanctimonious sentences. Instead, you prayed fervently! Effectual fervent prayer can be described as hard labor! When I thought on that, my mind fell on our Savior Jesus Christ, before His betrayal and arrest in Gethsemane. When Jesus went to the mount of Olives, He was withdrawn from His disciples about a stone’s cast, and He kneeled down and prayed saying, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. Jesus still being in agony, prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” When we pray fervently and call on the name of Jesus, our circumstances change. Demons tremble at the name of Jesus! Things in the atmosphere shift! “The very forces of nature can be altered!”
Elias, or Elijah, was a man subject to like passions as we are. Some Jewish writers thought Elijah had no parents, but thought he was an angel. However, he was a man who experienced the same feelings as we do. He suffered afflictions, he felt hunger, sadness, fear, and so on. In James 5:17, it states that Elias prayed “earnestly” that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. Praying earnestly, he prayed until something happened! In I Kings 17:1 the Word of the Lord says, “Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, as the LORD, the God of Israel lives whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next years except at my word.” Because Elijah prayed earnestly, “A divine intimidation was given to him in answer to prayer. Being of one mind with God in abhorrence of apostasy, he prayed that the natural idolatry be punished with a national judgment, drought, and on Israel’s profession of repentance, he prayed again, for the removal of the visitation.” When Elijah prayed again the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. Look at God! Through effectual fervent, and earnest prayer, God can truly alter the forces of nature! (Read I Kings 18:39-42) What an example of the power of fervent prayer!
When we pray fervently and earnestly, we must not forget to also Praise Until Something Happens! In the book of Acts of the Apostles in chapter 16 verses 16-28, we see the wondrous works wrought by Jesus, after Paul and Silas had been jailed. Paul had determined they would go to visit their brethren in every city where they had preached the Word of the Lord, to see how they were doing. Along their journey, they were beaten with many stripes and imprisoned, because Paul cast a spirit of divination out of a damsel who was also a soothsayer. Her masters were quite upset that she would no longer bring them gain, and had Paul and Silas jailed. I would consider this to be a critical situation, which could have gotten even worse, but they did not become upset or worried. They did not question God. Instead, at midnight they began to pray and sing praises unto God! Now picture this. They had been beaten, imprisoned, thrust into the inner prison, a loathsome place, and their feet placed in stocks! Yet, they prayed and praised God, until something happened! “And suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” What a mighty deliverance! Paul and Silas were literally imprisoned, and God loosed their stocks and set them free, as well as the other prisoners, miraculously! Praying fervently, praising, and calling on the name of the Lord, will move mountains, will cause a shift in the atmosphere, and even alter the forces of naure! Praise God! What a mighty God we serve!
When it’s midnight in your life, what are you going to do? Will you maintain an attitude of worship and praise? Will you sing psalms unto the Lord? Will you pray earnestly, until something happens? The winds of life will be boisterous in our lives, at times, but the winds and the waves shall obey His will, and the Lord will send peace, into your tumultuous circumstances. When you feel like the walls of life are closing in on you, P.U.S.H., or Pray and Praise Until Something Happens! May God bless you abundantly, today and every day!