by: Steve Fawcett
Welcome to day 19 of our 4 week prayer adventure.
One story that has inspired many in a life of prayer is Exodus 33:7-11.
‘Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.’
Did you catch the last phrase? Joshua “did not leave the tent.” Why did God choose Joshua to succeed Moses? Perhaps one reason was because Joshua spent so much time with Him.
I wonder if our generation has forgotten how to linger in worship and tarry in prayer. We can’t just pray. We need to pray through.
I believe everyone can have their own ‘tent of meeting’. You need to find a place and find a time where you have a standing meeting with God. If you need to, put it in your calendar or set an alarm. After all, it’s the most important meeting of the day! One of the goals for these 4 weeks of prayer isn’t just to remind people to pray each day of the 4 weeks; but it’s to establish a daily habit for the rest of the year and for one’s life. Besides the coronavirus isn’t going to disappear in these 4 weeks, but as our world is entering a new normal, let’s make sure for us that prayer is a big part of that! Then, God can use that prayer time to get our attention to help us make the changes in our lives that may be needed and to alert us to ways that we can be of help to others.
I found this story interesting about how set in our ways we tend to become.
‘Italy has been hit hard by Covid-19. In a penetrating article, Italian journalist Mattia Ferraresi makes an interesting argument that the fundamental failure in Italy was not a lack of testing or slow political action but a social and collective failure: People just did not take the coronavirus seriously enough to even slightly adapt their habits. It is a brave argument. It would be much easier to criticize the government for errors of action or inaction, rather than risk being accused of blaming the victims. But what Ferraresi saw and could not repress was something else: the radical incapacity on the part of the Italian public to adapt to the possibility of a terrible outcome, an outcome discounted by everyone until it was really too late.
Ferraresi said, “I and many other Italians just did not see the need to change our routines for a threat we could not see.” Even though he had accumulated a lot of information on the virus, he said he lacked what you might call “moral knowledge.” He knew about the virus, but the issue was not affecting his actions.’
We certainly are creatures of habit and we usually don’t change those habits until we are forced to. Are there things, habits, attitudes in your life that God is pointing out to you in these very strange times that perhaps needs to be looked at? I don’t know what they might be but God is certainly getting the attention of the whole world at this time. Ask God that by His grace He would give each of us the wisdom, discernment and strength to more consistently walk in a manner worthy of Him.
Here are 5 more practical ideas one can try in one’s own prayer life.
1. As you read the Bible, insert your name or someone else’s and make it into a prayer.
2. Read a book on prayer and talk about it with someone.
3. Get a copy of the church directory and pray over each person by name.
4. Pray for the people or situations that you hear on the news.
5. Send a card of encouragement to someone you are praying for.