Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rescue Operations

I’ll be honest; sometimes I get tired of praying. (Is anyone else honest enough to admit it, or am I the only one?) Sometimes I feel as if it is a waste of time. How many hours have I prayed for So and So’s marriage to be salvaged, for Such and Such loved one to be saved, or for Dear Friend to be delivered from “this or that” only to see no visible results? It gets frustrating and downright discouraging to say the least. I was at that point the other day, wondering why I “waste” my time on seemingly futile petitions.

It was then I turned to 2 Corinthians 1:8-11.

The Apostle Paul tells of a personal time of testing which was so severe he and his companions “despaired even of life” because it was “beyond our ability to endure”. We think of Paul as being a true hero of the faith, a pillar of strength and wisdom, and yet even he reached a point lower than low. I’m sure he could have thrown himself a nice pity party, feeling forsaken by the One he’d given his entire being to serve. He could have whined and complained about how unfair life is and given it all up to take a nice day job. But not Paul; even in the storm he saw God’s hand and purpose, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” His faith did not waver. He knew God would deliver him, and He did.

Now, here’s the part about prayer:

“And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation…” (Emphasis mine) 2 Corinthians 1:11 The Message

The great Apostle Paul’s rescue, though ultimately by the hand of God, was somehow tied to the prayers of his friends - fellow believers! Paul is telling them this after the rescue which means their prayers made a life and death difference in Paul’s life though the petitioners were oblivious to the outcome at the time.

It makes me think.

Is there someone sinking today because I’ve given up the “rescue operation”? Is someone’s eternal destination in question because I’ve not been diligent in my intercessions? Is deliverance just around the corner waiting for one last petition?

There’s too much at stake for me to give up now.

© Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2006

(Author’s note: My use of The Message is by no means an endorsement of the entire book. The Message is a paraphrase whose author has put the Scripture into his own words. While a good devotional tool, a translation such as The New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation, King James Version, or New King James Version is a more accurate choice. I chose to use The Message for this particular devotion because this particular wording captured my attention, causing me to see prayer in a new way. A quick comparison with the NIV reveals this passage is accurate in the Message. Not all passages are.)


Julie said...

oh, Drewe Llyn, what a thought provoking post! Wouldn't the enemy just love to keep us from knowing how much our prayers accomplish ..I'm sure if we only knew we would stop most of our 'programs' and just get on our knees !!!

May I introduce myself? I am a friend of Tammie Rigney and she sent me your link.
your name is very pretty .. and unusual.. and I am happy to meet you!

I also wanted to thank you for your disclaimer on the Message. You are so right... not all of its verses convey the correct meaning.

Julie said...

I just wanted you to know that I am praying for your MIL... may the Lord be her Healer, and my He comfort you all! I'm soo sorry about what happened. Tammie told me and my heart went out to you !!