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Paul and Silas in Philippi Drive the Devil Out of A Woman Possessed by a Spirit of Divination, Pieter de With (c. 1650)
Wanda Alger in a message on false prophets said, “It’s time to be annoyed.” It is worth listening to! See it at WandaAlger.me She writes about Paul’s irritation with the slave girl who had a spirit of divination in Acts 16:18.
Last evening at a prayer meeting someone got stuck on the issues (probably watched the news before coming) it was instantly heavy, dark and hopeless UNTIL someone called him out. Declaring Christ has a better answer and we must be believers and do what He said.
They were annoyed that I was upending their dark behavior with the love of God and the gospel of salvation. There was no question which annoying person had the greatest effect!
“STOP PRAYING PITIFUL PRAYERS!
Joshua Commanding the Sun and the Moon to Stand Still, by Raphael
In 1980 I had a class in Clinical Pastoral Care. That’s where I discovered Pitiful Prayer. The class met at a local hospital. After class time we did rounds seeing patients and played at being chaplains.
In retrospect I’m not sure my professor and most classmates were believers. The psychological thoughts of the day guided the process more than Biblical truth. Some of the things we learned were genuinely useful. Other things subtly diluted the power of Christ’s message. It was there I learned how to pray pitiful prayers. They go like this:
“Lord, be with Sarah during this difficult time.”
“Grant you comfort as Angie goes through this treatment.”
“May your grace be with Peter as he faces this surgery.”
The unspoken attitude was, “God, if you are around and listening…we know Your not around much… We know you don’t typically answer prayers… but if you’re there and listening give this person just “a touch” of moral support, perhaps some useful psychological insight to make this situation the tiniest bit more bearable.”
Prayers for “healing” were euphemistically given, hoping in the doctor’s skills rather than a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God.
Prayers were to give a sense that the chaplain cared about them, and some artful words of incantation might give a dash of comfort. Pitiful prayers know nothing about healing, overcoming, prevailing, hope, future and transcendent good!
Have you learned to pray pitiful prayers? They are very useful.
Pitiful prayers make people think you are spiritual and sincere.
They fill in time if you are bored and you can’t think of anything to do.
Pitiful prayers may make some feel that another person cares about them.
There is a fractional possibility the person may receive hope that God might be hiding behind the farthest star, and a wisp of his distant presence might be felt.
When you’ve seen the dead rise you can never be satisfied with pitiful prayers!
I’ve come to be annoyed with pitiful prayer. I repent of the many I have prayed. I know stretches before our great God will result in great answers, even great signs and wonders!
Moses stretched out his rod over the Red Sea and it parted.
Elijah called down fire on his enemies.
Joshua commanded the sun and moon to hang tight until he had destroyed his enemies. It is said, “There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man, for the LORD fought for Israel.“ Joshua 10:14.
Of course, those guys were part of a lesser covenant so more is possible for us. Solomon requested that God answer prayers prayed toward the temple.
When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.1 Kings 8:35-36
Because of the projections of food shortages and famines I’m praying that God will forgive our national sins and change the weather patterns. There are areas where there is too much water. Other areas are in drought. See the US DROUBT MONITOR
We were passing through Yakima, Washington and stopped at a fruit stand. Disappointment. The cherries were 18 days late because of rain and cold. They expected a 40% harvest. They were concerned for the Walla Walla onions because the moisture and cold could make the harvest rot in the ground. Other farmers in our country have opposite problems. I’m not going to let that stand. By the grace of God, I’m going to help the farmers, and our nation, by shipping moisture where it is needed, and leveling out the temperatures.
Over the years I’ve seen striking answers to prayer for weather. I’m seeing answers today. I’ve been looking at 10 day and one day forecasts and praying the movement of moisture and temperatures. I have prayed up our temperatures and prayed for moisture to move on where it is needed.
Over the past week I’ve see predictions of weather for our area “go wrong” as five days of rain predictions have become three. I’ve seen actual temperatures come in warmer than project. When they decrease I pray with greater determination for stabilization because I am concerned for the food welfare of our neighbors and those in other nations, and I know God is forgiving and mighty to save!
Our eternal, powerful, wise Creator and Savior is not a pitiful God, so we will not pray pitiful prayers! I’m serious about praying for our nation’s weather. I may pray many times per day on this project. Perhaps you’d like to join me. There are many other issues of concern in our nation and around the world. Pray big!
Pray Big or Go Home!
We’d like to know what King-Sized prayer projects you are tackling. Let us know.
Steven C Johnson
Landing Strip Enterprises