Leith Anderson (pastor and author) shared this beautiful parable.
They tell us the 911 emergency system is the state of the art. All you need to do is dial those numbers, and you will almost instantly be connected to a dispatcher.* In front of the dispatcher will be a read-out that lists your telephone number, your address, and the name by which that telephone number is listed at that address. Also listening are the police, the fire department, and the paramedics.
Someone might not be able to say what the problem is. Or perhaps a woman’s husband has just suffered a heart attack, and she is so out of control that all she can do is scream hysterically into the telephone. (Or vice versa.) But the dispatcher does not need her to say anything. He knows where the call is coming from. Help is already on the way.
There come times in our lives when, in our desperation and pain, we dial 911 prayers. Sometimes we are hysterical. Sometimes we do not know the words to speak.
But God hears. He knows our name and He knows our circumstance. Help is on the way; God has already begun to bring the remedy.
In Isaiah 65:24, the Lord declares, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” What a Promise! The Lord knows your need even before you tell it to Him. He knows your need even before you know it. He is a good and compassionate Father who knows our needs and understands our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).
Even when we do not know how to pray, the Lord will help us. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:26, “the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
A Spirit-empowered disciple fosters connection with God through daily time with Him, praying in the Spirit, and praying in faith for the needs of others. Jesus Christ is our example. He made time in prayer a priority in His life. Rev. Elly C. Marroquin, national director of Christian Education and Discipleship for the Assemblies of God, points out that Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer (Luke 5:16), rose to pray while it was still dark (Mark 1:35), and ended or extended His evenings by seeking the face of God (Matthew 14:23; Luke 6:12). Jesus taught His followers about prayer (Matthew 5:44; 6:5–13), and He demonstrated it (Mark 8:6; Luke 23:34; John 17). She goes on to write, “Without overt teaching on prayer, we can unintentionally communicate that prayer is a last resort, a low priority, or simply a private practice — all of which fly in the face of biblical discipleship. Unless we articulate and demonstrate that prayer is central to all we do — because it was central to all Jesus did — it may fall from prominence in disciples’ minds.”
Prayer is essential! John Bunyan, author of the Christian classic “Pilgrims Progress” declared, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed. Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge to Satan.”
*Note: If a 911 call is made on a cell phone, your location in some areas may not be known. According to the Hawaii State website (ags.hawaii.gov), however, “Calling 911 will also provide the 911 center with access to your location.”
This Sunday, March 13, we will continue our teaching series, “Markers along the Discipleship Pathway”, by focusing on Prayer. Please join us at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream to both locations every Sunday.
Hey, kids! This Sunday is BGMC Sunday (Boys & Girls Missionary Challenge) and Buddy Barrel will be with us. Please don’t miss it!
Aloha ke Akua!