11/22/05                                   

Encouragement for Today

 

“Distress Signal”

Luann Prater, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

2 Chronicles 32:20, “King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this.  And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian King.” (NIV)

 

Devotion:

When you read this story of Hezekiah, you’ll find he sought God’s will and followed wholeheartedly in everything he undertook.  And yet, this Assyrian King decided to threaten war on Jerusalem.

 

Isn’t that the way life goes for all of us?  We can be so in sync with God, feeling in our heart that we are right smack-dab in the middle of his will, and then WHAM — disaster strikes!  No one is immune from attack; in fact, Jesus warns us that in this world we will have trouble, but don’t fear because He has overcome the world.

 

So how did these two men handle the crisis?  Notice two very important elements: they teamed up in prayer; and they cried out.  Sometimes we hesitate to share our needs with others.  Why is that?  Are we afraid to take off our mask? Or maybe we just worry about trusting someone with our vulnerability?  If we go to the Lord and ask Him to deliver prayer partners, watch out!  He loves to answer those types of prayers.  Will He bring us perfect people? No. There was only One who had that title.  Look around, He is delivering.  Our job is to step out in faith and trust someone to pray with us. Remember, even Jesus called on his imperfect disciples to join him in prayer when he was about to face the Cross. 

 

The Hebrew word for ‘cried out’ is zaaq, and it means, “to shriek from anguish or a sense of danger; a distress signal.”  Picture it – Two grown men, not embarrassed, not worried about what others might think, not whispering; they SHRIEKED!  They sent a distress signal.

 

Do you know why this prayer was so powerful?  They shrieked, but behind the cry was belief, the belief that their God was able to conquer any enemy. Pure, simple faith is the key to answered prayers.  In Matthew 9:29, Jesus confirms this fact when he says, “According to your faith will it be done to you.” (NIV)  All the bellowing in the world is futile if it is not backed up with unshakeable faith.

 

Sometimes we need to stand side-by-side with a prayer partner and send a distress signal to the Father.  The same God hears and answers your prayers as He heard and answered Hezekiah and Isaiah’s.  He sent an angel to wipe out the enemy and He will rescue you as well. 

 

What enemy are you facing today?  Team up with a prayer partner and send a distress signal.  Trust in God to fight your battle.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Father, we lift each heart that is in distress to You today.  We cry out in unison and ask You to send angels to fight each battle.  We trust that You are the same God yesterday, today and forever.  No enemy can defeat Your people when we cry out and believe.  So we thank You and praise You for the victory You are about to deliver.  In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

Read:

2 Chronicles, chapters 31 and 32

 

Ask the Lord to open your eyes as you read these Scriptures.  See how these men prepared before the battle.  They destroyed worship to other gods, they sang praises to the Father and they celebrated His goodness. 

 

If you aren’t facing a battle right now, prepare. 

 

Team up: 

Pray for the Lord to deliver a prayer partner who will faithfully join you in prayer.

 

Journal:

Throughout the Bible God tells us to remember what He has done.  It is so easy to forget.  Purchase a regular spiral bound notebook and write the date on the outside.  Each day jot down your prayer concerns and date them. Every time you see an answer to prayer, record it.  When the notebook is full, write the completed date on the outside.  File it in a drawer.  Begin another notebook.  When you have storms hit you, pull out a notebook and read how God has faithfully brought you through the battle in the past.  Remember.

 

Reflection Points:         

Why are you fighting the battle alone?

 

Who can you call today for prayer?

 

What is the battle in your life?

 

When will you send out the distress signal?

 

Power Verses: 

1 Corinthians15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (NIV)

 

2 Corinthians 5:18,  “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (NIV)

 

Romans 12:11, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (NIV)

 

Philippians 2:5, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Traveling Together, by Karla Worley

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_travelingTogether.htm

 

Secrets of the Vine, by Bruce Wilkinson

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_secretsVine.htm

 

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whatHappens.htm