This resolution of Daily United Prayer is based on An Humble Attempt, originally put forward by Jonathan Edwards in 1748. Its design is to encourage God's people in the duty of united extraordinary prayer; setting aside some time every day to pray for the revival of His church and the advancement of Christ's kingdom in our homes, in our churches, in our nation, and in the world.
"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life." 2 Cor 1:8.
I was on the phone yesterday with a pastor friend who has gone through some significant hardships and trials of late. He was voted out of a church that he had faithfully pastored for 30+ years. But if that weren't enough, I also learned that he had to carry the burden of a devastating family trial as well. There are many on this prayer call that carry heavy burdens every day. Wayward children. Wayward grandchildren. Unsaved spouses. Declining health. We spend most of our time trying to avoid trials in life as we have a natural fear of them. That's why the following sermon clip by Dr. Sexton was such a blessing to me.
When you're done watching the clip, be sure to listen to this beautiful hymn that follows the same line of thought:
Praise to the Lord of the small broken things,
who sees the poor sparrow that cannot take wing.
who loves the lame child and the wretch in the street
who comforts their sorrows and washes their feet.
Praise to the Lord of the faint and afraid
who girds them with courage and lends them His aid,
He pours out his spirit on vessels so weak,
that the timid can serve and the silent can speak.
Praise to the Lord of the frail and the ill
who heals their afflictions or carries them till,
they leave this tired frame and to paradise fly.
to never be sick and never to die.
Praise him, O praise Him all ye who live
who‚Äôve been given so much and can so little give
our frail lisping praise God will never despise-
He sees His dear children through mercy-filled eyes.
God uses broken vessels. The Apostle Paul himself confessed that he had considerable trials when he was in Asia. So much so that he was "pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life." God often will bring us to the breaking point of despair in order to remove all of our dependence or reliance on the arm of the flesh. Was this not the thrust of the meditation that Steve Richardson brought? It is not pleasant. But if we want the power of Christ, we must come to the end of ourselves. For, it is only when we come to the end of our "hoarded resources" that we can begin to enjoy the full giving of God's grace.
"Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf." 2 Cor 1:11.
There's an encouraging detail a few verses down. Verse 11 reminds us that God uses the prayers of "many persons" to bring about the "gift" of our deliverance. This is why corporate prayer is so important, friends. We are "helping together by prayer." God uses trials and afflictions to compel His people to seek His face in earnest. And when the answer comes, a great swell of praise from those same people brings all the more glory to God. God be praised!
"There is no limit to the power of intercessory prayer; and though the display of God's mercy does not depend on it, we may be sure that He desires nothing more than that His people should be united in mutual intercession offered in the name of His Son. When such prayer is answered, it results in an outburst of praise and thanksgiving which redounds greatly to God's glory."
When we are "pressed out of measure above strength," let us come together to pray. Let us pray for one another and let us pray for ourselves. As we pray for the reviving of His church, we know from this verse that the more people that pray, the more people will praise when the answer comes. So, Lord, gather in many more that will have a burden to pray!
We invite you to join our dedicated and earnest group of praying participants of all ages from around the world that meet every day over Zoom to pray. At the start of each prayer call, a different individual will bring a brief Scriptural meditation. Here's the most recent: