We are so very blessed by this message from Kathy Branzell of National Day of Prayer!
From Stormy Days to Glory and Praise
Mark 4:37-41 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (NAS)
We are praying for you! The world is currently in a storm; you may feel the gale of wind and the waves breaking over your household but take courage! Jesus is with you!
While Jesus was on earth, He was fully God and fully man. He needed to eat and sleep but now as He is interceding for us at the right hand of the Father, we know that He never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121:3) The disciples went to Jesus filled with fear and woke Him up. We can run to Jesus in prayer where He waits with His ear already inclined to hear our voice; He is listening out for you. Pause and let that soak into your worried or weary soul.
We lose part of the lesson of these verses with our English translation that uses the same word, “afraid” for two different words in the original Greek/Aramaic language. According to Thayer and Smith NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon, Jesus is actually asking them, “Why are you so ‘deilos?’” which means cowardly, fearful, and timid.
After Jesus rebukes the wind and hushes the waves, the passengers on His boat “became very much ‘phobeo,’” which means struck with amazement, to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience. Jesus took them from being afraid to awe-struck adoration; from worry to worship.
Have you been afraid in these uncertain days? Our needs and vulnerability to the virus is very real, but God is with us and for us. Whatever His will is in these days WILL overcome anything the enemy has set into motion. Pray, love one another, read and share Scripture so that you will be filled in these stormy days with glory and praise.
Please pray with us now: Jesus, thank you for never leaving or forsaking us. You never sleep and nothing surprises You. Lord, I do not know what is going to happen next. I do not know exactly how I will get through this storm, but I know You will calm me and carry me through it or You will still the storm. Jesus, I ask that You stop the spread of this virus and the financial fall out that is happening as so many businesses close. Please bring healing and health. Please put food on tables and keep roofs over our heads. Please glorify Yourself in this global emergency; leave no doubt that You are God and the One who stilled this storm. Leave us awestruck as we commit to not be afraid.
Lenten and Lengthened Season of Prayer
Day 24: Afraid to Awestruck: Mark 4:40-41 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”
Confess and give God the places where you have been fear-filled and be filled with awe and worship.
Day 25: Reach Out in Faith: Luke 8:43-44 And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped.
This woman was tormented and isolated for twelve long years, yet she had the faith to quietly reach out in faith to touch Jesus. What have you waited for or needed for a long season? Reach out to Jesus in faith and ask Him to touch your life with His power and provision. Keep praying and keep believing, even when it seems an answer is not coming, Jesus is near.
Day 26: Child, Arise: Luke 8:54-56 He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!” And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. Her parents were amazed…
The beginning of this story begins in verse 40 as the girl’s father seeks out Jesus and begs Him to come save her. Notice that yesterday’s story interrupts their journey and as Jesus pauses to address the woman who touched His hem for healing the father is told that his daughter has died. Jesus is not pressed for time; His miracles are not limited to earthly minutes and He continues the journey and raises her from death. Pause and ponder the interruptions in your life today and pray for the patience to get to participate in ministering to someone else or to see Jesus’ work. If you feel Jesus has been distracted or detained from answering your prayer, stay with Him and wait on His glory. Pray in faith not frustration, praise, don’t panic.
Day 27: Faith to Fear and Back: Matthew 14:31-32 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.
Peter jumps out of the boat filled with faith that he won’t sink until it takes his eyes off Jesus and gives his attention to the storm. Do you have that sinking feeling today? Cry out to Jesus and take His hand.
Day 28: Waves to Worship: Matthew 14:33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
As Peter and Jesus climbed in the boat, the spectators in the boat worshipped and praised Jesus. What have you seen Jesus do? How has He sustained and amazed you? Praise and worship Him now and throughout the day as you watch for Him.
Day 29: Forgiving Others: Mark 11:25 “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.
Part of obeying God is trusting Him with the pain, punishment, and forgiveness of someone who has hurt you. Scripture tells us to forgive as the Father has forgiven you. Forgiveness does not make what they did to you right, it makes you righteous as you release their consequences to God’s wisdom and love.
Day 30: He Who Watches Over You: Psalm 121:1-3 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;
These are not days of panic or self-preservation; not of compromise or manipulation. If you have been acting out in selfish ways; hoarding instead of sharing, justifying angry or hurtful language because everyone else around you is acting that way, stop now. Confess the fear or pain that is driving this behavior and ask Jesus to forgive you and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with fruitfulness so that your words and actions spread God’s glory.
Serving Him with Gladness,
Current and Upcoming Events
About the National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, evidenced by the Continental Congress’ proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.
To learn more, or to find a National Day of Prayer event in your community, visit www.NationalDayofPrayer.org. To schedule a media interview, send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Dion Elmore, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at The National Day of Prayer Task Force, (719) 559-9574.
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