“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
“That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)
“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:6)
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)
Beloved, before we even contemplate how we might bear a strong resemblance to Jesus in His Kingdom, when we at last repel mortality for immortality, we should comprehend how we are to be like Him today, in the “right here and right now”, of life. It will have no value to this life to wonder, “What will we be like when we see Jesus,” if we are not striving to be like Him today. To be certain, our single-mindedness should be on Christ Jesus, and glorifying Him through our imitation.
My friends, we in America, yes even in this world, are in a time of desperate need for God’s rescuing activity among us. We are being called to prayer as no other time in my life. Man cannot fix what needs fixing today. Only God can do what must be done. I want to suggest to you that God’s desire to act is far greater than our desire for Him to act at, this present moment.
Then, why doesn’t He just do what He has desire to do? Well, it seems that there are some things God will not do until we pray; even the weakest prayer of desperation. “You have not, cause you ask not” (James 4:2). But then beloved, I must with reverent and hushed tones go much stronger yet. The multiple Scriptural invitations to pray: “Pray without ceasing,” “In all things pray,” “Call on Me, and I will answer you” and many, many more reveal to us that there are some things God cannot do until even the weakest among us pray!
America needs a Spiritual Awakening that will spread as fire across the continent, across the many seas into every nation in the world. This pandemic has had a drastic effect on the entire world; shutting in and shutting down. There is talk of undetermined delay in opening up. We must have a Holy Spirit powered opening that touches the world in an Awakening toward God! And so, beloved, we must pray! But not prayer as usual, we must be imitators of Jesus in prayer! When Jesus was in a season of desperate need, He prayed with intensity. Notice if you will:
The Prayer in the Garden
“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:36-42)
My fellow believer, this was a great prayer! And, by great, I mean, it was an intense prayer! Jesus, the very Son of God, was facing His coming death for the sins of all of humanity for all time. If had been predetermined in the Trinity in Eternity past, that this must and would occur to redeem lost man. The need was known. The cost was known. The suffering was known. Far beyond any desire to by-pass the suffering, was the Son’s desire to not fail; to endure for the sake of the world He loved. And so, He prayed.
The intensity of His prayer was revealed by His words to the disciples in verse 38; notice the word “sorrowful.” That word in the Greek literally means, “Grieved all around . . . even unto death.” This was a grief so strong on the soul that death would have been a welcome relief. Our LORD was in intense sorrow.
Some of you may be saying to yourself right now, “I have been there.” Perhaps you have. However, may I suggest to you right now, in our present national and world, crisis, this is exactly the intensity of prayer that God is waiting for His Church to pray!
America is in a great need! Her greatest need is for an Awakening, first within the Church, then everywhere else perhaps spontaneously. Beloved Christian, if you love America, and understand her great need, you ought to be like Jesus, in that your soul must be exceedingly sorrowful. America has tremendous needs and it will require tremendous praying: “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray . . . “
Not only did Jesus have a great need, He knew He had a great resource! He knew that everything He needed would come from the Father. America, the world, has a great need, and the answer is with the Father! “. . . and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways . . .”
We believers must desire to please the Father with our humble desire to be right before Him through confession, repentance, turning away from sinful lusts of the flesh. “. . . then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
We must ascend the watch walls of prayer. We must fight the righteous fight. We must stay the course. Do not give up or give in. Once you have taken hold of the horns of the altar, do not let go! America needs you! The world needs you! God needs you!
The National Day of Prayer is next Thursday, May 7th. Be a part of the prayer movement.
Prior to the National Day of Prayer, another prayer movement has grown to vast numbers of believers committing to pray together on Tuesday, May 5th (At the time of this writing, 169,291 believers have committed to pray on that day). This is being called, Prayer on the Mountain, and you may found out about it by Googling: Mud Creek Baptist Church. At that site, you may also commit to praying with the rest of us, or you can simply pray on that day that we might experience a Spiritual Awakening.
Whatever you do, beloved: Pray On!