The Day Everyone Prayed
"Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ " (Zechariah 8:20-21)
The prophets were people of enormous vision. Despite many challenges and obstacles, they still saw God’s purposes, prayed in faith and prophesied amazing things. One of the most significant things they prophesied was the exile and return from it. But they also saw something greater: the coming of Messiah and the ultimate deliverance that He would bring. And when this happened, they saw, there would be a great turning of hearts to God – not just among Jews, but among all the nations – and a passionate desire to rush into God’s presence and pray.
Jesus prefigured this desire in His own ministry. All sorts of people (not just the religious and not just Jews) felt able to sit in His presence and talk to Him. Think, for example, of the Greek woman who came to Jesus begging Him to free her daughter from demonic control. ‘“First let the children eat all they want,” He told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then He told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone (Mark 7:27-30). Through His apparently reluctant answer, He had pushed her into faith to ask, and her faith was rewarded.
You may sometimes feel alone when you are praying or alone in what you are praying for. But remember this: all around the world, there are God’s people who are praying; in heaven, the angels and Jesus Himself are praying; and one day, the nations of the earth will flock into His presence to praise and pray. Let this thought strengthen you as you turn to Him in prayer today!
Many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ (Micah 4:2)
© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont