*By Juli Martinez
Ha! You thought the holidays were over, didn’t you? For many believers, they just ended, as epiphany was January 6th. But that’s not really what this is about, although with the start of this year, I’m convinced we could use holiday cheer all year long! Did you know the word holidays is actually a condensed word for holy days? Okay, moving on…
Prayer is desperately needed in our nation and around the world right now. What we are facing is not a battle between Democrats and Republicans, a fight between liberals and conservatives, the left and the right. This is absolutely a fight between good and evil, light and dark. If you don’t agree with this, I’m calling you out as part of the problem. It’s time we call it what it is and take a stand. We all need to turn from our wickedness, repent and pray. We includes me.
This nation has been embroiled in a heavy battle for months, and it’s been bloody. The evil side threw a gut punch on the 6th, and we’re reeling. But we’re not down for the count. We’ve got God on our side, and we’re not quitters. We don’t give up, no matter our foe.
I’ve been in the Psalms lately, and appropriately so. David was a warrior, and he wrote a third of the Psalms. David was also a man after God’s own heart. He taught us something valuable in the Psalms. He gives thanks God in the beginning, then he pours out his heart, his complaint to God, not to man, then he finishes by giving God the glory; the perfect formula for addressing God in His throne room.
In the middle of the night on Jan. 5th, or early morning hours of Jan. 6th, I was awakened by the Lord, and He asked me if I trust Him. I said yes. He asked even if it looks crazy, and not how I would expect, do I trust Him, and I responded yes. I immediately fell back asleep. When I woke up later that morning, I wondered if it was really God, did I dream that, was it all in my head, was it real, and like Mary, I tucked it away and pondered it in my heart. Typically when I’m awakened in the middle of the night, it’s to pray, not answer a question and immediately fall back asleep, so I’m sure you can understand my questioning here.
On Jan. 8th and 9th, Psalm 37 was heavy upon me. I oftentimes pray the scriptures. Again, David has given us a perfect formula for approaching the throne room of God to petition Him. Here’s an example from the Psalms: Come before His presence with singing, enter into His courts with praise, be thankful to Him and bless His name. Pour out your heart to God! O Lord, You have seen this, do not be silent, do not be far from me! Contend for me. Vindicate me. My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of Your praises all day long.
On the evening of the 9th, I was exhausted. Emotionally, physically, spiritually spent. I know I’m not the only one. Spiritual battle will take its toll, and this is why we must remain fueled up, both physically and spiritually. Stay in the Word. I had been longing to pray with others, but of course didn’t think to reach out and ask any others to get together and pray. I knew I’d have a global prayer call on Sunday, and told myself to hang on. In the meantime, I prepared myself for bed.
At 9:00pm, Julie B. texted and asked if I would join her in prayer, to which I immediately replied yes. Believe me, the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. God reminded me to be about the business of the kingdom and He would give me what I needed. I also knew that prayer would energize me. As the three of us logged on, I felt prompted to grab my Bible and pray Psalm 37, as I’d been doing for 2 days.
Read Psalm 37. It’s long. It’s good. It’s appropriate for today. It doesn’t matter which version you have, it’s written for yesterday and today. I began my prayer and then I “prayed” Psalm 37. I finished my prayer and we closed. I’m so thankful we prayed.
Sunday, Jan.10th, we had the 22nd installment of the Global Prayer calls. These have been wonderful, faith-builders, and awe-inspiring, to say the least. I’ve regularly been praying twice a week with between 5-7 thousand of God’s global intercessors for our country and for truth and justice to prevail in our nation! Just wow! But, what happened last night spoke to me personally in such a way, that built my personal faith!
Let me back up for just a moment. Remember God waking me up the other night? The next night, I asked God if it was Him, to wake me up again. I was so unsure, because He just doesn’t speak to me quite like this- so short, sweet and to the point. So I went to sleep anticipating a quick awakening… which didn’t come. I asked Him why in the morning. Doubt wasn’t creeping in, it was barreling in on a tank! I asked why He didn’t wake me up and speak to me again, and He said simply “No, trust Me.” Wow. I was like “sheesh, Gideon got to put out a fleece, why can’t I?” Oh boy, does God still love his petulant children?!
Sisters, really, all I wanted was to know I was hearing the voice of God, but in my limited understanding and limited experience, I was limiting the way God could show me I was hearing Him! Do you see where I’m going? Sometimes we think we know what’s going on, and really, we know nothing!
Jan. 10th arrives, and we get down to the business of praying. Cue Belinda Campbell. Amazing prayer warrior. Suddenly, my ears perk up. I mean, it’s a 2 hour prayer call, and I’d be lying if I told you they had my undivided attention the entire time. I suddenly hear a verse I recognize. And another. My eyes are glued to her face. My ears are attuned to her words. She has my unadulterated, undivided attention. Ladies, you know what she’s praying!
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Consider the blameless, observe the uprooted; there is a future for the man of peace. But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.
The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; He is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him.
Psalm 37! She’s praying Psalm 37, and now I’m not crying, you’re crying. Confirmation came from the Lord in a way I never saw coming! Did I hear from the Lord? Yes, I did! Had I been hearing from the Lord? Yes, I had! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If we don’t stick our noses in the Word, we are not going to build our faith and if we don’t build our faith, we are not going to stand.
We must stand, and when we’ve done all we can, we stand. We get gut punched, we stand. We get accused- we stand firm on the Word of God which gives us peace in the time of trouble. We know we’re hearing God because He confirms His word to us!
He is faithful, He is not a man that He should lie. His Word will accomplish that for which it was sent. Look for the confirmation- but first, listen to what God is speaking to you.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.