Category Archives: Protector / Deliverer

If You Truly Obey, I Will Be An Enemy To Your Enemies

Studying and prayerfully reflecting on God’s deliverance of His people out of slavery in Egypt and into the promised land provides great insight for His relationship with His people. We do well to study this example and look to identify and apply key aspects of what God reveals to our lives today. In Exodus 23, our heavenly Father provides important insight to what it means to be His people and what we are to do if we expect to receive His help.

Exodus 23:20-33

Conquest of the Land

      20“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21“Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him. 22“But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. 23“For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them. 24“You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces. 25“But you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst. 26“There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. 27“I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28“I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. 29“I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30“I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. 31“I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you. 32“You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. 33“They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”

Jehovah clearly states that He is sending an angel to protect and lead the people into the promised land. His intent is to clear out the enemies before His people and protect them. However He also provides conditions that the people must follow.

Note the importance of obedience. Obedience is the fruit and evidence of our faith. Those who have faith will obey. Those who do not have faith will make excuses not to obey.

  • Obey the angel and do not be rebellious. The angel is operating on behalf of God at God’s instruction.
  • If you truly obey, then I will be an enemy to your enemies.

God consistently speaks out strongly against false gods. Not only are we not to worship them and not to serve them, but we are not even to do things the way that the pagans do in worship or tradition / practice associated with their false gods. Further, God instructed His people not to tolerate and accept false gods among them but to overthrow them and break their sacred pillars and idols apart. Certainly today we should not be making excuses to tolerate false gods among us. God knows this always leads His people to trouble.

24“You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces.

God knows the right timing for us to accept victory at His hand. We always think “give us everything now”, but God knows better. Sometimes His wisdom leads to different timing for us to accomplish our victory. We must be patient and trust His timing and His ways.

29“I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30“I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land.

God warns His people to trust in Him to drive people out of the land. Do not make covenants or treaties with them or with their false gods. Do not let them live in your land. They will make you sin against God. We are once again warned against accepting false gods and idols and their worship practices among God’s people. If our all knowing Father identifies this clear hazard, and we have a history of witnessing it leading His people astray, then why are we so quick to dismiss this repeated warning? Are we wiser than God? Do we know something He does not? or have we just been fooled by Satan to defend worship of false gods among us and to teach it in schools and treat it in government as if all faiths are equivalent? They are not. One is right… the rest are paths that lead God’s people away to hell. Many will get angry with a statement like this, but it is not in my authority to change what God has said to make people feel better. I am only able to share the truth that God has already told us.

 32“You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. 33“They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”

There is much to learn from how God instructed His people as they were searching for the promised land. We should each prayerfully consider these key points and apply them to our lives. Are we trusting God and God alone? Are we obeying all that He instructs, or just parts of it? Are we rejecting false gods? Are we patient to wait for His timing?

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

Listen To Wise Advice And Work With Others

Moses was chosen by Jehovah to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt. After many miracles and a deepening relationship with Jehovah, it would seem easy for Moses to be vulnerable to pride and not be open to the wise council and advice from someone else. However, Moses deserves credit for listening to and following the advice he received from Jethro.

Exodus 18:1

Jethro, Moses’ Father-in-law

      1Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Moses’ wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away, 3and her two sons, of whom one was named Gershom, for Moses said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.” 4The other was named Eliezer, for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

      5Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was camped, at the mount of God. 6He sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her.” 7Then Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and he bowed down and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. 8Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had befallen them on the journey, and how the LORD had delivered them. 9Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10So Jethro said, “Blessed be the LORD who delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and who delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11“Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people.” 12Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law before God.

      13It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. 14Now when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?” 15Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16“When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

Jethro Counsels Moses

      17Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. 18“You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19“Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, 20then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. 21“Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 22“Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23“If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace.”

      24So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 26They judged the people at all times; the difficult dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they themselves would judge. 27Then Moses bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land.

When Jehovah gives us a responsibility to serve Him, we absolutely want to take it seriously and work hard at doing it right. However, we must be careful that we do not wear ourselves out by taking on too much of the burden on our own. We must learn to listen to wise advice and take it, whether from Jehovah or from man. We have greater and longer lasting impact when we can lean on others who can be trusted and let them help us do our Father’s work.

Are there any situations in your life that are putting a heavy burden on you? It can be work or family or even ministry… as in Moses’ case. Pray for Jehovah to send you help and wisdom on how to do His work most effectively and sustainably.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Our Fathers Have Told Us The Work Jehovah Did In Their Days

It is good that we study the Bible and teach our children about what Jehovah has done for His people in the past. Understanding Jehovah’s relationship with His people and the amazing things He has done throughout time is a great encouragement when we encounter difficult times or struggles that we do not understand. It helps to build our faith and trust in Him.

Psalm 44

Former Deliverances and Present Troubles.

For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah.

      1O God, we have heard with our ears,
Our fathers have told us
The work that You did in their days,
In the days of old.

      2You with Your own hand drove out the nations;
Then You planted them;
You afflicted the peoples,
Then You spread them abroad.

      3For by their own sword they did not possess the land,
And their own arm did not save them,
But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence,
For You favored them.

      4You are my King, O God;
Command victories for Jacob.

      5Through You we will push back our adversaries;
Through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.

      6For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor will my sword save me.

      7But You have saved us from our adversaries,
And You have put to shame those who hate us.

      8In God we have boasted all day long,
And we will give thanks to Your name forever.

Selah.

      9Yet You have rejected us and brought us to dishonor,
And do not go out with our armies.

      10You cause us to turn back from the adversary;
And those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves.

      11You give us as sheep to be eaten
And have scattered us among the nations.

      12You sell Your people cheaply,
And have not profited by their sale.

      13You make us a reproach to our neighbors,
A scoffing and a derision to those around us.

      14You make us a byword among the nations,
A laughingstock among the peoples.

      15All day long my dishonor is before me
And my humiliation has overwhelmed me,

      16Because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles,
Because of the presence of the enemy and the avenger.

      17All this has come upon us, but we have not forgotten You,
And we have not dealt falsely with Your covenant.

      18Our heart has not turned back,
And our steps have not deviated from Your way,

      19Yet You have crushed us in a place of jackals
And covered us with the shadow of death.

      20If we had forgotten the name of our God
Or extended our hands to a strange god,

      21Would not God find this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.

      22But for Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

      23Arouse Yourself, why do You sleep, O Lord?
Awake, do not reject us forever.

      24Why do You hide Your face
And forget our affliction and our oppression?

      25For our soul has sunk down into the dust;
Our body cleaves to the earth.

      26Rise up, be our help,
And redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness.

Are you facing a difficult situation in your life? Are you calling out for help from Jehovah but not understanding His answer? or wondering if He is answering at all? Call out to Him openly and humbly. Remember the times He has heard and answered the prayer of His people or even specific situations He has been present in your life in the past. Let these previous examples encourage you that He hears your prayer and can respond. We can trust Him, even if we do not understand His answer or why it seems He is not answering yet. Continue seeking Him in humble prayer and asking for His help.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Sometimes We Must Fight, Even When God Fights For Us

Faithful followers of Jehovah seek to learn His ways and seek to know His voice and obey it. He is our wonderful Creator and He cares for His people. We can turn toward Him and trust in Him even when we come under attack and encounter adversity. Sometimes He will just take care of the situation on our behalf, but often He expects us to demonstrate our faith by participating. He may deliver the victory, but we are expected to show our faith by taking clear and decisive actions that show we trust in Him.

In Exodus 17, Moses did not just pray for Jehovah to wipe out Amalek and then sit and wait for Amalek to come. Moses sent Joshua to go and lead their people in battle physically while Moses than went up on the hill to call upon Jehovah’s power.

Exodus 17:8-16

Amalek Fought

      8Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. 9So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 13So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

      14Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15Moses built an altar and named it The LORD is My Banner; 16and he said, “The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.”

In this example, the people still needed to fight. They needed Jehovah for the victory, but they had to take up arms and go to battle. This is a common pattern throughout scripture… Jehovah expects His people to take decisive action demonstrating their faith and then He brings the victory. Gideon, Daniel, Shadrach, Meschac and Abednego all had to make choices about their actions that demonstrated their faith. Jehovah did not spare them the confrontation. Elijah had to leave to escape Ahab and Jezebel, even though Jehovah provided for him. It is not always for us to literally go to war, but we are often called to take decisive action to confront the situation while also seeking Jehovah’s help to win.

We should caution ourselves to avoid the assumption that when we call upon Jehovah to help us somehow we will be spared the confrontation or the battle. We must demonstrate courage and faith, but we can be encouraged knowing He is fully capable of delivering the victory every time.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Place Your Hope In Jehovah, Even In Difficult Times

It is easy for us to get discouraged when we experience hard times, when things do not go the way we expect or desire. When we feel overwhelmed, we may begin to feel distant to Jehovah. We are wise to recognize that we need Him in those situations and turn toward Him… seeking Him wholeheartedly for help.

Psalm 43

Prayer for Deliverance.

     1Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation;
O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!

      2For You are the God of my strength; why have You rejected me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

      3O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your dwelling places.

      4Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.

      5Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

Many of the Psalms begin with sorrow and difficulty. By turning to Jehovah and calling out to Him and trusting in Him they often end with hope and joy, even before the situation has been resolved or improved. Just reminding ourselves of our Father in heaven and engaging Him in true communication can be of great help.  Place your hope in Jehovah, even when times are tough.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Jehovah Will Help You On Your Way To The Promised Land

How often do we turn to our heavenly Father when we are in need, and then, when the immediate circumstances improve, we turn back away from Him and try to do things our own way? Our Father wants not only for us to draw near to Him through difficult times, but also to stay near to Him when those difficult times start to improve. He can not only deliver us out of bondage and suffering, but also deliver us to the land of promise… as He did for His people after leading them out of Egypt.

Exodus 15:22-27

The LORD Provides Water

      22Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet.
There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. 26And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.”

      27Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters.

Jehovah did not just lead the people out of bondage in Egypt and then leave them to find their own way. Nor did He force Himself upon them when they grew bitter. Nor did He answer when they complained and grumbled. It was when a righteous man, Moses, asked for help with water that Jehovah responded and provided. Moses did well to turn back to Jehovah when he needed help, even after they had already been delivered from bondage.

How can this same principle apply to you in your life? Do you ask Jehovah for help with the big issues and then once the crisis is past try to do it on your own? Ask Him to help you along your whole journey in life, not just parts of it.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Trust Jehovah Even When All Seems Lost

It seems that we, as humans, have a very short memory at times. We see God acting in our lives and in the world around us and we are fine and stand with faith. However, when that faith is tested, we often fade in our faith in God. We doubt. We fear. We do not trust.

God wants His people to trust Him even when all seems lost by our earthly eyes, when we know the situation is beyond our ability to manage it to the outcome we want. This is when the strength of our faith is truly tested.

The Israelites had just witnessed great miracles as God demonstrated His power to lead them out of Egypt. Over and over again, God demonstrated His power over the Egyptians… over everything really. Yet even after all that, when the Egyptians came after them, they still had so little faith in God.

Exodus 14

Pharaoh in Pursuit

      1Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea. 3“For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ 4“Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” And they did so.

      5When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” 6So he made his chariot ready and took his people with him; 7and he took six hundred select chariots, and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. 8The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he chased after the sons of Israel as the sons of Israel were going out boldly. 9Then the Egyptians chased after them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and they overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

      10As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD. 11Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? 12“Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

The Sea Is Divided

      13But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. 14“The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”

      15Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. 16“As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. 17“As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18“Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.”

      19The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. 20So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night.

      21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. 22The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. 24At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. 25He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the LORD is fighting for them against the Egyptians.”

      26Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. 29But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

      30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31When Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses.

Take some time to prayerfully consider and perhaps write down some of the things God has done in your life. What has He helped you overcome? What difficult situations has He used to your benefit that you did not realize until after they were over? Take some time to thank Him and praise Him.

Next time you encounter a difficult time, remind yourself of how God is working in your life and that you can trust Him no matter what hardship comes your way.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Learning To Pray Effectively: Protection From The Wicked

David was a man after God’s own heart. He wrote many of the Psalms and we can learn a lot from David by observing his relationship with God through the Psalms. Read through Psalm 5 and we will highlight some keys to effective prayer that David demonstrates.

Psalm 5

      1Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my groaning.

      2Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,
For to You I pray.

      3In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

      4For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.

      5The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity.

      6You destroy those who speak falsehood;
The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.

      7But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house,
At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.

      8O LORD, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes;
Make Your way straight before me.

      9There is nothing reliable in what they say;
Their inward part is destruction itself.
Their throat is an open grave;
They flatter with their tongue.

      10Hold them guilty, O God;
By their own devices let them fall!
In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out,
For they are rebellious against You.

      11But let all who take refuge in You be glad,
Let them ever sing for joy;
And may You shelter them,
That those who love Your name may exult in You.

      12For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD,
You surround him with favor as with a shield.

Let us consider a few key elements to effective prayer that we can observe in this Psalm.

  • David openly comes before God, readily admitting that he is suffering and asks for help.
  • David prays to Jehovah… and only to Jehovah.
  • David commits to meeting God in prayer each morning. He has so much faith God will answer that he says he will eagerly watch after he prays. David expects God to answer.
  • David spends time focused on the character of God… He hates wickedness, no evil within Him, hates those who do iniquity, does not like those who boast in themselves… and so on. David is focused on God rather than just being focused on His problems.
  • David again honors God by committing to bowing before Him.
  • David recognizes God’s abundant lovingkindness as the reason he will be able to come before God.
  • David asks for God to lead him in righteousness… meaning doing things God’s way. David asks God to show him God’s way rather than just answering the way David thinks it should be.
  • David now, far into the psalm, asks God for help dealing with his enemies.
  • David demonstrates his faith and trust in God by acknowledging joy, gladness and shelter that God provides for those who love Him.
  • David again acknowledges that any blessings that come to the righteous come from God, including protection.

Spend some time humbly before God in prayer asking Him to lead you to a more effective prayer life. Ask Him to reveal to you changes that you should make in your prayer life and relationship with God. Expect Him to answer. Make changes in your prayer life based on the elements we shared in this article. Make a plan to study and learn more about effective prayer. It does not have to be complicated. It may even start as simple as joining us every Friday for this extra post on effective prayer and then reviewing and practicing it throughout the week.

You can study more teachings about effective prayer. (click for more: Learning to Pray Effectively teaching or Learning to Pray Effectively category of teachings.)

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Draw Near To Jehovah in Difficult Times

We all have figured out by now that we face difficult times while we are on this earth. However, what a great step we are making in drawing near to Jehovah when we turn to Him for help with praise and thanksgiving even during the hard times. He is our Father and we can share what is on our hearts with Him honestly and then turn our attitude toward one of praise and thanksgiving toward Him.

Psalm 41

The Psalmist in Sickness Complains of Enemies and False Friends.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

      1How blessed is he who considers the helpless;
The LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble.

      2The LORD will protect him and keep him alive,
And he shall be called blessed upon the earth;
And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies.

      3The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed;
In his illness, You restore him to health.

      4As for me, I said, “O LORD, be gracious to me;
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”

      5My enemies speak evil against me,
“When will he die, and his name perish?”

      6And when he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood;
His heart gathers wickedness to itself;
When he goes outside, he tells it.

      7All who hate me whisper together against me;
Against me they devise my hurt, saying,

      8“A wicked thing is poured out upon him,
That when he lies down, he will not rise up again.”

      9Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.

      10But You, O LORD, be gracious to me and raise me up,
That I may repay them.

      11By this I know that You are pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.

      12As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And You set me in Your presence forever.

      13Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

Trust in God even when things are not going well. Share your heart openly and honestly, but then remember to thank Him and praise Him even before the situation is fully resolved in your eyes. The value of our relationship with our Creator is so much more than just an escape from hard times. He helps us in our distress, sometimes to escape it and sometimes to endure it and learn from it. He loves us as a Father. At a minimum, we should love Him back as a little child does a loving father… even if we do not understand all that we are going through. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.

James 4:8a

 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Taking The Long Way… On Purpose

After terrorists flew planes into the twin towers in New York years ago, many people were shaken and actually turned toward Jehovah for answers. I know a single mother who has been through a lot of trials, and her faith in God has come out stronger than before she endured them. I have read about a particular online blogger who is doing very well today, but first went through a season of unemployment that seemed to be quite scary. Now, he readily praises God in that that situation in his life prepared and seasoned him to be more faithful and trusting of God in his life. In my personal life, the worst failures I endured have brought me closer to God and strengthened my relationship with Him.

We see this same theme throughout scripture over and over. Joseph and David were seasoned and prepared by God through difficult times to be better able to be faithful to God and obey Him.

The same is true when God led the people out of Egypt and into the wilderness. The journey did not take long because God got lost. God was actively and intentionally preparing His people along the way for what He knew was to come later.

Exodus 13:17-22

God Leads the People

      17Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt. 19Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.” 20Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

When things do not go the way you expect, when God shows you something He is going to do in your life, but you seem to be taking the long way to get there… prayerfully turn to God and ask Him to help you be patient and learn the lessons He has planned for you. Do not consider it a failure just because something does not happen quickly, in your desired timing.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.