Prayer Prevails (I Chronicles 5:18-22)
I Chronicles 5:18-22, The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war. And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him. And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men an hundred thousand. For there fell down many slain, because the war was of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity.
One of the great tragedies of modern-day Christianity is that we simply do not pray as we should. The Lord has placed all of the power and resources of Heaven at our disposal to do His work, yet we “have not, because [we] ask not”. The promise of the result of the request ought to make us stronger in prayer, more faithful in prayer, more confident in our prayers.
The story is told of a man who got a permit to open the first tavern in a small town. The members of a local church were strongly opposed to the bar, so they began to pray that God would intervene. A few days before the tavern was scheduled to open, lightning hit the structure and it burned to the ground. The people of the church were surprised but pleased – until they received notice that the would-be tavern owner was suing them. He contended that their prayers were responsible for the burning of the building. They denied the charge. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the judge wryly remarked, “At this point I don’t know what my decision will be, but it seems that the tavern owner believes in the power of prayer and these church people don’t.”
1. Their Skill (I Chronicles 5:18)
Sons of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh numbering 44,760 had ability in three particulars. They used shield and sword, shot with bows, and displayed skill in fighting. For any battle, the believer needs the Lord's power. We are not told that Jesus ever taught His disciples how to preach, but He taught them how to pray. He wanted them to have power with God; then He knew they would have power with man—Dwight L. Moody.
2. Their Success (I Chronicles 5:19-22)
Victory is evident in that the Israelite soldiers were "helped" and the enemies "given into their hand." One might estimate the weight of the world, tell the size of the celestial city, count the stars of heaven, measure the speed of lightning, and tell the time of the rising and the setting of the sun—but you cannot estimate prayer-power. Prayer is as vast as God because He is behind it. Prayer is as mighty as God because He has committed Himself to answer it. Leonard Ravenhill
3. Their Secret (I Chronicles 5:20-22)
The soldiers "cried out to God in the battle." Prayer was the weapon for success rather than all their ability with shield, sword and bow. God "was entreated for them," answering prayer. God answered with victory "because they trusted in Him." They did not trust within themselves but in the Person who had all power. He lifted them above an army more than twice their size (I Chronicles 5:21). When God answers trust, He is being true to His word of promise. He had pledged overwhelming victory when Israelites depended on Him. David would state the principle in (Psalm 20:7) some trust in horses, some in chariots, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. The believer's prayer secrets for battle today are spoken in (II Corinthians 6:7; 10:4-5; Ephesians 6:10-20; II Timothy 2:1-4). Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouses of God's infinite grace and power. All that God is, and all that God has, is at the disposal of prayer. R. A. Torrey
R. A. Torrey used to say that the chief purpose of prayer is that God may be glorified in the answer. If you can't pray like you want to, pray as you can. God knows what you mean. God gives us abilities today, but He wants us to remember always that success is not in the abilities on own right but in His power (Proverbs 3:5-6; II Corinthians 3:5). David frequently prayed (II Chronicles 14:10, 14) as we should be disciplined in praying without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer should always be with trust as God sets a high importance on faith (Hebrews 11:1-6). He also makes it clear that prayer is always to be with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7; I Thessalonians 5:18). No matter what odds are stacked against those who pray in faith, God is able to win.
PRAYER: Father, I praise You that I can at anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstance come to You in prayer. My desire is to keep walking continually with You, so that my prayer may be the natural expression of my life with You. In Jesus name, AMEN.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.