by Rev Terence Daniel Yeo
Our nation is in crisis. What do we do?
In a few short months, we’ve seen how closely connected we are through technology and international travel. We’ve also seen that economic decisions made around the world can have such impact on each of us. And let’s face it, the economic impact is scary.
The enemy would have us cower in fear, but there’s a better response we can have. We can pray.
There’s a better response we can have. We can pray.
I’d like to share how we can pray for our nation in crisis.
In the Old Testament, there is a story of Hezekiah.
Isaiah 38:1-5 (ESV)
In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.
King Hezekiah was very sick. His health was going downhill very quickly.
He asked for Isaiah the prophet to come and see him. Isaiah told him what was about to happen.
The prophet said, “King, here’s the word of the Lord to you: “Set your house in order. You will not live. You’ll die.”
1. Pray In Difficult Situations
That’s not exactly the word King Hezekiah was hoping for. Where we are now was also not what we were hoping for at the beginning of 2020.
How did Hezekiah respond to what Isaiah said? I love Hezekiah’s response. I hope his response is also ours in the face of crisis. He didn’t give up and accept defeat. He could have thought, “God is God. He said I will die. It’s over for me.”
But no, the Scriptures says, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord.
“Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
He pleaded his case. Whether we’re in good or difficult times, we need to come to God. We need to do that today.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you are facing difficult times like King Hezekiah was. Negative thoughts keep telling us, “We can’t change the reality. We are stuck in our current situation. Let’s accept defeat.”
Don’t ever believe those lies. God is a God of favour, not ill will. It’s time to believe. We must believe God as King Hezekiah did. No matter what has come against you, God is shifting things in your favour. Amen? Amen!
God is a God of favour, not ill will.
God wants to bring you out of your troubles and difficulties. God wants you better off than you were before. It makes a difference when you put God first in your life. This is what King Hezekiah did. He turned his face toward the wall, and asked God for His mercy.
Before Isaiah left the temple, God spoke to the prophet again: I want you to go back to Hezekiah. Tell him this. I have changed my mind. I will heal him. I will prolong his life, not one year, not five years, not ten years, but fifteen years.
2. Trust God for Favour
Dear all, God is in the business of favour, not ill will. With faith, we can cause God to change his mind. Think about this. One moment Hezekiah has a death sentence. Then a while later after Hezekiah’s prayer, things have shifted.
God made an adjustment. All of a sudden Hezekiah has fifteen more years to live.
What has happened? The reason is this. Hezekiah has entered into a new season.
God has given him beauty for ashes, joy for mourning. When did it happen? How did his time for favour come about?
Hezekiah’s time for favour came when he believed, when he expected God’s goodness.
This was evident in his prayer. When Hezekiah heard the good news, he took off his grave clothes and put on his praise garments. He began to thank God that health was on its way. He thanked God for delivering him into a new season, a time of favour. Imagine this. Hezekiah walking through the temple singing the song, “He has made me glad.”
The direction of the winds has changed. His set time of favour has come. God has given him joy for mourning, beauty for ashes.
3. Let’s Make God’s Temple A House of Prayer
It would be great if every time we prayed, the answers came quickly. But what do we do when the results are not immediate?
The promises of God are there for us, but when they have yet to manifest in our circumstances, what should we do in the meantime?
Jesus showed us the way. “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves’.” (Mark 11:17)
Today, you are the temple of God (1 Co 3:16). And the temple should be a “house of prayer” or it becomes a “den of thieves”. These thieves, or powers of darkness, will steal and rob from your temple, which is your body. (1 Co 6:19)
You are the temple of God (1 Co 3:16). And the temple should be a “house of prayer”.
So, make your temple a house of prayer. You might wonder, “Pastor, how long must I pray?”
Well, how often in a day does the enemy attack you with fear, anxiety and worry?
How often does that disease in your body remind you that it is there? How healthy and whole do you want to be?
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as you make your temple a house of prayer, the power of darkness that has been stealing or robbing from you will be driven out of your life completely. You will see the manifestation of what you’ve spoken over your circumstances.
So, let’s seek God’s favour upon our nation, Singapore.
Let’s believe God’s promise that this is the season of favour. When we believe God, we activate His power. He said,
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
What does God say in the next verse?
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. (Jeremiah 29:12)
As we face these uncertain times in our nation, let’s ask the Lord, to dwell among us.
God alone is the ultimate Master of life. He’s still in control of the destiny of our nation.
Let’s entrust our nation to the loving care of God.
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation’s leaders and give them the wisdom to know what is right, and the courage to do it.
Ask for the light of God to shine on us and His truth to guide us in our ways.