Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Why do the nations rage?"

Southlands has a long history of fasting and praying together as a church. I believe it has been a
key to God's grace on the community over the years. Twelve years ago to the day, the church was fasting when the tragedy of 911 began to unfold. That night was the biggest attendance at a prayer meeting since the church's inception. They knew that God had called them to cover the nation in prayer even before the events took place. Prayer and fasting is often personal, but God's incomparably great power is also at hand to ask God to change the destinies of nations.

Psalm 2 is one of my favorite Psalms when it comes to praying about the nations of the world.
1 Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him. 

A few nuggety truths for reflection and prayer.
1. The rulers of the earth plot in vain.
The conspiracy of the nations against God's purposes is in vain. He will ultimately have his way.
Amidst the tragedy of 911, the upheaval of the middle East crisis and the potential for a Syrian conflict, let's remember that God is enthroned above the nations, Sovereign Lord of all. He is able to bring to pass what He does want out of what He does not want. Let's pray for His kingdom of peace to increase at this time. Let's pray that God would comfort those families who have been torn apart by the ravages of war between nations, and for righteous leaders to come to the fore at this time.
2. The rulers of the earth band together against the Lord and His anointed saying, "Let us break off their shackles."
Much of the turmoil in our nation and the nations of the world is because of a rebellion against the Creator and His design for His creation. Let's pray for this nation to 'celebrate His rule with trembling.' This is not a political prayer. It is a prayer for humble submission to God and his ways.
3. Ask of me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance. 
This is God's offer to His Son, Jesus, and in turn, it is Jesus' offer to us. We are to ask God for the nations as our inheritance. We are to join Him in His mission to make disciples of all nations. We can 'speed his return' by preaching the Gospel to all nations. Let's pray for the Gospel to bear great fruit in the nations of the world today.
4. Come kiss the Son lest he be angry
This verse reveals the wonderful mystery of what it means to walk in intimacy with God but with reverence towards Him. Let's pray that a  mark of our community would be that we would walk in
the friendship and the fear of God.
See you for the feast at 630pm.

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