All He Had To Do Was Pray
By David J. Stewart | September 2015
2nd Chronicles 16:12-13, “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.”
The Holy Bible says that king Asa had a disease of the feet. It could have been diabetes, we don't know; but whatever it was, it had become exceedingly worse. Most people develop feet problems in old age. Asa had a serious condition in his feet, which was deadly. The Old Testament tells us that king Asa sought help from the physicians, but He didn't seek healing from The Great Physician (the Lord Jesus Christ). Asa called for the doctors, placing his sole trust in man to heal him, but Asa foolishly failed to pray to the Lord for healing, and he died. All Asa had to do was pray, and he would have been healed and would have continued to live.
There is a wonderful song (which I think everyone has heard) called, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” This song was written in 1855 by a man named Joseph M. Scriven. It's one of the most popular Gospel hymns sang in churches today and Christian musical gatherings. Here's the lyrics to the first stanza...
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
God doesn't ask us to pray for a long time for personal needs. Matthew 6:7-8, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” God does want us to spend time praying for OTHERS (Luke 11:5-8). Praying for OTHERS is one way that we can lay up for ourselves treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:1-20). If Asa would have just prayed, once, God would have healed him.
I wonder how many times in life, things would have gone very differently if we had just taken a few minutes (even seconds) to pray for God to get involved. It doesn't matter what you pray... JUST PRAY! All Asa had to do was pray one time to God. The lesson here to be learned is simple... PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING! Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Asa could have been healed and lived.
One of my favorite Scriptures is Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Isn't that encouraging? Even when we don't know what to pray (and the Bible says we don't know), the indwelling Holy Spirit in every born-again Christian makes intercession for us. Literally, God's Spirit intercedes on our behalf and informs the Father what we have need of. There are 86,400 seconds in each day. There are 10,080 minutes in each week. How do we spend our time?
As with most people, king Asa became side-tracked, choked by the cares, riches and pleasures of this world (Luke 8:12-15). All across America you'll find believers who've stopped attending church decades ago. They've stopped praying. They are frustrated. They are backslidden. They don't live in the Word of God. They are worldly. They need a faithful Christian to reach out to them in love, someone who cares, who'll invite them back to church, so they can be nurtured back to spiritual health with hard Bible preaching.
Prayer is serious business to God. Too bad it's a take-it or leave-it proposition to the average believer. Humility is the heart of prayer. Oh, how we need to pray, because our literal, omnipotent (all-powerful), individual, personal, God, commands us to do so! 1st Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” The verse before 1st Thessalonians 5:17 commands us as believers to “rejoice evermore,” and the verse after says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Verse 19, “Quench not the Spirit.” These things go together. People who aren't thankful don't pray; but thankful people pray to show their gratitude to God. People who don't rejoice are usually miserable complainers, and complainers don't rejoice nor pray. We really do have a choice how we want to live. We can either complain, trust in man, quench the spirit and be unthankful; or we can in gratitude praise the Lord anyhow, rejoicing for God's abundant blessings amidst the burdens, afflictions, heartaches and pain, knowing that God cares about us and has His reasons for why things are as they are. I choose to trust the Lord, my dear Savior!
Again, the lesson here to be learned is simple... PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING! Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Asa could have been healed and lived.
The best way to pray is as the Bible teaches... CONTINUALLY. That is, pray in your heart as matters come to your attention. Did you just hear some bad news... take it immediately to the Lord in prayer! Ask the Lord to take care of the matter, and ask Him to give you wisdom how to handle the situation. Were you reminded by something about a painful experience in the past... take it to the Lord immediately in prayer and ask Him to heal your heart, ease the pain, and deal with the matter. Trust the Lord once you've prayed about the matter. Pray about all things, anything that comes to mind of importance. It is His problem now, you have involved Him, and He wants to be involved because HE CARES (1st Peter 5:7).
Prayer is transferring my burdens to God. And then God wants me to rest in His peace, trusting that He will handle the matter. All I can do is my part, and then it's the Lord's department. After you've prayed, claim the promise from Philippians 4:7 for God's perfect peace that passeth all understanding. The reason why we can have perfect peace is because we have a perfect Savior Who is fully capable of handling any situation. There are always spiritual answers for every problem in the Holy Bible, always. Give God a chance! If nothing else, by walking with God in His precious Book, His words will make you invincible to anything that this world can send your way. Jesus told us in John 16:22 to “BE OF GOOD CHEER,” because He has overcome the world. This life will soon be over, and then nothing of this temporal world will matter at all.
There are 86,400 seconds in each day. There are 10,080 minutes in each week. How do we spend our time? Do we set aside even 5 minutes a day for God? Do we pray at all? If you pray to God for even a brief time, at least then you can confidently know in your heart that you DID go to God. Asa didn't pray at all. Interestingly, Asa was the good king when he was a very young lad. What happened? Asa had backslidden in his faith in his old age. Please don't ever stop praying, unless you want to forfeit rewards in Heaven and the power of God here on earth to reach others with the Gospel. The parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8 evidences that in the prayer world, God normally seems to ignore us when we pray, because He is testing our faith. Hebrews 11:6 teaches that without faith a man cannot please God. So, obviously, more faith pleases God more. This makes sense then why God seems to ignore us when we pray; yet He has promised to care about us and work behind the scenes (Philippians 2:13).
In Philippians 4:6-7, God could have said, pray about everything and I'll answer all your prayers, but He didn't. Rather, God told us to pray about everything and then claim the peace of God which passeth all understanding. In other words, our solace in prayer ought to be because we have placed our burdens, troubles and needs into His hands, and now we can rest in knowing that God is on the job. This does not guarantee that things will work out our way, because they usually DON'T. God knows what He is doing! Our part is to keep soul-winning, working, living right, staying busy for God, fighting against sin and the Devil, praying, abiding in the Word, and contending for the Christian faith. We must never get so busy serving God, that we forget to pray. Without prayer, then we are merely labouring in our own human strength. Prayer is dependence upon God, which brings glory to the Lord, and not man.
Again, the lesson here to be learned is simple... PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING! Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” You're never wasting your time when you pray. Prayer works, one way or another, prayer works!!!
Asa could have been healed and lived... All he had to do was pray.
“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” —Psalms 118:6
Psalms 56:9, “...this I know; for God is for me.”
love God who doesn't love sinners!”
(a quote by Dr. Jack Hyles classic MP3 sermon, “The Happiest Man” (happiest is the man who will not impute sin to others!)
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