Monday, September 04, 2017

Prayer and wildfire

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 3:1-17

TO CHEW ON: “And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush…” Exodus 3:2

This summer has been devastating for the province where I live. Wildfires, many of which began in early July, continued burning through most of July and August destroying vast forests, grasslands, and driving people from their homes. We’ve seen in pictures and firsthand the power of fire. We also know that each one was started by something--a lightning strike, a cigarette butt, a spark from a nearby fire...

If you ask Google what fire is, you’re answered with a variety of articles explaining its physical process. "How Fire Works" (on How Stuff Works), is one of the easier ones to understand. It makes the points:
  • Fire is a chemical reaction between flammable substances and oxygen.
  • Fires don’t start spontaneously; to ignite, a fire need its fuel to rise to “ignition temperature.”
  • Once a fire does ignite, the heat it generates sustains the fire and keeps it burning.

Yesterday we read about the Israelites groaning and calling out to God because of their bondage and slavery. We read that God heard, remembered, looked, and acknowledged their cries (Genesis 2:24,25).

Today we see that answer. It began with a fire—with Moses noticing a bush burning. He looked, must have watched, for he realized that the bush was staying the same size so he went closer to investigate. Then God spoke to him from that bush. The answer to the Israelites’ prayer was put in motion. Their prayers had ignited God’s fire.

God answered prayers with fire in other places as well:
  • God sent fire to consume Abram’s offering the day He made His covenant with Abram - Genesis 5:17.
  • He sent fire in response to prayers of dedication at the consecration of the tabernacle (Leviticus 9:24) and the temple (2 Chronicles 7:1).
  • He answered the prayers of Gideon and Elijah with offering-consuming fires (Judges 6:21; 1 Kings 18:24,38-39).
  • And in the New Testament, in response to the “one accord in prayer and supplication…” of the believers (Acts 1:14), God sent the Holy Spirit who appeared like “tongues as of fire and one sat on each of them” (Acts 2:3).

Combining what we know of physical fire with these instances of God’s fire, would it be too much of a stretch to suggest:
- That our prayers are needed to ignite the fire of God’s answers?

- That it is our persistent, persevering prayers that bring the fuel of our life’s issues to ignition temperature?

- That the fire of God, wherever it flares up on earth will sustain and grow that fire even bigger?

That the fire of the Holy Spirit within us will continue to devastate Satan’s plans for Earth?

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to pray with more consistency, persistence, and perseverance. The wildfire of Your working would be a fire I would welcome!  Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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