Thursday, January 11, 2018

Praying In The Mud

The prophet, Jeremiah, found himself in a heap of mud one day.  In Jeremiah 38:6, his enemies put him into a deep cistern so that he might die a slow death.  God’s Word says, “...They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.”

We worship the God who is able to use mud as grace.  If the cistern had been full of water, Jeremiah would have surely drowned within hours as fatigue set in from treading water.  But God provided mud instead - nasty, smelly, dirty mud.

Scripture does not directly tell us that Jeremiah prayed in the mud, but we can infer it.  We know he was a man that prayed, heard God’s voice, and regularly prophesied the Word of God.  Can you picture him waste deep in mud, legs stuck, lower body unable to move, yet his hands lifted in prayer to the Lord Almighty?  I can almost hear him chuckling under his breath, “Thank you, God, for removing the water.  I have never been so happy to be in mud!”

Nobody has really prayed until they have prayed in mud.  Your mud might be an intense trial, a place of brokenness or grief, regret, lack of hope, deep depression or anxiety, job uncertainty, relational problems, loneliness, faith crisis, or any kind of woundiness. You might be a little stuck, but you can still lift your hands in prayer. There are very few prayers more powerful than muddy ones.

When you cry out to God from the mud, you will discover the God who rescues.  In Jeremiah’s case God used a royal official named Ebed-Melech, some old rags, and 30 men to lift him out (vv11-13).  We can’t predict how or when God will bring about deliverance, but we can be assured that He does deliver.  Maybe your mud is grace not punishment because God is preserving you for rescue?  He did it for Jeremiah, and He is able to do it for you.

Ex nihilo,

R.J. Rhoden

Saturday, January 6, 2018

It’s Time To Go Bold

Bold doesn’t mean loud or obnoxious.  Some of the boldest people I know have a quiet resolve to them.  But bold does mean powerful and full of faith.  The early church in Acts 12:5 was “earnestly praying” for Peter who was incarcerated with an imminent sentence of death hanging over his head. And then suddenly he was miraculously delivered against all odds.

An earnestly praying individual or church is not afraid to pray bold prayers for what seems impossible.  If you could solve it in your own power than what is the point of praying?  Why waste your prayers on anything other than the impossible? You can’t move that mountain but God can.  You can’t create favor from a difficult boss but God can.  You can’t change the heart of your spouse but God can.  You can’t part the Red Sea or shut the lion’s mouth but God can.  It’s time to go bold with your prayers like the Acts 12:5 church.

Don’t confuse a bold prayer with a farcical prayer.  Bold prayers place all trust and hope in the Lord Almighty and are rooted in the purposes of God’s heart.  Farcical prayers are self-serving and rooted in human fantasy that exists far removed from God’s heart.  There is nothing farce in a bold prayer, and there is nothing bold in a farcical prayer.

Over the next couple of weeks I want to be inspired to pray and instructed how to pray. I can’t imagine any more important way to begin 2018.  It’s time to go bold.  It’s time to place the impossible in the Hands of the One “who is above all things.”  Join us at Celebration Church & Outreach Ministry on Saturday nights at 6pm and Thursday nights at 7pm.  Join us for 21 Days of continual prayer from January 16th at 6am - February 6th at 6am.  Join us in person or Fb LiveStream.

It’s Time To Go Bold.

Ex nihilo,

R.J. Rhoden