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Friday, February 2, 2018

Why “You’re in my Thoughts” Doesn’t Bake the Cake!

Recently I have noted several of my friends commenting on someone’s bad health or personal problem with the words, “You’re in my thoughts.” I have even seen political figures use those same words. What exactly do they mean, “You’re in my thoughts?” Well, I suppose it is the politically correct way of saying something to this affect, “I’m thinking about you and I’m caring about you, but since I don’t believe in God, I can’t say I’m praying for you, like all the others did. So, therefore, you’re in my thoughts. I wish I could do more, but since God is not a reality, or I don’t know for sure if He is, I’m not going to be foolish enough to stoop to pray, when I don’t even know if He’s there.”

Image result for house - Religion is the placebo of the massesTo me, that’s a pretty sad commentary on the politically correct Western nations who have one after another abandoned their faith in God. Though Catholicism and other Christian faiths do exist, the general atmosphere in high school and university is scientism, naturalism, reason over faith, or intellectualism. Faith is deemed a modus operandi of the past. Today we have the scientific method and don’t need to rely of the opium of the masses for moral support. Reason and critical thinking based on naturalism, or the precept that there is nothing more than our physical existence, is our foundation belief. All the spiritual beliefs are just a bunch of baloney.

That leads us to respond when our friend writes that he’s going in for a serious operation that, “I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts.” As though our thoughts had supernatural powers of healing and protection. The truth is thoughts lead to words, and words are real things. They can bless, or they can curse. They can left up, or pull down. They can lead to truth or lead to error. That’s why Jesus said that in the day of judgment we would give account for every idle word, for by our words we will be justified, or by our words we will be condemned.[1] But this post is not about the how our words affect others and therefore have power to give life, or power to kill. Today, I want to talk to you about prayer.

You see, when you get a thought about someone, it’s like you are a telephone operator of the old days at a switch board where all the calls are received and then forwarded to the correct land line. Your job as operator is to receive the calls and then pass them on to the correct person. A thought about a friend who is going through a difficult time is just like the beginning of a call for help. You as the operator, receive the call, but since you don’t really believe that the telephone equipment works, you don’t pass on the call and make the connection. The call ends with you. You fail to make the connection and the call for help isn’t heard.[2]

When you get a thought about someone, instead of just thinking about them, realize that the thought is a call coming through which needs to be connected. You are the operator. It is your job to connect the call. Who are you going to connect that thought of your friends problem to? Yourself? No, you don’t have power to heal and solve your friends problems, especially if he or she lives a long distance away. There is really not much you can do. But, yes, there is. You can pray.

Thank God, many are still praying for their friends and family. The latest scientific studies on people having serious operations, or serious illnesses show that those who have others praying for them have a higher percentage of recovery and faster recoveries.[3] Therefore, when we receive a thought for a friend in need, don’t just sit on that thought, like a lazy operator day-dreaming about her boyfriend. Connect the call and pray. Ask God to intervene in the life of your friend or loved one. God answers prayers, but we’ve got to do the interceding.

Image result for Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much.”God’s word say, “The righteous cry and the Lord answers and delivers out of all their afflictions.”[4] The Apostle James, the brother of Jesus, wrote, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much.”[5] Jesus Himself admonished His disciple to pray and said, “Whatsoever ye may ask the Father in my name, He may give it you.”[6] You may even change the mind of God.

Moses fervently sought the Lord and at times it says in God’s word that God changed His mind.[7] Jacob wrestled with the messenger angel until he got the blessing, although he came out of the match handicapped for life with a limp.[8] King Hezekiah prayed desperately and God heard his prayer and healed him and gave him 15 more years of life.[9]  Jesus prayed desperately in the Garden of Gethsemane and angels ministered unto him giving him physical and spiritual strength to face the soon coming crucifixion.[10] The Shunamite woman sought for healing for her son, and God answered her prayer. Let’s read what happened.

The Shunammite’s Son Restored to Life

One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” So he called her, and she stood before him. Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

“What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.

Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”

Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”

“No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”

But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. He said to his father, “My head! My head!”

His father told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.

She called her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return.”

“Why go to him today?” he asked. “It’s not the New Moon or the Sabbath.”

“That’s all right,” she said.

She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead on; don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.” So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the Shunammite! Run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’”

“Everything is all right,” she said.

When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.”

“Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”

Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.”

But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her.

Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.”

Image result for The Shunammite’s Son Restored to LifeWhen Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.” She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.[11]

So please don’t tell me, when I am sick and in need of healing, “You’re in my thoughts.” I don’t want your thoughts, I need your prayers. Intercede for me at the throne of God with strong tears and crying and God will answer. He has to, because He has promised to. He says, “Call upon me and I will answer you: I will be with you in trouble; I will deliver you, and honor you. With long life will I satisfy you, and show you my salvation.”[12]

Image result for telephone operator not connecting callsGod bless us as we pray for one another. And by prayer, I don’t mean “Our Father and Hail Mary.” I mean pouring out your heart by talking to God as you would talk to your most intimate friend or counselor. Let it all hang out. Get mad if need be. Cry, yell, plead, talk, reason, and then listen. Do it all in Jesus’ name and God will answer. Be a good operator. Connect that thought with the powerhouse of God. Then tell me, “I’m praying for you, Dennis” That’s what I want to hear!

Notes.

[1] Matthew 12:36-37
[2] From a sermon by D. Brandt 
[4] Psalm 34:17
[5] James 5:16
[6] John 15:16
[11] 2 Kings 4:8-37 (ESV)

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