What Can Prayer Reveal?
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17
Last Monday I was at home when the news came on to show a police blockade being set-up, surrounding a house where a possible murder suspect was hiding. The suspect was accused of killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child just hours earlier. As my mind grappled with that horror, the news interrupted their story with the news of a bombing that took place in Boston, Mass at the Boston Marathon. I wondered what was happening to our world. By the end of Tuesday, the question would enter my mind again as I learned that a couple was being charged with the murders of an Assistant District Attorney, the District Attorney, and the District Attorney’s wife in a small Texas city all in a revenge plot that originated with three stolen computer monitors. But by Wednesday, when I learned of the fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas killing dozens and destroying homes and businesses, my question no longer was what was happening to our world. However, just as I stopped questioning, many others that I knew where questioning and asking; where was God?
When we are often faced with tragedy and loss, the one question that inevitably surfaces in our mind is “where is God?” So where was He? There are many scriptures in the Bible that give me comfort and I want to share one of them with you. 2 Kings 6:15-17. The prophet Elisha spoke on behalf of the Lord to the King of Israel and helped the king outwit the armies raised against the nation of Israel. Every time the Aramean army moved against the King of Israel their plans were thwarted because Elisha had given prior warning. So, in order to silence the assistance of Elisha, the army sought to kill Elisha and surrounded him and his servant in the city of Dothan. Here is where my comfort comes from… After the servant sees the city surrounded, he runs to tell Elisha and instead of panicking, Elisha prays to the Lord to open the eyes of the servant to the true situation. And God does.
We live in perilous times. Humanity has always lived in perilous times. The enemy has always sought to destroy us and at times it looks as if the enemy will succeed. But scripture tells us we can’t go by looks alone. God is present. God is here. I can’t speak for God regarding the tragedies of last week. I could attempt to explain what it means theologically for God to allow tragedies, but I won’t because sometimes even knowing the why doesn’t answer the question. Instead, recognize two things from this scripture. Elisha had walked with God so much that when his servant reported that the city was surrounded he did not panic; instead, he prayed. And as Elisha prayed, God revealed His presence in and control of the situation. Prayer. That is what is required of us today and every time we are faced with tragedy or perilous situations.
If you focus only on what you see, you will question the presence and power of God. But when you pray for God to reveal Himself, God will reveal not only His presence to you, but sometimes, His plan. So where was God last week? Where is He now? Right here in the midst of it all. How do I know? Because for me, the question I did not ask last week was where God was. Instead, I asked God to reveal Himself to me. And He did. Stay prayed up and focused on Him.