Okay… it seems like every now and then God puts passages in His Word that I’ve never seen before for some reason. The passage below is one that was shown to me that I am almost certain has recently been added (Not really… just kidding). The passage is 1 Samuel 7:7-14. Note in particular what I’ve placed in italics or bold…
Now when the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 And the people of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. And Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. 10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were routed before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 The cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and Israel delivered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites.
Now for a few thoughts.
When we fear… it is right, good, and proper to seek God and ask others to pray (“Do not cease to pray for us”).
When we pray the element of unceasing prayer is a good thing. I take this to mean we are in a constant attitude of prayer throughout the day and we get away at special times to be specific in our praying (“Samuel cried out to the Lord”).
God answers prayer (“The Lord answered him”)!
God answers prayer in ways we don’t expect (“The Lord thundered,” “Threw them into confusion”). We may not hear literal thunder as in this passage, but God acts powerfully none the less.
When God answers prayer, He does so in power and leaves no doubt that He stepped in to help (“They were routed”). God doesn’t answer prayer half way.
When God answers prayer, He does so completely and the effects are lasting (“All the days of Samuel”).
God includes blessings when He answers prayer (“Cities… restored,” “Israel was delivered”).
The fruit of God answering prayer is peace (“There was peace…”). In particular peace that surpasses understanding.
With all these being true… why don’t we pray more? Why don’t we pray when we aren’t in trouble? Isn’t there great peace in knowing we can go to God in prayer during difficult times AND that He hears us AND that He answers us?!