This Month's Messenger

Greetings Fairview Heights!

                  With summertime in full swing we have the beauty of this world and the joys of being alive in ready supply as we enjoy the advantages of season. Long warm days with lots of sun means beach days, camping, working in your garden, grilling on your deck, star-gazing at night, vacations, and all sorts of outdoor activities. These things are wonderful opportunities to enjoy the life and the world that God has given to us; it can also, however, be opportunity to be distracted and forget the God who gives us these good things. We can all easily fall into a trap of living as if God is not a    reality in life and certainly not present in this world seeing and hearing everything that people do. It is a good practice to stop in the middle of your fun and thank God for the goodness He is sharing with you. Now certainly we can understand this prayer from those who place their trust in God for their       salvation. This is especially true when we, like Hebrew worshippers of God, realize that salvation is not just for eternity, but it is also for this life that God has given us to live here on earth. You see, there is a truth about prayer and about the fact that God not only hears our prayers, but also is    listening for them. This truth, unfortunately, comes to light more when we come face-to-face with a trial that threatens our life. We are driven to prayer because we understand that life has issues that we need outside help to endure and overcome. Too many times we forgo the privilege and power of prayer when things are going well, or maybe even reasonably well. This prayer of David encourages us to seek God through prayer in our times of trouble and our times of rejoicing as well:

Psalm 20

1      May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;

May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;

2      May He send you help from the sanctuary,

And strengthen you out of Zion;

3      May He remember all your offerings,

And accept your burnt sacrifice.

Selah

4      May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,

And fulfill all your purpose.

5      We will rejoice in your salvation,

And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!

May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

6      Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;

He will answer him from His holy heaven

With the saving strength of His right hand.

7      Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;

But we will trust the name of the Lord our God.

8      They have bowed down and fallen;

But we have risen and stand upright.

9      Save, Lord!

May the King answer us when we call.

 

Notice that following the prayer for help is asked for along with the offerings and burnt     sacrifice. Admitting both what God has already provided for us and that we are in need of His      forgiveness is the attitude that prayer germinates. See that ‘Selah’? That means stop and think about this. Praise then follows penitence. Praise God for His salvation and the purpose to which His salvation has called us. It is under His banner we march through life. We don’t hold up our banner with God’s  banner pinned on to it. No, we change banners. His banner – His game plan for life – is now what guides our life. David then, in verse seven, returns us to prayer. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will trust in the name of the LORD our God!” Trusting in God with the affairs of  life – really, patiently and contently trusting in Him – is only possible with daily reliance on prayer. If we want God to make a difference in our lives, our friend’s lives, and our church then we need to   earnestly pray for God to work through us, so that when He moves we see it and can give Him all glory for it. The same remains true even our community, our country, and our world. Giving God glory for the simple joys in life and the times of fun and joy helps to keep our perspectives true and gives us balance needed to move through the tough times. These issues may be beyond what it seems like we can effect and endure, but as God desires to use us we will stand as all around us seems to be falling apart. May we as a church make our battle cry, “May the King answer us when we call.”

~Pastor Paul