A wise old priest once said, When all else fails, don’t start praying… You should have been praying a long time ago.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t. Start praying a lot sooner, that is. Instead we face trials that seem insurmountable, testing that seems to push us to the brink, temptations that seem more alluring by the day, health issues that linger, and relationships that never progress. Life is full of difficulties. It always has been and always will be less that what we would wish–especially as we approach the end times.
Read the words of Isaiah (24:3-13) The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The LORD has spoken this word. The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the heavens languish with the earth. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left. The new wine dries up and the vine withers; all the merrymakers groan. The joyful timbrels are stilled, the noise of the revelers has stopped, the joyful harp is silent. No longer do they drink wine with a song; the beer is bitter to its drinkers. The ruined city lies desolate; the entrance to every house is barred. In the streets they cry out for wine; all joy turns to gloom, all joyful sounds are banished from the earth. The city is left in ruins, its gate is battered to pieces. So will it be on the earth and among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.
Doesn’t sound too cheerful, does it. The curse that consumes the earth is the curse of sin. Eden was hidden away when Adam and Eve fell. What we now see is what we have been left with. But look what Isaiah says next: They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the LORD’s majesty. Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: “Glory to the Righteous One.” From the ends of the earth we hear songs, “Glory to the Righteous One” (Isaiah 28:14-16a). In the end, there will still be a remnant that will remain true.
Despite this brief bit of praise, he goes on to write, But I say, “Woe to me! Woe to me! Alas for me! The treacherous deal treacherously, and the treacherous deal very treacherously.” Terror and pit and snare confront you, O inhabitant of the earth. Then it will be that he who flees the report of disaster will fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit will be caught in the snare; for the windows above are opened, and the foundations of the earth shake .The earth is broken asunder, The earth is split through, the earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard and it totters like a shack, for its transgression is heavy upon it, and it will fall, never to rise again. so it will happen in that day, that the Lord will punish the host of heaven on high, and the kings of the earth on earth. they will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon, and will be confined in prison; and after many days they will be punished. then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed. (Isaiah 24:16b-23)
Those are not the most encouraging passages of Scripture. So what hope is there for each of us? Don’t wait to pray! Start before you see the trouble. And how do you know what to pray about? You don’t. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27).
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him (Romans: 8:14-17).
We are His children and He will hear us. Just don’t wait until your life is in tatters to talk to Him. Start now and never stop. Never stop praying (I Thessalonians 5:17).