by Pastor Tim Burt
One early morning, a gentleman from church contacted me. He said that his wife was having contractions in the middle of the night and that they were now at the hospital. She was in labor. He said, “Please pray. Our baby is going to be born today and she is coming early.” Renee and I knew how early this baby was coming and began to pray immediately.
The next day we went to the hospital to visit them and see their first child, a beautiful little girl. She had been born 10 weeks premature and weighed just over 3 lbs. She was doing wonderful but would need to stay in the hospital until she was at a weight they deemed safe. Other than that, she was doing great.
Now let me back this story up and tell you about the night before this baby was born. I had stayed late at my church office that night as I had a great deal of work to get done. When I got home from work, I was exhausted. I was getting into bed quite late. Renee was already asleep and so I quietly slipped in next to her. I thought I would fall asleep in seconds but didn’t. There was something unusual going on and I truly can’t find words to properly describe it. It felt like I was suddenly at war with the devil. Weird thoughts seemed to be suddenly coming out of nowhere. I began to pray and talk to the Lord about it. He gave me very specific direction to stop and pray or there would be an open door where trouble would get in. I was moved with the reverential fear to obey Him and did so immediately. I got out of bed, went into another room and began to pray—some in tongues and the rest what I felt the Lord was directing me to pray.
The next morning when the husband contacted me about his wife in labor, I knew instantly that the warfare I had experienced and prayed about the night before was directly connected to this situation. I could not stop thinking about what might have happened had I shrugged off the Lord and His leading, and not prayed because I was too tired. I was so thankful for the Lord’s grace helping me to obey Him. Of course I don’t know for sure and can’t prove anything, nor do I need to. But I believe that this time of obedience to the Lord to pray, was directly tied to the birth of this child. I was overwhelmed with thanks because it would have been so easy to ignore. I do remember that when I finished praying, there was a great peace that the fight was over and everything was okay. And then I experienced a bonus. I had been working on a message that I would be soon preaching. I didn’t have all the thoughts I needed to complete it. Suddenly the Lord began to talk to me about that message. I grabbed my notebook, and jotted down the thoughts the Lord was giving to me and it all came together in minutes. His direction felt intimate and like a reward for obeying Him.
I was thinking this morning about how many things go right for my children and others, that they don’t know is directly related to the prayers of Renee and I or of others. After all, who can see what goes on in the realm of the spirit concerning God and His angels to know for sure?
In 2 Kings 6:13-17 we read about the King of Syria out to capture Elisha the prophet and his servant. They were in the town of Dothan and the King’s men had found them and had them surrounded them. Elisha was a man of prayer and knew something his servant didn’t—that God’s angels would protect them. We read: “Go, find out where Elisha is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. 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, 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, “O Lord, open his eyes so 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.
Those horses and chariots of fire with the angels of God were working behind the scenes. Instead of soldiers taking Elisha and his servant captive, Elisha with only his servant took all the King’s soldiers captive. Can anyone explain that? Only through the scriptures and by the power of God!
Our prayers are so very important. It isn’t up to us to determine the outcome of anything. It is up to us to be a covering of prayer and pray the will of God in faith as He directs us. Then we cast the care of it to the Lord and trust Him.
Family, friends, and others you intercede for may not know you are praying for them. They may not know what your prayers protect them from or help them with. It is truly a sacrifice to take time to pray for others in faith. But, there will be times when God will show you the results of the prayers He led you to pray over others—others who might not know how to pray or be able to pray, but are in desperate need of your prayers. If you do what is right and pray, don’t pat yourself on the back. Even your obedience to pray when you are led to is because of God’s grace—His supernatural help. So don’t glory in what you did. Glory in what God does. Personally, I’m so overwhelmingly thankful that God has privileged us as believers to be led by His Spirit and walk out this incredible gift and resource called prayer—the greatest thing we could ever consistently do for anyone!
Mark 11:24 & 1 John 5:14-15 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours… This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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