Derek issues a challenge to us to move beyond praying and proclaiming for just our own needs. Instead, we need to get past what he called “self-defense” proclamations, and rise up to a more aggressive level of proclamation. Become involved in praying and proclaiming over national and international affairs, too.
We’re coming into a more aggressive area. We’re going to talk about intervention in national and international affairs. Ruth and I spend a lot of time praying outside our own needs, praying for various situations, the destiny of nations. Here are some scriptures that will encourage you and help you. One of our favorites we almost always end up with is Daniel 2:20–22 and 4:34–35. The first words were spoken by Daniel, the second by Nebuchadnezzar but the message is the same. I’ll say that reference again. Daniel 2:20–22 and Daniel 4:34–35.
“Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever, for wisdom and might are his. And he changes the times and the seasons; he removes kings and raises up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. For his dominion is an everlasting dominion and his kingdom from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing. He does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’”
Consider that those words came from an unbelieving emperor, Nebuchadnezzar. I think he was a believer by that time. But just think of the tremendous work of God in Nebuchadnezzar’s life. That should encourage us that God can change ungodly and evil rulers if we learn how to pray.
And then we have two passages from 2 Chronicles, each of them is just one verse. We take them from the NIV. They are both prayers. So, if we’re going to pray for, say, the situation in the Middle East or whatever it might be, before we pray the particular prayer we tend to pray these prayers because they get us going. All right, where are we? 2 Chronicles 14:11:
“Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on You, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O Lord, You are our God, do not let man prevail against you.”
And then 2 Chronicles 20:6:
“O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the earth. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can resist you.”
Amen. Now we’ll do Psalm 33:8–12. We’ve got to go rather quickly now. This is a tremendously powerful affirmation when you’re dealing with the world situation.
“Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and the people whom he has chosen as his own inheritance.”
In other words, who’s going to come a winner out of it all? The nation whose God is the Lord. All the plans of nations and United Nations and governments are just nonsense if they’re contrary to the plan of God.
Now we’re going to do in closing some things that relate to the Middle East, which is one of the areas that we pray most about. You might not have exactly the same burden, but you take the principles and apply them in your situation. I want to point out, first of all, that the Middle East and North Africa is undoubtedly the hardest single area of the earth to penetrate with the gospel. And there’s a very important reason and it’s a reason that brings out the power of proclamation. You probably know that from every Moslem mosque there goes forth a proclamation five times every 24 hours which says there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet, et cetera. And, of course, Allah is not the god of the Bible.
Now, the Moslem calendar started about 627 AD, so it’s been going for more than 1300 years. And that proclamation has been made five times every day from every mosque for more than 1300 years. Let me give you a little calculation. If it was made daily for 1300 or plus years, that would be 474,500 days. Let’s say rounded off, half a million days. And it’s made five times every day so that’s 2.5 million times that proclamation has been made from every mosque. And you take the number of mosques and I imagine there must be at least half a million mosques in North Africa and the Middle East. You’ve got billions of times. Why is there such a tremendously powerful anti-Christian power over that area greater than any other area of the earth? What is the cause of it? It’s that’s proclamation. You see, the power of proclamation—negative or positive. How can we overcome the power of all those negative proclamations? What do we have to do? Make the positive proclamation.
So we’re going to give you an example. And remember, just in case you say it’s a hopeless task, when Moses was confronted by the Egyptian magicians and they all threw their rods on the ground and they all became snakes, you know what happened? Moses’ snake ate up the snakes of the Egyptians. So, in other words, our proclamation overcomes every negative proclamation if we know how to make it. So we’re going to make two specifically in regard to Israel and their land, that are biblical. The first is from Psalm 125:3, from the New International Version.
“The scepter of the wicked shall not remain over the land allotted to the righteous.”
Okay. What’s the scepter of the wicked in this context? Islam. What’s the land allotted to the righteous? The land allotted to God’s people. The Bible says, no matter what politicians may say, no matter what they may do, the scepter of the wicked shall not remain over the land allotted to the righteous.
Now you have to say that in faith. When everything looks exactly the opposite, that’s the time to say it. You’re stretching out that rod and your snake is going to eat up the snakes of the magicians.
And then Psalm 129:5–6:
“Let them all be confounded and turn back that hate Zion. Let them be like the grass upon the housetops which withers before it grows up.”
And I serve notice on all those who hate Zion, they’ll never grow to maturity, they will never grow to full stature; they will wither before they have full grown. That’s the word of God and it’s going to come to pass.
And finally, let me give you just one more passage about the restoration of Israel in Jeremiah 31 it says,
“Sing with gladness for Jacob, shout among the chief of the nations. Proclaim, give praise and say, ‘O Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’”
If you take those words it says “sing, shout, proclaim, praise and pray.” There are five things. Sing, shout, praise, proclaim and pray. Proclaim is one of them. And then it says in verse 10:
“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations; and declare it in the isles afar off [and that’s Florida]. He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd does his flock.”
That’s what we say to the Middle East at this present situation. The same God who scattered Israel is gathering him and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock. Let’s say that, shall we?
“He who scattered Israel is gathering him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.”
Now why don’t we do what the Bible says and do some praising, some proclaiming and some shouting.