READ: Psalm 123, Zechariah 2, Matthew 5, 2 Thessalonians 3
PRAYING THROUGH & SHUTTING UP
The earth has always been full of bad news; modern media just makes it more immediate. Humanity’s heart has always been vile; it is just now visually and graphically displayed on a global scale. There have always been babbling, lewd, rebellious voices; it’s just we now have more mediums of expression and less shame. Little wonder that the Lord tells the earth to “shut up” (Zech. 2:13). The enemies of the psalmist tend to be the proud and the scornful as much as they are the violent and the oppressor. For all kinds of enemies and challenges, the Bible says:
Pray Through. The psalmist reminds us that sometimes we just have to keep looking to the Lord until He has mercy on us (Psalm 123:2). In the 1900s this concept was called “praying through.” Some answers don’t come after the first petition. Sometimes like Elijah you have to pray over and over again with your head between your knees, groaning and longing, until you see a cloud the size of a fist. Sometimes like the importunate widow, you have to take the request back to God over and over and over and over and over and over and over until the answer comes. Praying through is a commitment to pray until God has mercy.
Sing On. The psalmist tells God, “Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage” (Psalm 119:54). Zechariah relays God’s message in return: “Sing and rejoice, for I am coming and will dwell in your midst” (Zech. 2:10). One of the best aids to abiding in Jesus is by singing to Him all day long. Research has shown those who continually abide in the presence of Jesus usually employ singing and worship to keep Jesus before them. Singing is not just for times of joy. Singing is also how we go to battle with Jehoshaphat, it is how we break walls down with Joshua, it is how we endure prison with Paul and Silas. When all the world rises against us, we fight back by singing on.
Glory In. When we pray through and sing on, we experience a most marvelous intimacy with Jesus. God says to us, “I will be your wall of fire . . . I will be your glory in your midst” (Zech. 2:5). Surrounded with the indwelling by the living God who is our fire, our glory, and the lifter of our heads. When we pray through, sing on, and glory in God, He “sends us after glory to the nations which plunder us” (v. 8) and promises “many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day” (v. 11). Unreached peoples will be reached when we pray through, sing on, and glory in Jesus. “Be silent all flesh before the Lord, for He is roused from His holy habitation” (v. 13). Our prayers, our singing, our glorying in Jesus rouses Almighty God and when God arises, it is time for us to shut up and allow God to do what only God can.