King Cyrus reigned over Persia from 559–530 B.C. He was a pagan king and yet he credited God with giving him the idea to issue a proclamation. What Cyrus did not know was that he was fulfilling what God had already said would happen through the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah focused much of his prophecy on the destruction of Jerusalem and deportation of the people from Judah; something he experienced himself. But he also prophesied in Jer. 29:10-14 that God would bring back the exiles from their captivity and restore Jerusalem. It was not the king’s idea to rebuild Jerusalem it was God’s plan.
Ezra’s words ought to challenge and encourage us. We live in an age where the common practice is to tear down, criticize and judge leaders. O. Hallesby, in his book Prayer, rightly challenges us, “Let us pray for our leaders at all times instead of constantly criticizing them.” Whether criticism is justified or not is irrelevant. Our deeper responsibility is to beseech heaven for our leaders. “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1,2).
We ought to pray first that God’s will would be done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). A natural extension of this thought is to ask Him to speak into the minds of those who rule. He is able to influence them towards the accomplishment 0f His will. How many times must we suffer from poor leadership because we failed to ask God to intervene in the minds of those in authority? It is too easy to criticize it is harder to lift up petitions.
God made us to be His partners. Our privilege is to pray.
God created us for ministry, and so we intercede.
When He states, kings will listen. When we pray, things surely happen.
When He directs, rulers obey. When we ask, we should believe.
The Word says we succeed by His power. This will give us hope.
The Word reveals His truth shall stand. By this comes our victory.
When God declares, the nation is restored. Our land needs healing.
When God speaks, the trumpet proclaims His notes. Sweet restoration!
Prayer is essentially a partnership of the redeemed child of God working hand in hand with God toward the realization of His redemptive purposes on earth.—Jack Hayford
©2020 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)