Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
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I have had several striking coincidences this week. I am reminded of something I recently read, and you have read or heard many times. A hard-bitten detective in a mystery novel said, “I don't believe in coincidences.” Accidental coincidences are an unlikely explanation of many things that take place.
This week I wrote a pastor friend whom I have not seen in several years. I said I was praying for God to do more in their services this Sunday than he knew to ask for. He wrote back that for months they had been praying Ephesians 3:20.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us;”
This was a divine coincidence.
At about the same time I wrote a blog on God preparing the way for revival. I had not yet posted it when I saw a blog written by a friend in which he prayed for God to do whatever He needs to do to bring about revival in America. I was encouraged by his prayer so similar to my blog. This morning I noticed that today's devotional in John Piper's SOLID JOYS was on the same scripture as my blog.
Let me point to two coincidences in Scripture. One is in the 24th chapter of Genesis that I just came to this morning in my regular devotional reading through the Bible. Abraham sent his servant all the way back to Mesopotamia to find a wife from among his own people for Isaac. The servant makes the great journey coming to a well outside the city. Now finding the right girl seems like an impossible task. He prays for the Lord to show him the girl He has chosen for Isaac by having her water his camels. He had not finished praying when a girl comes to draw a pitcher of water. He asks her for a drink. She quickly agrees, and offers to water his camels. Sure enough, this was Rebekah who came from Abraham’s extended family.
Another is in Mark 14. Jesus sent two disciples into Jerusalem as they came to it for the first time in over a year.
“Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.”
These things happened just like Jesus said.
Seeing God at work in these situations is more reasonable than telling ourselves, “This just happened.” When we see such coincidences, we need to consider what God may be up to. It is reasonable to assume some things about some coincidences.
GOD ARRANGED THEM.
God is not barred from His creation. He plays an active role in history, and in our lives. When you see something like this you can assume that God is at least as aware of it as you are. And it is worth asking yourself and asking Him if He arranged what took place.
GOD IS SPEAKING.
When you see something like this, you can assume that God put you in the place where you would see it. He could have done these things without our knowing. My friend who wrote the prayer that was so much like my blog wrote me that God often sends us such assurances. It is worth asking what God is saying to you when things like this happen. Abraham's servant and the two disciples sent into the city knew the Lord was speaking to them. God is also speaking to you in these Scriptures. And you need to ask what He may be saying in your situation.
GOD IS PREPARING.
In both of these Bible accounts, God was preparing His children to be ready for what He was yet going to do. We too need to be ready to participate in what God is preparing to do in our day. In the devotional I mentioned, John Piper, in preparing people for Christmas encouraged us to, “build God-centered anticipation, expectancy and excitement into your home — especially for the children. If you are excited about Christ, they will be too. If you can only make Christmas exciting with material things, how will the children get a thirst for God? Bend the efforts of your imagination to make the wonder of the King’s arrival visible for the children.”