Theme: When God Answers Prayer
In this week’s lessons we learn what kind of people our leaders should be, and how we should pray for those whom God has put in authority over us.
Scripture: Psalm 20:1-9
Have other nations ever experienced something of this nature concerning God’s interventions? Indeed, they have, though not every claim to a divine intervention on a people’s part is genuine. The history of England has such incidents. There is the victory over the Spanish Armada in the days of Queen Elizabeth. The fate of the English Reformation was at stake in that battle, as well as the English throne. The Spanish ships were mightier and outnumbered the English. People all over England were praying. As a result, the English navy achieved a stunning victory, and the work begun in the southern portion of the channel was completed by a sudden and unexpected storm which drove the escaping Spanish ships northward and wrecked most on rocks off the coast of Scotland.
A contrasting deliverance occurred at Dunkirk when God sent unseasonably calm weather which allowed England to evacuate its European Expeditionary Force in the face of what seemed to be certain destruction by Adolf Hitler’s encircling panzer divisions. On that day many in England were praying the very words of this psalm, “O LORD, save the king!” And God did.
In 1989-90 Westerners were astounded at the radical political changes in Eastern Europe. Country after country has repudiated its seventy-two-year communist heritage, replacing its leaders with democratically elected officials and providing new personal freedoms. Impressive! But these changes in the eastern bloc have come about, less by the will of one person, Mikhail Gorbachev or any other, than by a spiritual hunger and genuine trust in God by the long-oppressed people.
The strength of the Solidarity movement in Poland, where the breakthrough first came, is that of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II has been a strong supporter of the people’s faith and dreams. Spiritual strength also lay behind the victories in East Germany. Conventional wisdom in Germany has it that the turning point was on October 9 when seventy thousand demonstrators marched in Leipzig. The army was placed on full alert, and under normal circumstances it would have attacked the demonstrators violently. But the protestors’ rallying cry was, “Let them shoot, we will still march.” It was a spiritual statement. The army did not attack, and after that the protests grew until the government was overthrown.
What do these examples teach you about prayer, and also about the Lord who answers prayer?
What lessons from them can we learn about the proper way to respond to unrighteousness, whether on a national level or even in our individual lives?
Application: What are some reasons why we do not bring our requests to God as we should?