Encouragement for Today - March 22, 2006



Encouragement for Today

(Principle #1)


“The Power of Prayer”

Glynnis Whitwer, Senior Editor – “P31 Woman Magazine,” Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member



Key Verse:

Isaiah 31:1,  “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord.” (NIV)



The unfortunate truth is that sometimes I forget to pray about a problem.  I definitely ask God for His help with the big issues.  But those I can solve alone, I often keep to myself.  If it gets out of hand I bring God into the picture, but until then, I fly solo.  I learned my lesson about this (again!) just last week.


With five kids, we didn’t go through this year’s flu season unscathed.  My 10-year-old started his bout with the stomach flu at midnight.  He and I stayed close to the bathroom throughout the rest of the night and by morning his fever was high.  A handy bucket, fever-reducing medicine and sips of ginger ale or water were the agenda for the day.


It wasn’t until evening that I realized I hadn’t prayed once for my little boy.  His fever was high and as I held his hot little body, I placed my hand on his head and asked in the name of Jesus for Robbie’s fever to go down and for it to stay down during the night.  I gave him another dose of medicine, soothed his feverish skin with a cool cloth and held him on my lap.


Thirty minutes later his fever dropped from 103.6 to normal and Robbie slept peacefully and fever free through the night.  He woke the next morning with a tender tummy, but feeling much better.


As most moms know, a fever that high doesn’t drop that fast on medicine alone.  God definitely intervened.


As I reflect on that incident I wonder how many other times I have relied on something other than God’s power to solve a problem.  Isaiah 31 warns about the tendency to exclusively seek help from the things of man and this world.   In fact, Isaiah’s words are “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots …”  That’s a strong warning disaster may follow when we neglect to seek help from the Lord.


Any opportunity we have to solve a problem using our strength, skills, intelligence, finances, and creativity or those of others, is a chance to invite God’s power to work. 


God sees the danger in relying on our own power.  He sees the frailty and unfaithful nature of humans.  He sees the schemes of Satan in perfect clarity.  And God sees the distance that grows between Him and us as we neglect to invite Him into all areas of our lives.


Relying on God is a habit, actually a discipline, which brings joy and peace as we develop it in greater measure in our lives.  As I learn to depend on God in the small and big areas of my life, I find I have more stories to tell about how good, powerful and wonderful He is.  Like the night He brought my son’s fever down to normal in 30 minutes.


My Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, Your power and might are unlimited.  I realize that often I put limits on You by excluding You from my day. Please forgive my self-centered nature.  I ask for Your guidance and help with all my decisions and actions today.    In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Application Steps:

Identify one decision you have to make today that normally you would make on your own.  In prayer, ask God for His help with it.


Reflection Points:

Read Isaiah 31:1-9.  Verse one refers to trusting in horses, chariots and the strength of horsemen.  Name some things or people that you trust.  Have you ever trusted in them more than God?


In our day of advanced technology, we have much to lull us into a false sense of security.  Name some inventions that increase your sense of safety.  Consider how these might draw you away from trusting in God.


It’s a discipline to choose to trust God and acknowledge His power over all creation.  Name three ways you can invite God’s presence and power into your life this week.


Have you seen your own self-reliance pull you farther away from God?  When do you find you are closest to God?


Isaiah 31:9 paints a picture of the awesome power of God over any nation, strength or power on this earth.  Rest in the knowledge that God is on your side and those against Him will fall in terror at His protection over you.


Power Verses:

2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (NIV)


Psalm 77:14, “You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” (NIV)


John 14:13, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (NIV)


John 16:23-24, “In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (NIV)


Psalm 91:14-15, “’Because he loves me,’ says the LORD, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.’” (NIV)


Additional Resources:

What Happens When Women Walk In Faith by Lysa TerKeurst



P31 Woman Magazine



A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer, by Cheri Fuller




Originally published Wednesday, 22 March 2006.