“The oppressed look to him and are glad; they will never be disappointed. The helpless call to him, and he answers; he saves them from all their troubles.” Psalm 34:5-6 (Good News Translation)

The word “oppressed” here is so interesting to me. By definition: the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. I can think of how often we as believers would look at so many things in our lives and immediately toss the phrase, “I am being so oppressed in my life.”

By reading verse 5-6, I wonder if we could actually turn the negative thought on its head and begin to embrace the fact that being oppressed, while not fun or enjoyable, is actually something we can benefit from. Verse 6 says when we call to Him, HE ANSWERS! He saves us from ALL our troubles.

When all means all, I am once again reminded how awesome God is. God is so big, so strong, so amazing, and yet still so interested in even the smallest details of our lives. No request is too big, nor any detail too small for our amazing God. We matter that much to Him!

One of the greatest sustaining factors in our walk with Christ is the consistency of our prayer life. Faced with great opposition, and in the midst of being thrown into the Lion’s Den, it says in Daniel 6 “Daniel knelt and prayed, just as he had done before.” I love that phrase - just as he had done before. If we examine our lives and ask ourselves when faced with opposition, what is our predominant response? Is it to panic? Freak out? Or consistently seek God? Or is it to talk to our Heavenly Father, just as we have done before?

Prayer! God has made it so easy.

Whenever. Wherever. Whatever! We tell Him how much we love Him. We tell Him how thankful we are for Him! We rejoice to Him about all the things He has done to us and through us! We can ask Him to intervene in any situation with wisdom, courage, healing, financial help, relationships...literally anything! Nothing is too big or too small for our amazing God. Our only part is praying to Him with complete faith and belief that He is God and His answer is the best answer.

We are a church that prays. The church is not a building. The church is you and me. Let’s go to God and make known our needs, requests, and petitions, and lean into His miracle working arms like never before. Just imagine what He can do with a group of people that dare to believe He will answer our prayers!

Let’s have minds and hearts that are leaning into God like never before. We all play an integral part of being a church that prays. Together we can accomplish so much in prayer - from individual deepening of our relationship to collectively seeing the church advance through the power of a unified vision.

Question: What have you spent time on thanking God about today? What areas in your life do you need clarity and answers only He can provide?

Challenge: Through this time of prayer and fasting, I would encourage you to open up like never before! Praise Him verbally like never before.

Kurt Schaer

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