Moore gives Chapel key addition to pandemic prayer
Story by Rick Vacek
Photos by Garrett Ohrenberg
GCU News Bureau
You hear it every day.
“I just want this pandemic to be over.”
We say it. And we pray it.
“How many of you wish that you could pray for this pandemic to end immediately? Believe that you receive it and, bam, you got it,” he said.
“How many of you wish that racial and political tensions would cease right now and all you had to do was just believe that you receive and, bam, you got it?
“How many of you wish that everything would just go back to normal, and that you could just believe that you receive and, bam, you got it?
“If only every challenge that we face was that simple.”
Instead, he challenged listeners to ask God for the grace to get through the pandemic, however long it lasts, and to strive to be a better version of themselves when it’s over.
He ran through the various types of prayer: supplication, intercession, thanksgiving, consecration, petition, praise and worship, agreement, corporate and faith.
An example of the prayer of faith is in Mark 11:22-24:
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Earlier in that chapter, Jesus had declared that a blooming fig tree would never again bear fruit, and when they returned the next day, the apostles were shocked that it had come to pass.
“Jesus reminds the disciples after seeing the fig tree withered away how important it is for us to have faith in God,” Moore said. “And I’m going to tell you that the answer to a million and one challenges that you and I are going to face in this life is you just have got to trust God.”
This is underscored in Proverbs 3:5:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding
That means trusting God blindly, Moore emphasized.
“God shouldn’t have to read off His resume, shouldn’t have to go through all the things that He has done for people over the years for us to trust Him,” he said. “He is faithful to a thousand generations. Even when you don’t see God moving in your life, He is moving.”
God doesn’t change your weaponry in the middle of the battle, Moore added. Example: David refused to wear Saul’s armor when he battled Goliath because it was unproven.
“Don’t allow anybody to convince you that the spiritual principles that got you to where you are today are now antiquated, outdated and ineffective,” Moore said.
But it’s not enough to have faith. You must live your faith. Another example came in the movie “The Karate Kid” when Mr. Miyagi had Daniel do common, everyday chores – such as the famous “Wax on, wax off” scene – to prepare him for the battle ahead.
Go into battle in a spirit of worship, not violence, Moore said, even if you haven’t prayed in a long time – or have prayed over and over, as Paul did in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Note the conclusion he drew:
… In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Another common prayer this year is for 2020 to end, but Moore warned that turning the page to 2021 isn’t going to change things unless we are in a state of grace.
He showed on the screen photos of actress Reese Witherspoon looking bubbly in January and then steadily more fearful until she seems weary and panic-stricken with the same expression in June through September. There’s our year in a nutshell, and nut is the operative word.
“What can change is the way that you see yourself and the way that you see what you are up against,” Moore said. “And that’s what happened here in second Corinthians, Chapter 12, with the apostle Paul.
“… It’s not so much that God was not moving in his life, and it’s not so much that Paul did not believe in the power of prayer. … The issue was that Paul was praying the wrong thing.”
Another example is in Jeremiah 29:11-14:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
The backstory: They were in exile in Babylon for 70 years, but God wanted them to live life as normally as possible, to pray for Babylon and to not listen to false prophets.
The same applies to us today.
“None of us really know how long these times we are living in (are) going to last,” Moore said. “But just because we are in something that’s lasting a little but longer than many of us have expected does not mean that God does not know the thoughts that He thinks about us, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give us a future and to give to us an expected end.
“I encourage you, come out of this pandemic better than you went into this pandemic so that the name of Jesus can be exalted.”
Next Monday’s speaker: Dr. Tim Griffin, Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Students and University Pastor
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected].