As we carry the burden of this war in our hearts, minds, and spirits; we need to keep our eyes upward. We need to “look to see what the Lord speaks” (Habakkuk 2:4). As we set our hearts on things above (Colossians 3:2), we can get God’s perspective and walk in His strength and peace. I believe the most important thing we can do concerning the war in Gaza is to pray.
As I sought the Lord for keys on how to pray, I sensed Him bring Romans 12:12 to me. This powerful Scripture has three directives that I believe will empower and strengthen our prayer lives! These mandates will help us stay in effective intercession for the long haul.
Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Joyful in Hope
Joy strengthens us as Nehemiah 8:10 declares, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Joy is not an emotion. It is supernatural. It is a demonstration of the Kingdom of God as Romans 14:17 says, “The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” To have a kingdom perspective and empowerment, we must operate out of joy.
Hope is an expectation of good. Hope fuels faith according to Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being sure what you hope for and certain of that which you don’t see.” Hope also is supernatural. As Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Patient in Affliction
The proper definition of patient is “long-suffering.” That means to be willing to suffer long! Most of us get impatient when things don’t go our way. This patience in affliction requires supernatural grace and power. The word affliction in Greek means “tribulation, oppression, or distress.” So we are called to persevere when things are extremely difficult. We do not have an option to give up. This grit and determination postures us to thrive in the next mandate.
Faithful in Prayer
The word faithful here means “to be constant, to be diligent, and to give yourself to.” This reveals that we are called to pray continually. This is a practicing-the-presence-of-God prayer life. This is a proactive prayer life and not a reactive prayer life. We pray God’s prayers. We remember His promises and diligently remind God of what He said in His word!
Here is a review of this progression that is a key for us in this hour:
Being joyful in hope gives us strength and a positive view of the future. This keeps anxiety, depression, and fear at bay. We can then pray from God’s kingdom perspective empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Being patient in affliction helps us to persevere and to not be discouraged when things don’t turn out the way we want them to. This keeps us grounded and immovable in our faith and trust that God’s word will prevail even when don’t immediately see it.
Our faith-filled diligent prayer life is what really transforms hearts and moves mountains in nations and people groups. Being faithful in prayer changes history. As Paul said we are to “wrestle in prayer.” There are no breaks in a wrestling match. We are to pray continually!
I bless you to continue to partner with God in this season of crisis and prayer intervention concerning the war between Israel and Hamas. You are called to be a watchmen on the wall for such a time is this. I pray that you will be strengthened with power in your inner being through your fellowship with the Holy Spirit as you pray and contend for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done!