Our Daily Bread — The Power of Prayer

 

Read: 1 Samuel 7:7–14

Bible in a Year: Genesis 39–40; Matthew 11

Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us.—1 Samuel 7:8

One day, when I was deeply concerned about the welfare of one close to me, I found encouragement in part of the Old Testament story of Samuel, a wise leader of the Israelites. As I read how Samuel interceded for God’s people as they faced trouble, I strengthened my resolve to pray for the one I loved.

The Israelites faced the threat of the Philistines, who had previously defeated them when God’s people didn’t trust in Him (see 1 Samuel 4). After repenting of their sins, they heard that the Philistines were about to attack. This time, however, they asked Samuel to continue praying for them (7:8), and the Lord answered clearly by throwing their enemy into confusion (v. 10). Though the Philistines may have been mightier than the Israelites, the Lord was the strongest of them all.

When we ache over the challenges facing those we love, and fear the situation won’t change, we may be tempted to believe that the Lord will not act. But we should never underestimate the power of prayer, for our loving God hears our pleas. We don’t know how He will move in response to our petitions, but we know that as our Father He longs for us to embrace His love and to trust in His faithfulness.

Do you have someone you can pray for today? —Amy Boucher Pye

Father God, the way You hear and answer my prayers amazes me. Strengthen my faith, that I will always believe in Your goodness and love.

God hears us when we pray.

INSIGHT: Samuel led his people to worship of the one true God (1 Samuel 7:1-6). Prayer was central to Samuel’s ministry (v. 9); in response to his intercession, God gave the nation victory over the Philistines (vv. 7-13). To commemorate this God-inspired victory, Samuel erected a remembrance stone he called Ebenezer, which means “stone of help.” It can also serve as a reminder to us not to underestimate the power of God to respond to our prayers!

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