“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
Yesterday morning I had a good telephone visit with our dear sister Vernie. As usual, she was a wealth of wisdom, scriptural insight and encouragement to me personally. During our conversation, I learned that she, like me, often rises in the middle of the night for a time of prayer. She told me that many years ago, the Lord instructed her not to become a mere spectator of the news, a passive recipient and consumer of the tragedies regularly reported. Rather, she ought to become an active participant, responding to what is reported—whether good or bad—with prayer. She shared several instances where the news reported on dire situations where innocent human lives hung in the balance, where death and tragedy would very likely be the outcome. Instead of lapsing into despair, she went into fervent prayer. In each of the cases she cited, the outcome was remarkably positive. Without question, the Lord had intruded into these events and brought about miraculous salvation and deliverance. Her words reminded me of today’s Scripture passage. The Lord Jesus’ words to His disciples may be applied to us also. Though we are saved through faith alone, the faith that saves is not alone. That is, faith is intended to produce good works in our lives. We may say that good works are the fruit (the result) of salvation, not the root (or cause) of it. The fruit of salvation includes calling on the Good Father in prayer. This should come as no surprise to us who understand that we were called to be New Covenant priests (1 Peter 2:5,9) and prayers and intercessions are integral to the priestly office. Knowing that the whole world lies in the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19), we suspect that the nightly news is specifically calculated to discourage people and paralyze them with fear. As born-again ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) we must resist the world’s efforts to bludgeon us into passive docility with its endless barrage of troubling news stories. Rather, we must respond to as many as we possibly can with praise and petitions to our God. Our Great God is also our Good Shepherd (John 10:10,14). Let us cast our cares upon Him, knowing that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).