1 Peter 5:6-8

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

What We Can Learn From A Prairie Dog

1 Peter 5:7 shows us something concerning whether or not we should pray only about the “big stuff,” and then just take care of the so-called little things ourselves. I want you to see for yourself what God the Holy Spirit tells us here. Does it say “Cast only the big problems,” O no, dear one, Scripture says – Cast all your anxiety – your cares, your worries – upon Him – upon God. Why? Because He cares for you. Did you notice that the Bible says we should give Jesus all of our cares and anxieties, not just some, but all that encompasses your life.

As a child of the living God, all that concerns you, concerns Him because He cares for you. If you were to read this passage in the original Greek it says because to Him it matters concerning you. Keep in mind also that the passage has a couple of different meanings here, the Lord “cares” for you in the sense of being attentive when you are upset, and God is “concerned” because it is He Who is in charge of your life, because He’s your provider. Can you see, either way, we win in this deal! In other words, God loves His children so much, and is so concerned for us, that all the things we care about, or need, He also cares about, and takes care of.

Let me give you one quick example. One morning a few years back I noticed a tiny baby prairie dog lying on its side just outside my back door. I took a small stick and touched him very lightly, and there was slight movement so I knew he was alive. I put the tiny little prairie dog gently into a box and brought him inside. For a long time I watched over the little fella, but there was no further movement.

I was worried but then I started to think that it was Jesus Who created me with a love for animals, and since the Lord also created this baby prairie dog as well, then He must have guided me to it; I’ll ask God to heal him. So in faith that the Lord did indeed tell us that what we humans care about, He also cares about, I began to talk to God about this helpless little creature. Shortly afterward the Lord gave me the idea to put a drop of water on the tiny prairie dog’s mouth, and sure enough he moved to get at it.

No one will ever convince me that the Almighty God of the universe didn’t heal that injured baby animal. I believe the Lord used me as His hands to raise that little guy to full strength while I had the pleasure of taking care of him for the next few months. Finally the little guy let me know he was healthy enough when he chewed through the heavy plastic of the clothesbasket I had been using for his home.

It is interesting that when I let him loose the little prairie dog quickly went down into a hole in the ground, but then he immediately reappeared, popping his head up out of the hole, looking right back at me as if to reassure me that he was going to be okay; and he darted back down into his new home. Perhaps the little guy was on a mission, I don’t know–but I do know that Jesus cares, and that the Lord answers prayer. Now maybe this little animal might not have mattered to someone else, but my Master knew that it was of intimate concern for me, and He answered my prayer.

Nothing Is Too Small For God

There are other examples I could give you, and I venture to guess that you also would have your own accounts of similar answers to prayer over what some might call “little things.” But after-all, who’s to decide what is, or isn’t, “big” enough to pray about? Some still say: Oh, God’s too big to care about your lost car keys or things like that. Well frankly, the Lord Who created the entire universe out of nothing just by speaking it into existence is too big to care about us period, but we’ll be eternally grateful that in His mercy God has chosen to care about us–even though we didn’t choose Him.

Does the incredible sacrifice Jesus made by becoming a man, choosing to grow up on this earth just the same as you and I do, suffering the rejection of His own creations, being cruelly scourged until the flesh of His back lay open, and then nailed to a rugged cross where He died a real physical death, even enduring Hell–the horrendous time He was separated from the Father–become a little clearer for you now? He is a great and loving God attentive to your every need-if, you’ll just ask Him.

The Apostle Paul, once a fierce persecutor of the early Christian Church, who went on to develop an intensely intimate relationship with Jesus, understood how much God cares–and because the Lord cares–He threw us the “lifeline” of prayer. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in Philippians 4:6, Paul writes – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything – not some things, but just as Peter told us – but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And how about what the Apostle John tells us in 1 John 5:14-15

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.

O it is just tragic that this lifeline of prayer from God is so oft neglected. Just imagine what this world would be like if we’d only firmly grab onto that lifeline and fervently pray. As one preacher put it:

In the modern age in which we live, we have learned to harness the power of the atom, but very few of us have learned how to fully develop the power of [God in] prayer. We have not yet learned that a man is more powerful on his knees than behind the most powerful weapons that can be developed.

We Need To Pray

Men and women, now is the time when we need to develop this power by firmly grabbing hold of the lifeline of prayer; for our nation’s sake, and for our children’s sake. In Isaiah 62:6-7 God says – I have posted watchmen on your walls…they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. But where are our watchmen for pagan postmodern America? Yes, it is a rugged task; but will you go with me…

It is my prayer that these words from The International Bible Society in their pamphlet Call To Prayer serve as an exhortation to the Church scattered all over the world, and to the Body of Christ in America. Let’s ask the Lord to implant a desire in us that His people will answer His call to prayer, that we would become a united team of prayer warriors and watch the one true and living God tear down the demonic strongholds in our cities of sin and to let His people which are there go, our Lord’s precious elect that Satan has held long enough! Church, let us fully enter the real “war on terrorism” and go on the offensive by going to our knees for Jesus:

Although this Scripture in Isaiah 62:6-7 refers to Jerusalem at another time, it also holds a principle for us today. We, as intercessors, are to ask in prayer and keep on asking until the Lord answers. We, like the appointed “watchmen”, are to pray all day and all night, asking Him over and over again, reminding Him, giving Him “no rest till” our prayers are answered or until they have brought results…

Without a doubt, prayer changes things. Prayer changes things because God answers prayer. We should pray with firm conviction that our prayers will make a difference, believing that God wants to hear, wants to move, wants to save, wants to change, wants to bless, and wants to show His love for mankind… As “watchmen” over His creation, we are included in His plan to release His authority throughout the earth. The Lord works with us and through us revealing His sovereignty, moving throughout the whole earth, showing His love…[As Christians], let us continue to pray without ceasing, continually reminding Him, giving Him no rest till our prayers are answered and the world comes to know Jesus.

To paraphrase the U.S. Marine Corps advertisement, God the Holy Spirit is looking for a few good men and women who’ll go to the Lord in prayer, I mean really go to Him in prayer so that God might send us the power we need to go out among the people, and as Acts 17:6 says of the early Christians, cause some trouble all over the world. Why are we Christians just sitting by as we are being discriminated against in this so-called “inclusive” society here in the United States of Hypocrisy?

O sure, we are told to be a nation tolerant of all our “diversity.” And indeed we have become more tolerant; tolerant of every deviant lifestyle, every false religion, every uneducated speaker of illogical rhetoric until it seems that we are becoming indoctrinated in America to be tolerant of every one and every thing except orthodox Christianity. Just try speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ at a public function and see what happens. Years ago there was a lawsuit to have the theory of evolution–and that is all that it is, a theory–taught in public schools. You must know then that creationism is excluded in public forums, and cannot be taught in public schools. But where are the Christian lawsuits?

The theory of evolution, which is the chief tenet of the religion of secular humanism, is taught in public schools, but to be truly “inclusive,” shouldn’t the Truth of God’s creation be taught right along side? Well, let’s go to prayer and ask the Lord to show us whether this is fair. Remember the “What Would Jesus Do?” campaign, it’s a great idea of course, so let’s go to the Source Himself in prayer and ask our loving Master what He’d do. I do not believe God advocates passing laws to force Christianity on people, but I do know this, He is most definitely not happy that leaders in this nation–founded on the principle of “freedom of religion,” not from religion–are regularly passing laws to prevent Christians from having the freedom to worship Jesus openly. If you don’t believe me, then please make the time ask Him for yourself.

The Devil’s Trying To Kill America

In conclusion, to encourage you to spend more time in prayer with God, who loves you more purely than anyone ever could, and to illustrate the importance of prayer, I’ll share with you something that Leonard Ravenhill was on hand to witness one day. While brother Ravenhill might not be familiar to you, in his day he was one of England’s foremost outdoor evangelists. He tells the story:

One day I was at a conference with Dr. V. Raymond Edman of Wheaton College, one of the greatest Christian educators in the U.S. He told of an experience he had while he was in Ecuador as a missionary. He hadn’t been there long before he was sick and dying. He was so near death that they had already dug his grave. He had great beads of sweat on his brow and there was a death rattle in his throat. But suddenly he sat straight up in bed and said to his wife, “Please, bring me my clothes.” Nobody knew what happened.

Many years later he was retelling the story in Boston. Afterward, a little old lady with a small, dog-eared, beaten-up book, approached him and asked, “What day did you say you were dying?” What time was it in Ecuador? What time would that be in Boston?” When he answered her, her wrinkled face lit up. Pointing to her book, she said, “There it is, you see? At 2 a.m. God said to get up and pray–the Devil’s trying to kill Raymond Edman in Ecuador!” And she’d gotten up, and she’d prayed.

Christian, Jesus has heard your heart cry of near despair: Will somebody please throw me a lifeline! And I encourage you to grab on to that lifeline of prayer and to hold on for dear life. I leave you with a final point: Just like that little old lady was asleep until she heard God tell her to get up and pray, so it is with the Evangelical Christian church in the United States, too many of us also are sleeping.

But if you go to your knees you will hear the voice of the Lord say: The time has come for the Body of Christ to wake up and pray–the Devil’s trying to kill America!

And now the question becomes: Are we going to be like that dear little old lady; are we going to get up and pray?