“A man…had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later changed his mind and went. Then, the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he...
Husbands… treat [your wives] with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3:7 (NIV)
Peter is talking about how we must live in the home and in the church if we want God to hear our prayers.
There is a great story in the Old Testament about the prophet (God spoke to people directly through him) Jonah. People listened when he spoke. Lives were changed through his ministry. Then God called him to go to Nineveh. Change is never easy and Jonah didn’t want to go, so he got on a ship and headed in the opposite direction.
The ship was caught in a great storm. The crew panicked and the captain went to Jonah and said, “Get up and call on your God!” This has to be one of the world’s most embarrassing situations! These men were pagans. They knew nothing about the living God, so they came to Jonah and said, “Will you please pray for us?” What a moment!
But Jonah has to admit that he can’t pray, because he is running from God. He is useless to God and useless to them, and so the only thing to do with him is to throw him overboard. Then, when he is in the belly of the fish, he begins to repent and God hears his prayer.
God has made us “a kingdom of priests” (Ex. 19:6). But what use, in this world, is a kingdom of priests whose prayers are never heard?
Have you ever been in Jonah’s situation? Are you there now?