ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER
ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER (I Thes.5:11)
This encounter of relief and victory (written in the next paragraph) will be the same for many; some persons are feeling heavy in the spirit, which might have also translated into physical heaviness, discouragement, or weaknesses. In the past days, while in prayer one feels as if his joints are pummeled and bodily aches. Also unwarranted heavy sleep that wanted to prevail as it combated one’s zeal in the moment of prayers. One should not despair. “Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world” (I Pt.5:9.) These days, all over the world, heavy activities are going on and that is partly why the Lord allows many persons to feel the heaviness. Many festivals of Fall season; many activities of darkness in connection with the dead; also many souls who have been killed at war needing prayers; etc. These and more are the reasons for heaviness.
The experience while we prayed together, especially singing praises, was a wind that bashed on the roofs and windows. Then Psalm 34 was given, and while praying it out, the Lord mercies and power of God prevailed, “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears…Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him…The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (kindly read the entire Psalm, deliverance from all troubles, bashing wind sweeping all obstacles off like a tumbling leaf carried away a strong wind.) These words are true, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him” (Isa.59:19.) All who praise God build a throne for God and He comes down to indwell and raises a standard to still the storm or weather it to good purposes.
Heaviness in moment of prayer often signifies the need to help the Lord in carrying the loads of humanity, which are put upon Him. Such loads coming from sins, bloodshed, injustice that has led to massive hunger, etc., translate into heaviness when you want to pray. Would we not carry the Cross with the Lord like Simon of Cyrene? Would we want to succumb to letting sleep prevail over zealous prayer like the companions of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane when the heaviness of universal salvation weighed on Him? But after Pentecost 2000 years ago (Acts 2) the companions received power and never succumbed to abandoning the Lord. We also have received Pentecost and would not want to go back to the pre-Pentecost garden slumber. Let us switch our gear of prayer like we do when driving towards an uphill on the highway? We need the gear of praises and fortitude in prayer at this moment; it will be over in victory. Peace!
Fr. Ignatius of the Immaculate Heart (TMTJ)
(kindly see our website cmdorg.org two days from now for a posting; we will have (8 days) octave of prayers/praises on our prayer line; many souls all of the world will benefit from it, especially in this time of massive deaths and sufferings.)