• Adam Keating

Further Reflections on the Book of Joel - The Need For Consecrated Prayer

On Sabbath, March 28, 2020, I preached a message from the book of Joel. What a fantastic book for us to study in detail because of the many challenges we are facing during these days. There are many connections to the times we are living in and what took place in Joel’s day. I would like to highlight the most important one.

When faced with challenges - Pray!

Joel interpreted what happened around him as signs to insure people were ready for Jesus’ return. In the midst of a terrible plague of locusts, an ensuing drought and the threat of a warring enemy who was marching towards them, Joel asked them to gather together and pray. When faced with challenges, pray.

We all need to be ready when Jesus comes. That was the central theme of the message of Joel. He, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, wanted people to be ready for the coming of Jesus. This passion would have been for both those hearing his words and for those who would read them from the pages of Scripture throughout the ages.

How were they to ensure they were ready?

Joel 1:14 tells us;

“Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
Into the house of the Lord your God,
And cry out to the Lord. (NKJV)

Though the challenges they faced, Joel asked them to take a spiritual inventory and make sure as individuals and as a nation, they were seeking the Lord. He wanted them to enter into a time of consecrated prayer. A time of prayer that was taken seriously and to pray very particularly for what they were going through. In addition to praying, they were to take intentional time to give up something, a fast, which helped to focus their hearts and minds on God's guidance. As they tuned into God, no matter if things worsened, they would be secure in His leading.

Not much is known about the prophet Joel. Little is known about about who he was as a person or why he was called to be a mouthpiece for God. But there are two things we do know: the message in his book, The Lord’s day is near, and the message of his name. His name translated means, “The Lord is God!”

That is a message for us today — The Lord is God. It means God is in control. It means that even when things seem out of control, God is still in control. It means that just as He created things out of nothing in the beginning of Earth’s history*, He can re-create in the blink of an eye** at the Second Coming of Jesus.

Don’t allow the challenges and obstacles of life to cause a fear that drives you away from God. But rather turn to God in those times. When life’s hardships come follow the instruction of Joel;

“Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
Into the house of the Lord your God,
And cry out to the Lord. (NKJV)

During this time of uncertainty, cry out to the Lord.

Let us come together in prayer. Let us seek wisdom from God on how to engage with the challenges around us. Let us spend time in spiritual introspection, making sure we are ready for the return of Jesus.

Don’t allow the challenges to cause fear that overwhelms you. Instead pray.

Don’t allow possible threats to discourage you. Instead pray.

The message that Joel inspires us with today is to spend more time in prayer than we do in complaining or worrying.

Today, spend time in consecrated prayer.

* Genesis 1 & 2

** 1 Corinthians 15:52

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