When We Can’t, He Can!

Bill Brinkworth

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

Nowhere in the Word of God is toleration to sin found.  Godly living people are to be the “salt” (Mat. 5:13) and the “light” (Mat. 5:14-15) that convict and expose what God does not want in anyone’s life — sin!  We are to speak out against sin, whenever possible.

Sometimes however, it is not possible to address a sinner directly.  In these cases, a Christian still has a weapon in his arsenal to defeat and stifle ongoing sin.  In those instances, he uses his unwavering faith and pleads with a Holy God to intervene and halt the ongoing sin, and to change the heart and mind of the one committing iniquity. The believer uses the mighty tool of prayer to get his righteousness-loving God to change the situation when he cannot.

This intercessory prayer has done much to change countless sinful situations in man’s history.  So many times God has answered the pleas of praying men, women, and children to change what they could not. I remember several situations in my own life where the faithful prayers of God’s people changed and stopped seemingly rampant sin.

A teenager was burdened about a bar that was serving liquor to its patrons and possibly ruining lives of the drunkards and their families.  Every time the ministry van would drive him past that den of iniquity, he would pray that it would be closed, and that no more lives would be ruined by the consequences of alcohol. His own private devotions often included a prayer to close the “beer joint” down.  His conviction and concern against the bar was well known.

Within a month, as we drove past that bar, the occupants of the van saw the answer to the teen’s faithful prayers.  The place where alcohol had been served had been burnt to the ground!  All eyes and comments quickly turned to the young prayer warrior.  God had done what the young man could never have done.

The van load of teens was encouraged by the power and value of prayer. After hearing, in a Sunday school lesson, about the wickedness of witchcraft and many of the ungodly outreaches of occult practices, the young people on the van became burdened about the sin committed by a local palm and astrological reader.  As they passed her place of business, they were even more burdened to halt the occult practices in their town, especially when they saw a huge 30 foot billboard advertising her “business.”

Many prayed.  In classroom devotions, the removal of the woman’s business and her sign, were often a request they turned to God to remove. Again, and in a relatively short time, the van passed where the sign had once stood.  Apparently, a car had careened into the sign and knocked it down.  It never was rebuilt!  Again, God did what caring, concerned, and praying people could not physically do.

Another of God’s memorable interventions for the concerns of multitudes of Christians occurred in Haines City, Florida.  Moral citizens were concerned about the removal of an adult pornography business.  Christians wrote letters to their political leaders. Many boycotted outside the store that peddled the smut, and had letters published to the editors in local papers.  Most importantly, local Christians and churches prayed for God’s help in removing the business.  After quite a battle, local laws were changed and added, and the business was closed because of the new law’s restrictions. 

Not long after the pornographic business was closed a new business occupied the space.  It was a business that took local organic refuse and turned it into commercially processed potting soil. It appeared God had a sense of humor in this situation.  A place of pornographic filth was replaced by another business that also made and sold dirt.  Again, God did what man could not do.

Another important example of God’s intervention is what God recently did for our country!   For decades laws had been passed, but many had nothing to do with the desires of most moral Americans. The majority did not want homosexuality or transsexualism to be encouraged, same-sex marriages, abortions, open borders, enforcement of political correctness, many exercised Christian beliefs to be labeled as “hate crimes,” the removal of Nativity scenes from public displays, the removal of the name of Jesus from public prayer, the promotion of the dangerous Islamic cult, not fully supporting our military, not supporting many of our allies including Israel, and many other changes to America. Most of these changes were forced down citizens’ throats without their consent.

Years of increasing immorality, and less control by the people drove much of the nation to their knees.  Their letters to the officials were quite often ignored. Their complaints were also hidden by a deceptive media.  However, there was one way to change the moral decline of the country that no person could stop.  That was prayer.

Individual Christians prayed and fasted.  Whole churches consistently went to the Lord in prayer, and God heard their cries!  The throne room of Heaven was flooded with requests for God to change America to the way He wanted it. 

November 2016 brought results from an election that many did not expect.  A man that had promised to return the country to many of its former characteristics, morals, and ways of life had been voted in.  It appears that there now is a president that thinks along the line of most Americans. God again had answered His people’s prayers, and did what man could not do himself.

We are to do all we can to halt sin.  We are to speak out against sin when we can.  We are not to tolerate changes that are contrary to the Word of God. It is a Christian’s responsibility to tell the world how God wants us to live and what is right.  However, there are times that we do not have opportunity to have His will expressed, but we can still pray and let His will be done!  There is power in prayer from a prayer answering God!

“When we pray, we do nothing but ask.  God does all the work!"

This article was featured in The Bible View #596.

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