In a time unlike any other we have experienced in generations, the world's mental health has taken a hit. Could honest, genuine prayers help our mental health? Tune in for these five keys to answered prayer!
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed hundreds of thousands. And it has affected the mental health of millions who have faced dangers in their city, state, province, or nation. One report by KFF, the Kaiser Family Foundation, reveals the negative effect on people’s mental health.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. In a recent KFF poll, nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus” (“The Implications of Covid-19 for Mental Health and Substance Abuse,” Kaiser Family Foundation, KFF.org, April 21, 2020).
Are you one of the millions stressed and worried? Are there strategies to cope with the crises affecting all of us? Believe it or not, your Bible gives solid keys for facing these global problems with faith and confidence.
The KFF report explains the problem further:
“Though necessary to prevent loss of life due to COVID-19, these public health measures expose many people to experiencing situations that are linked to poor mental health outcomes, such as isolation and job loss. Additionally, feelings of anxiety are increasingly common, as people are fearful of themselves or loved ones falling ill and are uncertain of the repercussions of the pandemic” (ibid.).
My friends, help is available, and it may be as close as your bed stand or bookshelf. It’s this book, the Holy Bible, that reveals a powerful solution to the stresses of our day. That solution is the power of prayer! On today’s program, we’ll offer you an inspiring FREE study guide, Twelve Keys to Answered Prayer. Be sure to write down the contact information to order your free copy. You may have neglected one of the most powerful solutions to life’s challenges. Now is the time to seek the help of the greatest power in the universe, your Father in heaven. What are the keys to answered prayer? You need to know the five keys to answered prayer!
SEGMENT 2: Learning to Pray
Warm greetings to all our friends around the world!
Nearly every nation on earth is facing historic health and financial crises. Just half-way into 2020, more than 8 million people had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. More than 400,000 had died. Economies are devastated. How many countries will survive the global economic meltdown? The Washington Post featured this headline: “More than 90 countries plead for financial lifelines as coronavirus wreaks economic havoc across the globe.”
The Post describes the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic:
“Global financial leaders are facing calls to speed emergency help to roughly one-half of the countries on the planet, as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to wreck the health and finances of billions of people in the developing world. The United States, Europe and Japan are sinking into what many economists say will be the worst global recession since the 1930s amid efforts to halt the runaway respiratory illness. But deteriorating conditions in dozens of emerging markets could add to the industrial economies’ pain and complicate their eventual recovery. If left unchecked, the catastrophe descending upon countries such as South Africa, Brazil, India and Lebanon could shake the industrialized world.” (“More than 90 countries plead for financial lifelines as coronavirus wreaks economic havoc across the globe,” The Washington Post, WashingtonPost.com, April 13, 2020).
My friends, we need God’s coming Kingdom to bring peace and prosperity to the whole world. And, as we pray for that kingdom to come, we can also find great comfort, peace of mind, and faith to face the dangerous world. In its 2019-20 bushfire season, Australia’s wildfires killed more than a billion kangaroos, koalas, and other animals. Subsequent floods did further damage. In the first half of 2020, the COVID-19 virus killed more than 400,000 around the world, while millions more suffered loss of jobs and livelihoods and even the loss of once-prosperous businesses. Governing authority has come into question after severe apparent abuses of police power. Even the best governments struggled to cope with the chaos, while others lost control and watched helplessly as angry citizens turned from peaceful protest to looting, plundering, and deadly violence.
How can we cope with the stress and turmoil around us? Your Bible gives us keys to face the challenges in our lifetime. And we are living in the prophesied period of time called in your Bible, the end-time. God has given us a way to succeed even in times of trouble. One vital gift God gives to those who follow His instructions is the power of prayer. On today’s program we’ll reveal, from the Bible, FIVE keys to answered prayer, and we’ll be offering you an inspiring free booklet titled: TWELVE KEYS TO ANSWERED PRAYER. My friends, you can learn to pray in a way that will bring results from your Father in heaven. In spite of daily stresses, you can have peace of mind through daily prayer! Our inspiring free booklet TWELVE KEYS TO ANSWERED PRAYER will give you biblical principles for effective prayer. This inspiring free booklet will help you and your family in your study of the Bible and your relationship with your Father in Heaven, and with your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Be sure to write down the phone number or address to request your free copy. You can also order this free booklet on our Web site at TOMORROWSWORLD.ORG.
Despair over our troubled world is nothing new. Sixty years ago, all I could see on the international horizon was potential nuclear war between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. The world had some solace in the strategy of MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction. Both powers had enough nuclear weapons to destroy all life on earth! We still face that same world danger, today! Back then, I personally became depressed at the prospect of seeing the world totally destroyed. Then I heard a radio program called The World Tomorrow. The speaker, Herbert W. Armstrong, powerfully proclaimed the good news from the Bible, that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will return to save the planet from cosmocide! I began to study Bible prophecy and grew in faith and hope for the future.
I was encouraged by God’s promise in JEREMIAH 29:10, “For thus says the LORD:… For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and FIND Me, when you search for Me WITH ALL YOUR HEART. I will be found by you, says the LORD….”
Seeking God felt awkward at first, but I persisted in prayer. God kept His promise, and I began to have peace of mind. You, too, can have peace of mind, IF you seek God with your whole heart and mind. We need God’s love, protection, and guidance as we near the end of this age. Our world will soon face increasing cataclysm and turmoil. Jesus stated in Luke 21:25, “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; [LISTEN TO THIS] men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken” (Luke 21:25–26).
Prayer will keep your heart free from fear in the times ahead.
In the remainder of this program, I want to share with you five keys to answered prayer.
Key Number One to Answered Prayer is: PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT WORRIES YOU.
Are you anxious? Turn in your Bible to Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Our Father in heaven wants you to share with Him your worries and anxieties. When you face your concerns, you need to pray and talk in detail with God about your problems. Ancient King David was very open with God in his prayers. Turn to Psalm 6, for example. David was suffering and prayed to God from his heart. Psalm 6:1, “O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O LORD—HOW long? Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks?” (Psalm 6:1–5).
Read the Psalms and see how David prayed from the heart. You need to share your problems with God in prayer. And what will be the result? Listen to this comforting promise in Philippians 4, verse 7: “…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Yes, you can have peace of mind through prayer. Key Number One: PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT WORRIES YOU. Key Number Two is: CLAIM GOD’S PROMISES. If you have your Bible, turn to 2 Peter 1:2. Notice here that God has given us through His word, the holy Scriptures, not just “promises,” but “exceedingly great and precious promises.” 2 Peter 1, verse 2. The Apostle Peter writes: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (vv. 2–4).
The Bible is a goldmine of guaranteed promises. But there’s a requirement. You must BELIEVE that God will give them to us if we pray according to His will. Jesus chided His audience as He explained God’s willingness to provide our every need. He told His listeners in Matthew 6:28, “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (vv. 28–30).
We need to trust God to provide for us. He has all power in the universe. He owns everything that exists. Consider His promise to you, in your own Bible: He has promised:
My friends, study these promises. Remind God that He has given YOU these promises. Ask God in faith to fulfill these promises in YOUR LIFE, and you’ll begin to have a greater peace of mind! And, you’ll be fulfilling one of the keys to answered prayer.
There are many, many more promises in the Bible for you and your family, and for all human beings on earth. Be sure to make your own list as you read them in your Bible. Key Number Two: CLAIM GOD’S PROMISES. Key Number Three is: THANK GOD CONTINUALLY.
Where do your blessings come from? The source of everything good in our lives is the Creator of all things. When we ask God for anything, we need to ask with an attitude of appreciation for His blessings and His promises. Remember, when you pray about your anxieties, fears and worries—that’s the first Key we discussed—to pray with THANKSGIVING. Again, Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God.”
When you pray with thanksgiving, you exercise faith that God is listening to your requests! When was the last time you thanked God for your blessings? Some of you may be familiar with the old nineteenth century hymn, “Count Your Blessings.” Here are some of the words: “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done” (1897, Johnson Oatman, “Count Your Blessings,” Hymnary.org).
When you COUNT your blessings, when you THANK God for all the blessings you’ve experienced or WILL experience in your life, you can have peace of mind! Again PHILIPPIANS 4:7, “And the PEACE OF GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
My friends, count your blessings and express heartfelt gratitude to God. King David even thanked God in the middle of the night. Psalm 119:62, “At midnight I will rise [and] give thanks to You, because of Your righteous judgments.”
Key Number Three to answered prayer is: THANK GOD CONTINUALLY. Key Number Four is: SEEK GOD’S WILL. How would you characterize human nature? Not only is it UN-thankful, but it is also vanity, lust, and greed! Just a simple review of world history demonstrates humanity’s selfishness. Most people seek their OWN WILL and not God’s! Often, even professing Christians pray selfishly. They want to GET, more than they want to GIVE. Remember Jesus’ statement in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Or as the Moffatt translation has it: “To give is happier than to get.”
Yes, we should pray and claim God’s promise that He will provide our every need (Philippians 4:19). Yes, we can even rejoice in claiming God’s promise to give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4), but our attitude must always be, “Your will be done”! What did Jesus teach us to pray? MATTHEW 6:10, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
My friends, this is an extremely important key to answered prayer. Human beings are on the whole extremely selfish. The world’s way of life is one of greed. But Jesus sought to do His Father’s will. When Jesus prayed in agony the night before His crucifixion, He asked that the cup of suffering be passed from Him—IF it were God’s will! In LUKE 22:42, Jesus prayed, saying, “‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’ Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Jesus was willing to suffer for YOU and Me. He surrendered HIS will to His Father’s will! Let me tell you. When you’re struggling over some problem or trial, ask for God’s deliverance, but ALSO pray that His will be done. God strengthened Jesus to endure the sacrifice He was to make, and he will strengthen you. When I prayed to visit Jerusalem years ago, I prayed that God’s will be done. But He knew WHEN it would be best for me to fulfill the desires of my heart. So, 17 years after my first request, God gave me that wonderful blessing. Key Number Four to answered prayer is: SEEK GOD’S WILL.
Key Number Five concerns our relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ. By whose authority do you pray to God in heaven? Notice what Jesus told His disciples. Turn to John 16. Our Lord and Savior gave this instruction in John 16:23, “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Key Number Five to answered prayer is: PRAY IN JESUS’ NAME. Jesus the Christ is at the right hand of God in heaven. He is our great High Priest who ever lives to make intercession for us, as it tells us Hebrews 7:25. He gives us the authority to pray to God in heaven. We pray in Jesus’ name and authority. Since He’s given us that authority, we can pray boldly. Notice that in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
We can pray with confidence because Christ is our High Priest and Savior. He sympathizes with our weaknesses. He knows what it’s like to suffer. He was tempted in all points, as we are, yet without sin, as it tells us in verse 15.
My friends, God wants you to be His begotten son or daughter. He loves you and has demonstrated that love by giving His son to pay for your sins. Most of you know the precious verse or golden verse of the Bible: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
My friends, you can rejoice in God’s love for you as He answers your prayers! On today’s program, we’ve briefly discussed five keys to answered prayer. You need to apply these keys and others as well. Be sure to request our inspiring free booklet, TWELVE KEYS TO ANSWERED PRAYER. You need this inspiring free booklet.
We invite you to join us every week on Tomorrow’s World. As the world becomes more stressful, dangerous, and challenging, you need to practice the way to true and lasting peace and life revealed in your Bible. Gerald Weston, Wallace Smith, Rod McNair, and I will continue to share with you the revelation of Jesus Christ, the gospel or the good news of the coming Kingdom of God, and the exciting end-time prophecies and their meaning. So, be sure to join us again next week, right here, at this same time!
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