John 11:6 – When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
Yesterday I wrote about the first three of the four day account of Lazarus dying and being raised from the dead. Today I continue that narrative with the story of day four. Remember, a servant sent by Martha and Mary came to tell Jesus Lazarus was sick, but by the time he accomplished the full day’s journey to inform Jesus, Lazarus was already dead, having died shortly after the departure of the messenger. Now let us examine . . .
DAY FOUR – Jesus now makes the day’s journey back to Bethany. Everyone there was thinking Lazarus had been dead FOUR days, but Jesus was not. Here is where one should take special note. When Jesus arrived at the tomb of Lazarus, He prayed. What did He say? His prayer was simple; “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.” Note that Jesus did NOT pray about Lazarus. Where Lazarus was concerned, He had already accomplished His praying. And in that is a great lesson for the church. Our prayer lives would be so much more impactful and powerful if we would pray about what we are to do before we arrive at the place of doing. Just as Jesus knew by the Spirit ahead of time what was needful, you and I can walk in the same covenant relationship, being led by the Spirit. Jesus’ prayer for Lazarus to live was prayed on day three, so that on day four, the only prayer He needed to pray concerning the matter was a prayer of thanksgiving that Father HAD ALREADY HEARD HIM. What had Father already heard? What was it Jesus had come to do? He had come to present Lazarus alive back to his family. Jesus had already prayed for that, and Father had already heard Him. And if the Father had already heard Jesus, then He had already answered Jesus. That is why Jesus prayed as He prayed at Lazarus’ tomb. There He only prayed a prayer of THANKSGIVING that Father had ALREADY HEARD Him. When Jesus arrived at the tomb, all He needed to do was awaken Lazarus who was, for the first time since before his death, resting in sleep in a cool and quiet place. That is why Jesus “cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’”
Learn a lesson from this incident. God NEVER delays in answering our prayers. When we pray according to His will, He hears us, and if He hears us, we have what we desired of Him. Take the time to read our Manna for Today passages. Remember, the promises of God are in Him, yea, and in Him, amen. Read the Scriptures meditatively, and allow Holy Spirit to reveal His truth to you. It is gloriously amazing what you shall see.
Manna for Today – John 11:1-46; Romans 8:14n; 1 John 5:14-15; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Mark 11:22-24; John 14:12-14; Daniel 10:1-21