Do we realize that when we pray, we are making an appeal? What is an appeal? An appeal is to make a serious or urgent request to a higher court for a reversal of a decision.
We make an appeal to the Courts of Heaven asking for a decision to be granted or reversed when we pray.
Paul said, “I appeal to you on the basis of love.” (Philemon 1: 9) Paul wants his spiritual son, Onesimus, to be accepted back into the fellowship and house of Philemon, his master. Onesimus, as a slave, had stolen from him and ran away. Under Roman law, this crime was punishable by death. Paul had met him while he was running, and Onesimus turned his life around and is now a believer. Pau is now making an appeal to Philemon to accept and welcome him back.
Paul petition’s and says, “Perhaps, the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good–no longer a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother.” (Philemon 1: 16)
Paul remembers how he once needed to be welcomed into the fellowship of believers. Remember, Paul was once Saul, who persecuted Christians. So his heart and desire for his friend and now brother in the Lord is personal.
- God often comforts us, so we can comfort others.
- God uses those things that we struggled once with to impart healing to others.
Is there someone God wants you to make an appeal for? Is there someone that God wants you to welcome back in your life or in your fellowship?
Paul recognizes the need to make this personal appeal on behalf of now a brother in the Lord. He says, “I’m sending him–who is my very heart–back to you.” (Philemon 1: 12) That’s personal!
(Shared from Philemon 1, Modified)
An Appeal For The Stiff-Necked
Jeremiah spoke forth God’s words, on behalf of his people saying, “Listen! I’m going to bring on this city and the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.” (Jeremiah 19: 15)
- The prophets are making an appeal for a rebellious people before destruction.
An Appeal For Himself
Jeremiah stands in the temple prophesying, as he often does, but this time he is beaten and put in the stocks. He then makes his complaint to our God, saying, “Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the Lord has brought me insult and approach all day long. (Jeremiah 20: 8)
He says, “If I say, I will not mention him or speak any more in His name, His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.” (Jeremiah 20: 9)
His mood changes, “But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.” (Jeremiah 20: 11)
Now A Complaint Not An Appeal
Jeremiah then questions his divine commission. It’s clear he’s had enough.
- Even mighty men of God have days feeling defeated.
He entertains his sorrow, “Cursed be the day I was born!” (Jeremiah 20: 14)
- Ouch to our God!
- Often times in our sorrow, we say things we don’t mean.
“Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?” (Jeremiah 20: 18)
- Prophets need to be transparent with the Lord, just like any other child of God.
(Shared from Jeremiah 19-20, Modified)
Fruit Of Our Labor
The Psalmist promises that all the fruit we bear as a believer, we shall taste and see that the Lord is good. “You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.” (Psalm 128: 2)
Fruit And Blessing Released To Family
“You will be like a fruitful vine with your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.” (Psalm 128: 3-4)
“May you live to see your children’s children.” (Psalm 128: 6)
(Shared from Psalm 128, Modified)
Your Appeal Heard
“I hear your request, petition and appeals; they’ve come before me received and revealed.
I receive your love behind your requests; all of heaven listens and regards for your rest.
Your battle is mine, and mine to fight; rest my child I’m making things right.
Your love released fills heavens’ courts; no need to be distraught and out of sorts.
Your faithfulness for others is also received; so commit all to me, you’ll be so relieved.
I’ve never planned for you to marry, all the sorrow, grief that you’ve chosen to carry.
They’re mine, my child, I’m restoring their lives; so relinquish them now they’ll live and survive.
Your blessings are abundant; bringing heavens gifts; they’re pouring upon you, can’t you see the shift?
You’ll begin to establish my will and my ways, to worship me forever, the Ancient of Days.
So praise me and worship through it all; I’m bringing you closer, for heaven’s call.
My angels go and release my blessings; all of heaven rejoices for they’ll be no more guessing.
You’ll see my reward and abundant grace; you’ve been created for more no longer on a chase.
You’ll shout aloud for all to hear; and I’ll stay closer bringing you near.
So as you continue to make your appeal, more of my Spirit will release that zeal.
Show others how to seek and to pray; my glory and presence won’t be far away.
Press in for my words to help and heal; people will come running knowing I’m the real deal.”