The Power of Prayer
"Then spake Haggai.... I am with you, saith the LORD." (Haggai 1:13)
It was a time of great discouragement. All of them had come back from Babylon in great enthusiasm to build the house of God in Jerusalem. As they began to work, difficulties came on the way. In Babylon they had no place of worship. But they tried to observe their own festivals and the discipline of their families they tried to maintain. Cyrus the king asked them to pray for him and for his sons. These Jews were under the influence of Daniel. When one man prayed and it was so powerful, how powerful the prayer of a group should be! About fifty thousand people journeyed to Jerusalem to build the house of God. Young people were there. Old people were there who knew what it was to build the house of God. They saw the old foundations. New foundations were being laid. Some of the old men who had seen the old temple began to weep. Some were rejoicing at the thought of building the temple. In those days, the first thing they built was the altar of God. Meanwhile the Samaritans claimed their relationship with the Jews and wanted a share in the work. But their religion now was a mixture of idolatry and the worship of the true God. So the Jews refused their help. Immediately they began to send petitions to the king of Babylon to stop the work because the Jews, they said, were troublesome. The new king did not know Daniel. When hindrances like this came, the Jews stopped the work and began to build their own houses. Their explanation was, "The king stopped the work of God, so we are building our own houses." The Lord said, "Is this a time to build your own houses? Go up the mountain and fetch wood and build my house." When you do the Lord's work, Satan is ready to hinder you. But the consciousness that God is with you is your strength. The fact that God is with you always is your blessing.