“Repent and look upwards!”
O LORD, to thee will I cry. —Joel 1:19
Read Joel 1:13-20
Special prayer days have been held on different occasions in our history because of drought conditions and disasters. In our Scripture passage, the priests called the people to gather for such a prayer day (vv.13,14). The nation and her leaders were explicitly told to humble themselves before the Lord by girding themselves with sackcloth, by raising lamentations up to God, and by fasting. This humiliation was necessary because the people had become proud and self-sufficient. Moreover, participating in a prayer meeting without humbling oneself is essentially pointless. Raising prayers to God is useless when a person desires to remain independent of Him. The Lord will only hear and answer prayers when they are raised in deep need of His grace. Do you consider these things when you pray?
The purpose for which the people were called to hold a prayer day was no small matter. The judgment day of the Lord was at hand and who would not fear then? This day is also fast approaching for us. We do not know when it will come, but one thing is sure, it will come for all of us when we die. Do not try to shrug this off. The Lord is warning us as well as the Israelites through His servant Joel. He points out the way for us as well: “O Lord, to thee will I cry.”
What is the value of a prayer day?