The following phrase likely originated with a saying of the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, which appears in his Aphorisms: “For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure, as to restriction, are most suitable.”
When you say ‘Desperate times call for desperate measures’, you mean that actions that might seem extreme under normal circumstances are appropriate during adversity. The world currently faces and experiences numerous complex adversities on an unprecedented scale. Rising concerns include the availability of necessities such as food, water, sanitation etc. As we contemplate all these extremes in prayer, it is obvious that ordinary solutions won’t solve the problems we face. Supernatural intervention is necessary and for such we should pray. The Bible is filled with several examples that we can follow, to demonstrate to an unbelieving world that our God is alive and at work.
Scripture reading: John 6:9-14 – “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So, the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
The Lord Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to His disciples, who gave it to the people. Something happened the very moment Jesus gave thanks to His Heavenly Father. The bread started to multiply right there in His hands and it continued to multiply from that moment onwards. As we are in an uncertain season, we – like the disciples – are called to take provision from the hands of Jesus in faith, and share it with others in a way that will make them recognise: not us, but the Lord Jesus as Provider, Saviour and their Solution.
At least 6 things are clear just from this one miracle:
- There was a dire need, the people were unable to go and buy food.
- There was someone – a young boy – who gave all he had to Jesus.
- There was a prayer of thanksgiving honouring the Father who is Creator of heaven and earth, the One who can also multiply!
- There was compassion in the heart of Jesus for the people and faith in the Father’s love for people.
- There was more than enough for everyone, with much left over – of which Jesus instructed them to make sure nothing was wasted.
- The multiplication of food stopped when the purpose for the multiplication ended.
1.There was a dire need
The need for food and water may over time become a growing challenge worldwide. Be sure not to spend too much time watching movies, reading books and playing games, but recognise our spiritual need to connect with God so we can be His hands and feet in this world.
To do: Daily spend quality time with the Lord so your heart will become filled with hope, faith and tenderness towards Him and others so you can minister His love more freely, more confidently and more openly.
2.Give what you have to Jesus
What do you have to give to Jesus? The boy of John 6 only had a few loaves and fish. The widow in 2 Kings 4 had serious debts to pay and only had a little oil left. The woman in 1 Kings 17, in the time of drought and famine, only had one last measure of flour and oil left. They gave what they had, and God multiplied it.
To do: As you learn of others’ needs, ask the Lord what you can give them to help. That can also mean sharing your gift to care and love others. Pray that everything you give will multiply unto those you give it to, filling them with great faith and hope to do the same. You may consider supporting a missionary overseas – pray for God to multiply that money for their work.
3.Thanksgiving and honour
Having food to eat daily can no longer be taken for granted. Decide from now onwards – cultivating a new habit – to pray before every meal, like Jesus did in this passage. If He thought it good to give thanks for food, so should we. So, we cultivate an attitude of gratitude in our own hearts, as well as that of our children.
To do: Give opportunity to your children to pray before meals. Teach them to give thanks to God for food, water, shelter, etc. Especially pray for those less fortunate than yourself, for the supernatural multiplication of food. When you prepare a meal, ask God to multiply the food, multiply the gas, the milk and butter – everything in your home, as well as in the homes of those who do not have money to buy supplies. Pray for those who are weaker in their faith, that their supplies will be multiplied and their hearts filled with faith as they see it happen before their eyes.
4.Compassionate hearts that trust the Father’s love
Ask the Lord to give you His compassion for others. The moment compassion fills our hearts, our focus shifts away from ourselves. This is very pleasing to the Father who gave Jesus, His own son, so the world can be saved.
To do: Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the Father’s love for yourself and others. Also, to fill your heart with compassion, so the fear of ‘lack’ will be completely eradicated from your heart. Pray this for those you minister to as well.
5.More than enough – waste nothing
There is no lack in heaven, neither is there unwillingness for the heavenly supply to manifest in the natural realm. But, Father has chosen to work through earthly vessels – those who will honour Him with their faith in Him. Men and women like you and me, who will take what they have, lift their eyes to the Father, give thanks in the name of Jesus, and then break and share what they have.
To do: Start today by taking steps to exercise your faith. Believe God to be a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, and so make a difference in this world, showing His glory and demonstrating His power in very practical and needed ways.
6.The multiplication will end
The multiplication will stop when the purpose for the multiplication is reached. There are specific seasons to trust the Lord for miracles that will demonstrate His power to those weak in faith, as well as to those who do not yet call Him ‘Lord’.
To do: Seek opportunities to pray for the multiplication of necessities in the world now – supernatural intervention. For the accelerated growth of all different foods, for safe water, shelter, medical supplies etc.
1.Use this time to establish new habits in your home, like praying at every meal and giving thanks to God for what you do have to eat.
2.Also start teaching your children, as well as reminding yourself, to pray for the needs of others and not just for yourself and your own family.
3.Pray for God to teach you to trust Him more, taking small steps of faith, and to multiply food in your home.