1. Hagar had been kicked out of her home with her young son Ishmael (Genesis 21).
2. The only water they had to share was gone in the wilderness of Beersheba.
3. So Hagar placed her son under a shrub and went a bowshot away. There she would wait for the child to die of thirst (Gen. 21:16).
4. But “God heard the voice of the lad” (Gen. 21:17).
5. Thankfully our God is the God who hears.
6. God hears when we cry out in pain. God hears when we are alone in silent agony. God hears when our home begins to crumble. God hears when we are buried in debt. God hears when we are no longer needed at work. God hears.
7. We are so thankful for our fortress of prayer that shelters us through this world.
1. Prayer is our fortress because God is present—Psalm 91:1-2.
b. Psalm 27:5, “In the day of trouble he will hide me in his shelter; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.”
c. John 10:7, “I am the door of the sheep.”
d. John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd.”
e. A person in God’s presence has replaced the world with the spiritual realities he hopes to one day see. Ephesians 5:18-19—Do not be filled with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.
f. Loving faith shall be met with faithful love.
2. Prayer is our fortress because God will protect—Psalm 91:3-8.
a. The peculiar love of God for his people demonstrated at the Passover—Exodus 11:4-7.
b. The promise of God’s protection at the shores of the Red Sea—Exodus 14:13-14.
c. The proof of God’s protection under the Red Sea—Exodus 14:21-22; 14:27-28.
d. The praise for God’s protection on the other side of the Red Sea—Exodus 15:1-18.
3. Prayer is our fortress because God provides providential help—Psalm 91:9-13.
a. Even the Devil respected this promise—Matthew 4:6.
b. The angels respond to this promise—Hebrews 1:14.
c. Isaiah 26:3-4, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee. Trust in Jehovah for ever; for in Jehovah, even Jehovah, is an everlasting rock.”
4. Prayer is our fortress because God persists in his love—Psalm 91:14-16.
a. Luke 11:5-13—God will give us great gifts because he is our loving Father.
b. God’s love transcends the powers of death even giving us safe passage through. Enoch stands out as one who so walked with God that he was spared death. Genesis 5 records the morbid deaths of several men, but Enoch stands out as the one who “walked with God and was not for God took him” (Gen. 5:24).
c. Nothing can separate us from God’s fortress of love—Romans 8:31-39.
1. God saw Hagar with her son Ishmael in the wilderness of Beersheba just as He sees us today.
2. “The rest of the story” is that “God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water, and gave the lad drink. God was with the lad, and he grew; and he dwelt in the wilderness, and became, as he grew up, an archer” (Gen. 21:19-20).
3. The very things that were signs of the end of his life—the wilderness and a bowshot—became the very symbols of his life.
4. As we run for safety to our own prayer fortress let us remember that God can take the situations we are most frightened by and make everything work together for God—Romans 8:28.