Those who have read my posts and/or listen to my sermons (whether in person or online) know that, over the last 2 months or so, the topic of prayer has been in the forefront. I have mentioned that my whole concept of prayer was destroyed by God and is being rebuilt by Him, a reconstruction project that continues to this day.
Throughout this whole time and process, I have mentioned different parts of a process of prayer. This process is truly revolutionary for me. Hence the destruction part of God’s working. This process is as follows:
- worship (real worship, not just a token stab at it, which is what many Christians do.) This worship is lengthy and very important and necessary. If this foundation is not truly laid, then the rest is truly just a house of cards, ready to collapse with but the barest of breezes. We are commanded to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Christians should be the most thankful and grateful people on the face of the earth. Oft-times, unfortunately, that is not the case.
- Stillness which comes by entering the secret place God has created for me where I can truly and totally rest. I truly believe that rest is a weapon in the spiritual war that is raging around us and in which we fight. Even God rested after creation. The enemy doesn’t want us to rest. He wants us busy physically; he wants us churning in our soul and spirit; he doesn’t want our minds to stop moving on the proverbial wheel in our skulls. It is when I am still that I can truly know God and hear and listen. This stillness and rest is crucial for this to happen.
- Now I am ready to listen. Notice that I haven’t yet begun to pray. I don’t know what God wants to do. I know what I’d like Him to do, but I have often found that my desires do not line up with His. So, I need ask Him, “Father, what do You want to do about this?” or “What are You up to here because I know You are always up to something.” and then I need to listen. I need to listen to what the Holy Spirit and Jesus are praying about whatever situation is occurring because the Father will tell them what He wants to do and then, in essence, say to Them, “This is what I want to do here; ask me to do it.”
- I need to write down everything I hear, whether it is a word, a phrase, a complete sentence or even a picture. I need to hear them and then craft that into a written prayer so that I am praying the same thing all the time. Now is when I actually begin to pray. I believe that what I am praying is what the Holy Spirit and Jesus are already praying. Therefore, I can have confidence that what I am praying is what will come to pass.
But here is where the rub, and the title of this post, comes into play. The prayer coming to pass doesn’t happen in my timing but in God’s. And this is why I ask the question, “How long are we willing to pray?” If we believe that we have joined our voice with that of the Holy Spirit and Jesus, we should have continual confidence that what is being prayed will eventually happen.
If we are only willing to pray for a certain length of time, what does that say about the true level of our confidence in that prayer? Is this what the Spirit and Jesus were praying or not? If yes, then we must pray in the P.U.S.H. way – Pray Until Something Happens.
I just read a story about a ministry that was begun back in 1986, one that continues to this day and has expanded beyond what anyone could have imagined at that time. The one who founded the ministry, who is still actively involved and still receives no salary even though the revenue received is in the millions of dollars annually, said that she and a group prayed about this for 7 years.
How many of us would have been willing to pray that long for something? I think many would have said that they heard wrong what the Spirit and Jesus were praying. Not this group. They knew what they had heard the Spirit and Jesus praying; they knew what God wanted to do. So, even though it took 7 years, they continually constantly and consistently adding their voice to the Spirit’s and Jesus’. And in God’s timing, at the right time, it happened because that’s what He said would happen.
It is so important for us to listen well to what the Spirit and Jesus are praying, to what the Father is telling them to ask Him to do. When we do that, no matter the period of time it takes for the prayer to come to fruition, we retain the confidence and boldness that it will. There may be others who fall away, but our confidence and boldness will remain high because we have heard.
So, how long am I, are you, willing to pray?