I have always believed in the power of prayer and God’s Word – especially when we put the two together. I think we miss out on so much in the church today, simply because we don’t take God at His Word.
Consider these verses:
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11, NIV).
You do not have because you do not ask God (James 4:2b).
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you (John 15:7).
Now, I don’t believe that God is some kind of magical genie that we can manipulate to do what we want. Duh. He is God Almighty, Ruler of the Universe, King of kings, Lord of lords, sovereign over all creation. I don’t think He can be manipulated by anyone.
But I do believe that He wants to hear from us. He wants us to dream big – for our families, our churches, our communities. Sometimes, I think we look around at the state of things, and we just give up. We resign ourselves to just praying through a list of needs, and we quit believing Him to do great things in us and around us and through us.
I know for me, this is true.
I used to dream really big dreams for my family, my church, my community, even for myself in ministry, but so many of those dreams had died. So many disappointments piled up, one after another, and somewhere along the way, I just quit believing God to do any more than what I had already settled for.
And then one day I got brave enough to just believe again. And I started praying big, bold prayers. I wrapped them up in God’s Word. You know, the kind of prayers where our faith just rises to the top and we confess God’s Words over our situation and just believe God to do what He said He would do.
Lord, your Word says that You don’t desire anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9b), so I ask You to reveal Your love and Your truth to ___________, to show him his need for a Savior, and to bring Him to a place of desperation so that He will turn to You.
Lord, You said Your Word does not return to You empty, but achieves the purpose for which You sent it (Isaiah 55:11), so I ask You to work in our church as our pastor brings Your Word and accomplish what You desire in us.
Lord, just as Paul and Silas went forward in Your power and were accused of turning the world upside down (Acts 17:6), I pray you will use me to turn my community upside down for You.
These are the prayers that I believe stir the heart of God – especially when we come together in agreement with another believer – whether it’s a prayer partner, with our family, or as a church.
Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them (Matthew 18:19-20).
I think we have gotten so afraid of being in the “name it, claim it” group, that now we are afraid to ask God boldly for anything.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with out weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Friends, when Jesus died on the cross and that temple curtain that separated man from God was torn from top to bottom, Jesus became our access into the very throne room of God!
Take your place, child of God – not with arrogance or entitlement, but with trembling fear and joyful expectation – before His throne of grace. Come with His Word and your child-like faith.
And take Him at His Word.