“When we pray we believe we receive what we ask
In this place all things are possible
When we pray we tap in to miraculous things
And victoriously we declare
That we know the prayers of the righteous availeth much
The prayers of the righteous prevail
Yes, we know the prayers of the righteous prevail
His love never fails
The prayers of the righteous availeth much”
Prayers of the Righteous – Israel and New Breed
Don’t you just love it when good songs get stuck in your head? I do. This one (and another I’ll be discussing later) has been on continuous play lately and late last night it occurred to me why.
This song, based on James 5:16, is a recurring theme in the Bible. Consider these verses: 2 Chronicles 7:14 (“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land”), Genesis 20:17 (“Then Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again.”) and Genesis 25:21 (“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was barren. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.”).
All of the above verses have a pretty simple formula – pray to God, God hears. God answers. This doesn’t mean that we can use God as a vending machine, inserting prayer coins, choosing a delightful selection and waiting for it to be dispensed. Rather, that if we Go to God with a heart and intentions that are aligned inside of His will He wants to answer us; it pleases Him to do so. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” When we are delighted with God, we are aligned with God and His will for us becomes our own. Our prayers for our lives are His desires for our lives and it becomes easy for Him to answer with a “yes”.
But, let’s face it – some of the things we ask God for – whether within His will or not – are pretty big. Huge even. We are supposed to have the faith to believe that God will answer them according to His will. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “YES” in Christ. And so through Him “AMEN” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” Amen literally means “so be it”. That’s it. Case closed. Sit back and wait.
But that’s so hard!!! This is true! Harder still? What happens when the promise starts to be fulfilled. Wait…what? But…God…are You telling me that You actually…heard me? Because, I mean I know I’ve been praying for this for awhile…and now it looks like You’re actually going to do it…um…um….
If you’re anything like I am, this is where you start second guessing yourself. Did I really hear from God? Maybe, all of this is just me. One of the hugest roadblocks to faith is a psychoanalytical mind. This isn’t to bash psychology. I was a psych major once myself with high hopes of conquering the psychologically impaired world one person at a time. Psychology is wonderful and it definitely has its (very needed) place in life….just typically not in faith.
*cue the next song on the playlist*
We believe and receive He can do anything
Exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think
He is able to turn the tables in my favor
If we’re faith….faithful to believe!”
Faithful to Believe – Byron Cage
How often in life is THAT the hard part. 2 Kings 4 tells the story of Elisha and a Shunemite woman. She and her aging husband had been caring for the prophet of God and he wanted to do something to help her out. After asking around, he finds that this woman has no son. So he tells her, “Around this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms.” Um…see…that was supposed to be something she didn’t talk about anymore. Her response was basically, “don’t tease me”. Don’t go there, God. You know how much I want this. If this is some sort of cosmic joke, it’s not funny.
…faithful to believe….okay….
Sure enough, as promised (AMEN) within the year, the woman had a son. I say all of this to say that while it can be hard to ask God for the big things, it can be even harder to believe God for the big things. But, how blessed are we that big things are His specialty. So, I encourage you – if God has given you a promise and you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry; it’s coming. If God has given you a promise and you’re starting to see the product, it might be time to enlarge your territory. Our Heavenly Father is not one who derives pleasure from taking candy from babies or getting our hopes up only to watch them fall flat. If He has given you a promise, let Him do all the hard work. Your job is to say “Amen” and wait.