“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:19-20)
Recently I was reflecting on the various dynamics of prayer – both corporate and personal. An interesting thought hit me and I began to search my memory bank for verses pertaining to prayer. Sure enough, I was able to pull up numerous verses that all give the assurance of answered prayer. Without a lengthy reference chain, we can say that God has told us to pray and that He would answer us.
But the interesting part is how little we actually believe this. Of course, we know that nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37); the things that are impossible for man are possible with God (Luke 18:27); all things are possible to us if we believe (Mark 9:23). But for many of us, our prayer life does not reflect this knowledge. We are told that, if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, we can move mountains (Matthew 17:20) “…and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” But when is the last time we experienced that kind of power in prayer?
There are those who say we just don’t have enough faith. However, the clear teaching of Jesus is that the very smallest amount of faith was sufficient to move any obstacle (Luke 17:5-6). When we search Scripture, we find that Christ is Faith (Galatians 2:20). If we have any of Him, we have the fulness of Him (Ephesians 3:19). And so no amount of self-generated “faith” is sufficient. We find then that our prayer has to be an expression of The Faith (Christ) that lives in us – His is the Power that moves mountains.
But there is another problem that hinders the prayers of Christians. This is that which moves me to write at this time. It seems that we have stopped living and started “settling.” I see it a lot in prisoners: we start off praying with lofty visions of God working a miracle for us or for a loved one. A parent may have cancer and we “claim healing in the name of Jesus” (whatever that means). But as time goes by with no healing noticeable, we start to ask for grace that will ease their suffering. If we’re not able to hear from them in a while, we just want to know that they’re alright. We are willing to settle for anything.
The prayer of faith is based on the Promise of God. He said He would answer our prayers (John 14:14). He said that if we ask, we shall receive, that our joy may be full (John 16:24). I’m not making this up; God has given His Word on it and it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18). Why then are we willing to settle for anything? Because we don’t dare ask for the impossible.
Scripture tells us that Elijah was a man of like passions as we, and yet he prayed that it would not rain, “… and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17). Elijah dared to ask for the impossible and he believed God would answer his prayer. Do you think Elijah was willing settle for a few dry months? Or maybe weeks? I believe he was serious about his prayer and was not going to settle for anything less than an answer in the affirmative.
Christian, the Lord calls you to a persistent exercise of Faith by asking Him to do the impossible. Rather than just settling for whatever you can get, you may have boldness to approach the Throne of Grace with confidence (Ephesians 3:12); because He has so ordained it.
Dare to ask for the impossible; pray big. God has promised to give His children the very best.