This week started one of my favorite season at Highlands – 21 days of prayer. Twice a year the church body sets aside 21 days to focus on prayer (January is prayer and fasting). It is my very favorite time of year at church! Earlier this week I was in bed remembering past seasons. I’ve entered these times with many different emotions. I was at Highlands for a couple of years before I ever participated. I’ve had times when I was eager and excited to see what the Lord might do but I’ve also had times when I’ve entered the 21 days completely desperate for an answer and a move of God! I vividly remember times when I so desperately needed God to come through because on my own the problem or situation could not change. Times when it felt like the air was completely knocked out of me and I needed His fresh air to revive me.
Have you felt like this?
Maybe your marriage or finances are struggling? Or maybe a child or a loved one is spiraling out of control and needs help? Or maybe someone dear to you is literally fighting for their life, their health? Maybe you’re longing for a spouse or a child? Or mourning the loss of someone?
Whatever the situation, I think everyone comes to the point of desperately needing God to come to their rescue.
Over the summer, I was in a small group that studied Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle, the prayer challenge that goes along with Circle Maker. (This book is amazing!! Get it if you haven’t read it!) Anyway, it talks about praying bold, audacious prayers because bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers. We only attribute the miracle to God, when God is the only one that could have made that miracle happen – make sense?
Anyway as I read the book, I realized that when I was praying those desperate prayers (or circling a prayer), that too often once I saw God moving and changing a situation my fervent, constant prayers turned into passionate once a day prayers and then turned into once a week prayers. I saw God moving and PRAISED Him and thanked Him and then slowed my prayers for those situations. The Lord showed me during the summer semester that I was settling for a partially answered prayer because the situation moved from bad to good rather than pressing in and continuing to circle my prayer until God completely answered my prayer.
But God is not just a good God – He is a great, almighty God.
God is a God of order and details. He knows and cares about every detail of my life (and yours!). His desire is not to give us an ok marriage or a “we’re makin’ in it” finances. He sent His Son that we “may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
According to Webster, Abundance means an extremely plentiful or over sufficient quantity or supply; overflowing fullness.
There is nothing average or common about the life God desires to give us. There is no situation that is too big or too messed up that He can’t handle.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! Ephesians 3:20 msg
So this 21 days, I’m reminding myself never give up, never stop praying. Even when it looks like the situation is getting better, never slack off praying until the prayer has been answered entirely.
Is there anything you were praying diligently for and then for whatever reason stop or slacked off? Never give up. Never stop praying. We serve a faithful God.