Why is it that our first response to stuff isn’t prayer? Why do we devalue the power and strength that comes from praying?
Maybe I should just point the finger at myself.
This seems to be a lesson I’m learning over and over again. Like, I cognitively understand it, but when it comes to application, I can’t seem to get it together. I know prayer works, but instead of making prayer my natural reflex, I spring into action. I generally try to come up with a plan of action and come up with my own solution. This seemingly “fool-proof” plan always fails. Because it’s foolish. Compared to God’s ingenious plan for accomplishing things in the earth.
But for some reason, I feel as if I can outsmart God. I feel as if prayer isn’t doing enough. And if I’m not doing enough with “just” prayer, I HAVE to do something.
Life always hands me some mixed up hand of cards. And try as I might, I can never fix it. So God is teaching me, AGAIN, the power and the value of prayer. He’s showing me that what I deem as simple is actually powerful beyond measure.
The secret to the power of prayer is that we partner with God almighty, the God of Heaven, the author of creation to agree that His will be done in the earth. God doesn’t do anything in the earth without the agreement of people. Not because He can’t but because He is a legalistic God. He follows the rules that He put in place. And prayer is a law that God put in place in order to see His will enacted. And WE get to partner with Him to see that will done.
Here recently, God has been teaching me the power of prayer by showing me how to increase the passion for prayer. I asked Him to show me passionate prayer and how it makes the difference. He took me to 1 Samuel Chapter 1, the story of Hannah. Funny story. He showed me this story and seriously, the same day I came across the name Hannah three additional times. Like God was just reiterating His point in my heart and mind. It was kind of cool.
I really, really adore Hannah. Something about this woman’s prayer life gives me fuel. There is something about the way she was so open and vulnerable and intimate with God that helps me with my prayer life. But besides that, what stood out the most was Hannah’s passion.
Hannah was a woman who couldn’t have children. Try all she might, she and her husband could not conceive. In Biblical times, a woman’s worth was tied to her ability to bear children. For Hannah, essentially a part of her identity was missing. As if that wasn’t hard enough to deal with, her husband had another wife (which wasn’t uncommon in Biblical times) and this other wife, Peninnah, was able to give him children. Then to add salt to an open wound, Peninnah would taunt Hannah. Seriously? It wasn’t enough that she couldn’t have kids and that her husband’s other wife could. She also had to deal with ridicule in her own house. If that isn’t enough to break a person, I don’t know what would be.
But this is what I noticed about Hannah. She recognized that she had a problem, but she didn’t try to “do” anything. She could have been like Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and sent her handmaiden in to conceive a child for her (see Genesis 16) but I’m guessing that Hannah learned how badly that turned out for Abraham and Sarah.
Instead of trying to do things with human strength and with a human plan, Hannah turned to prayer. And it wasn’t just any ole kind of prayer. Hannah prayed with PASSION.
strong and barely controllable emotion.
Hannah prayed with the type of passion that allowed her soul to weep before the Lord. She prayed from the depths of her being so hard that the priest thought she was drunk! That’s passion. It’s something about praying with passion that taps the heart of God. I believe it’s because this type of prayer shows that you trust Him. It shows that you totally depend on Him and Him alone. It’s the type of prayer that recognizes His power, His strength, His supremacy. Praying with passion gives God complete and total access to every part of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
I learned a great lesson from Hannah. It was because of the fervor of her passion that she was granted her request. She was all in and relying on God and He heard her cry. She conceived a child because she trusted Him. When life hands me a terrible deck of cards, instead of me trying to fix it, I’m going to ratchet up the passion of my prayers and tap into Heaven. After all, the bible says in James 5:16 “The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].”
How is your prayer life? Could you stand to use more passion? What do you plan to do to increase your passion?
I want to hear from you! Comment below!
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