Sometimes God answers prayer, like He answered the prayer of the Reinhardts and our LifeChange group. More on that in a moment.
Jesus is looking for faith. Think with me now how often Jesus commented on people’s faith or lack of it in the Gospel accounts? Faith is of great concern to Jesus. Do we really believe He is all that He says He is? Is He really the all powerful sovereign Savior? “Of course!”, we might reply. But do we pray as if we believe that? Do we live by faith as if we believe that?
Here is the rub. Faith is only found at the end and emptying of ourselves and our world screams against that. The enlightenment brought us “corporate reason” (known as science and logic) while post modernity brought us “personal reason” (what makes sense to me is what is right). Either way, objective faith in a real and revealed God gets moved to the perimeter of acceptability in our culture. This has even filtered into the church.
But, Jesus is looking for faith. He is listening for the prayers of faith. Those prayers come from those who have realized they completely need Him. And, this is a big and, they yield themselves to His will, His time, His way.
Back to the answered prayer. Three weeks ago our LifeChange class was working through what I called BHAP’s (Big Holy Audacious Prayers). We were thinking deeply about burdens we had that would totally be a “God thing” if they happened. After our LifeChange group ended Holly Reinhardt was emotional.
Holly and her husband Greg have been unable to have children. So about 2 years ago they began the process of being able to adopt children from Ethiopia. They completed the mountains of paper work and filed everything that needed to be filed and then they waited. And they waited. They prayed and they prayed.
Holly told me that Sunday morning three weeks ago “Pastor I have been praying everyday for years for children. I can’t pray anymore. I can’t ask this group to pray.” I said to her, “We know we are to pray without ceasing, so change the prayer. Pray instead that God would give you the grace to be content and live for Him and serve Him. Do not pray for children, pray for contentment.” It was as if a huge weight came off her. She said yes, that is the prayer I need to pray.
Guess what? After hearing nothing for over a year they received word that week of a possibility of a referral. Umm talk about quick! The following Sunday Holly reported to our LifeChange group that a board was to decide on the referral. We went into BHAP mode and asked God to move and grant the referral. We prayed “God we know your desire would be that these children (turns out to be 2 children; an even further answer to prayer) would hear the gospel, so bring them here that they would hear. That week the board decided in favor of the referral.
Holly and her husband must still await final administrative details to be finished. This could take several months and could still be derailed; but God is moving.
When we come to the end of ourselves and faith is all we have we are right where we need to be to pray a prayer of faith. When we can let go of our reason and logic and ask God to do only what He can do for His glory we are where we need to be. When we can pray for His desire to be our desire we are where we need to be. When we can accept wholeheartedly His will then we are where we need to be.
As we die to self our prayers come alive! Jesus modeled this in the garden. He submitted to the will of the Father in the cross and the resurrection; “not My will but Yours.” Those kind of prayers produce supernatural results that change lives!