Three burly fellows on huge motorcycles pulled up to a highway café where a truck drive, just a little guy was perched on a stool quietly eating his lunch. As the three fellows came in they spotted him, grabbed his food away from him and laughed in his face. The truck driver said nothing. He got up, paid for his food, and walked out.
One of the three cyclists, unhappy that they hadn’t succeeded in provoking the smaller man, commented to the waitress: “Boy, he sure wasn’t much of a man, was he?” The waitress replied, “Well, I guess not.” Then, looking out of the window, she added, “I guess he’s not much of a truck driver, either. He just ran over three motorcycles.”
How many times do we pray about something and give up praying just before God answers the prayer? Maybe a few days, a few months, a year and then we just assume that God isn’t going to answer the prayer or the matter we are praying about we assume isn’t His will and we move on in life. Maybe we are left feeling disappointed or hurt or angry. Maybe we start to question if God listens when we pray.
I was most convicted about giving up in prayer as I read a book by Mark Batterson entitled The Circle Maker. (If you seem to be struggling in your prayer life or just want to have a deeper prayer life, I highly recommend this book!) Right there on page 35, God spoke across my heart through Mark’s words: “Most of us don’t get what we want because we quite circling. We give up too easily. We give up too soon. We quit praying right before the miracle happens.”* Wow! Doesn’t that make you wonder that when we get to heaven and we ask God about that unanswered prayer if He will sadly say, “You were just one prayer away from an answer on all those prayers,” as he points to a pile of unanswered prayers with your name on them?
Romans 12:12 tells us to be persistent in prayer. Colossians 4:2 says we are to devote ourselves to prayer. James 5:16 says: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Jacob is an example of how his intensely fervent prayer availed effectively before God.
Jacob didn’t give up. He audaciously wrestled all night with God and this night becomes a turning point in his life. Even after God touched Jacob’s hip, effectively disabling him, Jacob still hung on until God blessed him. As part of this encounter God changes Jacob’s name (which means deceiver) to Israel (which means “he struggles with God”).
Prior to this encounter, Jacob had always overcome and prevailed over people through trickery and deceit. But here in this spiritual warfare and his encounter with God, Jacob hangs on…doesn’t give up…until God blesses him.
What needs do you have today? What if the angels in heaven all stood around watching to see how God was going to answer your prayer and just before the answer comes you give up and the angels says, “He (she) sure wasn’t much of a pray-er, was He (she)?” God stands ready for us to call on him. Base your prayers on the promises in God’s Word. As Mark Batterson wrote over on page 24 of The Circle Maker:
“You’ve got to define the promises God wants you to stake your claim to, the miracles God wants you to believe for, and the dreams God wants you to pursue.”*
Christian music artist, for King & Country, have a song entitled It’s Not Over Yet. The lyrics to the chorus are:
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet, it’s not over yet
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet, it’s not over yet
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark, into the light, it’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in, never give up, it’s not over**
Whatever you are praying about that God hasn’t answered yet…it’s not over yet. Keep praying. Keep circling the promises of God and praying them back to Him. Don’t let go. Never give up. Wait for the miracle. Be audacious. Wait for the answer. Keep praying.
* Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker (Grand Rapids, MI:Zondervan, 2011)35-36
** Songwriters: BEN GLOVER,JOEL SMALLBONE,KYLE RICTOR,LUKE SMALLBONE,TEDD ANDREW TJORNHOM. © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.,R1WAY MUSIC PUBLISHING,CAPITOL CHRISTIAN MUSIC GROUP
If you would like to read Mark’s book, The Circle Maker, you can purchase it by clicking the link below:
|The Circle Maker
By Mark Batterson / Zondervan
Updated and revised! When his land was drought-stricken in ancient times, Honi ha-M’agel drew a circle in the sand, stepped inside it, and wouldn’t budge until God answered his petition for rain. What impossible dream are you praying about? Sharing new insights and personal stories, Batterson’s bestseller will help you achieve your desires through audacious prayer. 240 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
Note: Clicking this link will take to you to Christian Book Distributors. We are an affiliate of CBD and receive an 8% commission for any purchases you make through this link. All commissions received are used to support this ministry.
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