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December 4, 2023

The Game-Changer

We have been praying for prodigals to return to their relationship with God. We’ve established that we are conduits of God‘s power, and must release this power into situations - not just ask God to act. Usually, we must release this power persistently, persevering in prayer. Friday, we discussed what are NOT accurate reasons why we must persevere: we do not do so to earn answers, reach a magic number of required prayers, persuade God, or wrestle answers from Him. So, why DO we have to persist and persevere in prayer?

It seems simple to me now, but for many years, I did not consciously think of spiritual elements such as love, grace, righteousness, sin, etc., as existing at different levels. But just as the strength or degree of invisible elements in our natural world vary and can be measured, such as oxygen or carbon dioxide, unseen spiritual elements exist in varying measures also. For example, there are different levels of faith (Romans 12:3), of righteousness and sin (Genesis 15:16), of grace (2 Corinthians 9:8; Acts 4:33), and of love (John 15:13; Matthew 24:12; Philippians 1:9). And, of course, there are varying levels of spiritual power. Logically, just as with natural elements, certain amounts of the above-mentioned spiritual forces must be released in the spirit realm in order to accomplish certain things. Focusing on power, different levels are required for different situations. Just as in the physical realm less power is needed to light a flashlight than a building, or a building as opposed to a city, the same dynamic is true in the spirit realm. Different amounts of God’s power are needed to accomplish different things. It requires more power to raise the dead than to heal a headache! In Mark 6, Jesus could not get enough of His power to people in Nazareth to perform a miracle, although enough was reaching them to produce some healings. This certainly proves that differing amounts of power are needed for different situations. Notice: the issue wasn’t God’s will or the release of power from Christ. He wanted to work miracles, and His power was being released. The problem was on the receiving end - the people’s unbelief kept them from receiving the full level of His power. Unbelief had erected a wall.

In Matthew 17:14-21, the disciples had been successfully casting out demons and healing the sick, which Jesus had given them authority and power to do. Then, an insane boy was brought to them, and they were not able to deliver him of the spirit of insanity. Some would have assumed that it must not have been God’s will to do so, but Jesus came, exorcised the demon and healed the boy. The disciples had enough power flowing to deal with most demons and diseases, but they encountered one that required more power than they possessed. Again, the obvious conclusion is that different, measurable levels of power are needed to accomplish different things. When the prophet Elijah ministered to a widow’s son who had died, he spread himself out on the corpse face to face, and prayed three times before the boy was finally resurrected (see 1 Kings 17:21). Why did Elijah have to do so three times? Because he wasn’t operating at the level of faith needed the first two? Because he did something wrong the first two times? We are not told the reason, but it is not even slightly insinuated that either of those things were true. The logical explanation is that Elijah was releasing more power and life from his spirit, or as Jesus called it in John 7:38, his spiritual “womb,” each time he prayed. It takes a good bit of life and power to raise the dead! Elijah’s spiritual son, Elisha, faced a similar situation in 2 Kings 4. A young man had died, and he was trying to raise him from the dead. First, Elisha simply prayed (verse 33), and seemingly nothing happened. Then he laid on top of the boy and prayed (verse 34); this time, the boy grew warm. The prophet walked back and forth praying again, then bent over the child, doing what we are not told (verse 35); he was probably praying more. This time, the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. Why didn’t the boy regain life after the first or second prayer? Again, the obvious answer is that each time Elisha prayed he was releasing more power. Finally, it was enough. Most often, prayer breakthroughs are the result of a prayer process. We don’t typically pray or command one time and experience the desired results. Usually, we must persevere in doing so until enough power has been released to accomplish what is needed. It is also why the prayer of agreement, which multiplies power, is often needed. When it appears God has finally “gotten around to it,” or when we think a breakthrough suddenly occurred, the reality is usually that enough power has been released and accomplished through our prayers to accomplish what is needed. I once prayed in my prayer language an hour a day for 30 straight days, interceding for Ceci’s healing from ovarian cysts. They gradually shrank each day as more and more power was released. The cysts were medically diagnosed, as was the healing.

In 1985, Holy Spirit assigned me to pray for a young, comatose girl. Viral encephalitis had damaged her brain, reducing her to a vegetative state for the past year and a half. The doctors gave her no hope of recovery. At the instruction of Holy Spirit, I prayed over her at least an hour every week - sometimes two hours - for a year. At the end of that year, her brain was completely healed. Why did it take a year to obtain a miracle for this young girl? I believe power was being released each time I prayed. (Both of these testimonies are shared in more detail in my book, Intercessory Prayer.) It was a game-changer for me when this revelation came. I realized that when perseverance in prayer was necessary, it wasn't to persuade God or overcome His reluctance. It was to release more and more of His power. I realized that if what I was praying about was truly God's will, it would eventually occur - IF I continued doing my part. And it is God’s will for the prodigals to return home. We will persevere, and they will return.

Pray with me: Father, it is very important that we learn, not only of Your power, but also Your ways. So we ask You to continue teaching us in this regard. We must know, not only that You CAN do what we are asking of You, but we must also understand HOW You desire to accomplish it so we can cooperate with You. We also ask You to strengthen us in the area of perseverance and determination. May we never quit before we see the results You promised. When we have discerned by Your Spirit that it is time for an outpouring of spiritual rain, You said in Zechariah 10:1 to ask for it. We have discerned it is time for this and therefore, are asking You for the rain. We are appealing for a deluge. Let a mighty, mighty outpouring of Holy Spirit come to this nation and other parts of the earth! And we know that a part of this outpouring is the return of millions of prodigals to You. Pour out Your Spirit on them, just as You did in the book of Acts, with great signs, wonders, and miracles. We release Your mighty power to break strongholds off them and draw them to You. We will do so daily until they return. And we have not forgotten to pray for our government. You have said You were going to restore a righteous government in America. We have some righteous leaders who honor You, and we thank You for them. Many, however, blatantly oppose You, Your ways, and Your Word. Some even mock You. We boldly ask You to remove them; shake up our government. From the White House, to the Capitol, to the Supreme Court - we ask You to remove those who dishonor and oppose You. Give us righteous, wise leaders - men and women of understanding and who honor truth. We will persevere in prayer until we see this take place. We ask all of this in Jesus' name. Amen. Our decree: We decree that we will not relent in our intercession for the return of our prodigals to God. Nor will we relent in our intercession for the restoration of America.

Click on the link below to watch the full video.

Portions of today’s post were adapted from my book, Intercessory Prayer, published by Baker House.


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