The other day, my husband was speaking at our Praise in the Park event, he was talking about praying effectively. One thing he said really impacted me. He was talking about the prophet Elijah and how Elijah was told by God it was going to rain (1 Kings18-19). Now remember Elijah is the one who prayed it wouldn’t rain and it didn’t rain for 3 years. Now God told him to pray for rain and He would send it! Here is what got to me, Elijah didn’t just pray once, but he kept praying and looking for the rain until it happened. God had told him it was going to rain, but Elijah didn’t stop praying until the rain happened! That really got me thinking, about all the words of prophecy that have been spoken over me or the words God spoke directly to my heart, that I have yet see happen. Could it be that I haven’t seen them come to pass because I haven’t been persistent in prayer over them. So often I think, we get a word from God and we are excited about it, but that excitement fizzles and so does our prayer. How many of those words would have come to pass, if we were persistent in our prayers.
When my husband spoke, it was like a light bulb that came on inside of me. So much frustration has happened in the past because I have received words and I haven’t seen them come to pass. When they didn’t happen, it made me wonder if I had heard God right or the person who spoke the word over me had heard God correctly. When in actuality, the words were correct I just didn’t follow them up with persistent prayer.
This made me think, was there other places in the Bible that talked about persistent prayer. Then, the Holy Spirit remind me of this Shunammite Woman (check out 2Kings 4). Elisha had prayed over her and told her she was going to have a son and sure enough she did have a son. But after some time, her son got sick and died. This woman did not give up. She continued in persistent prayer all the way to find Elisha. All the way back from finding Elisha and coming home she stayed in persistent prayer. Then Elisha took over the mantle persistent prayer and he prayed for her son to be raised back to life. You know what happened… he came back to life!!!
All of this prompted a question in my heart: what if God gives us words of knowledge or wisdom or prophecy over our life to give us a direction of prayer. Sometimes we don’t know what to pray for but God is given us direction by these words spoken over us. I think the misconception is, that because these words are spoken over us there’s no need to pray about them. However, the word being spoken over us is just the beginning of walking out God’s destiny through persistent prayer in our lives.
As I began to study this topic of effective prayer, God showed me another aspect to effective prayer that is just as important as being persistent. He showed it to me in both the story of Elijah and the Shunammite Woman! Want to hear what He showed me??? Check out part 2 on my next blog.
Comment below your thoughts on persistent prayer.