This current season, indeed, the past year, has been unlike anything we have ever seen in our lives. You know the list: pandemic, lockdown, riots, recession, and a contested American election. What is less well known is that these circumstances have spawned global prayer in a manner unseen in years. That’s the good news.
However, despite much prayer and prophecy, things seem to have turned out very differently than expected. As such, there are some confused and discouraged believers out there. What do the recent turn of events actually mean:
Has God said, ‘No?’
Has God said, ‘Wait?’
Is there unconfessed sin that is holding back His answers?
Are we praying amiss?
‘Is it over’ or is there ‘more to come?’
Is revival tarrying or are we on the cusp?
My personal assessment is that God is pleased with the prayer impetus, has heard those prayers, and will answer everything in His own way and time. He is not dependant on any one individual, any one institution, and clearly is not bound to man-made timetables. Time is in His hands and as the Sovereign of the universe He is able to pick and choose the people, place, and date, to do His mighty work.
In response to these valid questions, here are a few other reflections to consider:
- PERSEVERANCE IN PRAYER: If we are not getting the answers we seek, then what should we do? Keep praying! We are called to persevere in prayer, full-stop (Matthew 7:7). Sooner or later, we will reap the results of prayer if we persist and not give up (Galatians 6:9). As we pray, if there are sin issues or we are praying amiss, the Holy Spirit will make it known to you. Remember the promise that God rewards anyone and everyone who diligently seeks Him (Hebrews 11:6).
- PREVAILING PRAYER = PREVAILING BLESSING: To prevail means to be more powerful than the opposition. Even while you wait for God’s answer, your continued prayer will attract divine blessing, like a magnet. You shall prevail if you persist and never give up.
- OVERCOMER: The Book of Revelation gives superlative promises to all who persevere and overcome. ‘He that overcomes shall inherit all things … Revelation 21:7a. This season of waiting helps forge perseverance and overcoming power.
- KEEP STANDING: Since the stakes are high and giving up is not an option, then stand and keep standing (Ephesians 6:11, 13). This is made possible by being strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (v. 10).
- TRUST GOD ALWAYS: This is one of the hallmarks of the life of faith. We are called to trust God at all times, with all our heart, and not let our reasoning minds undermine such trust (Proverbs 3:5-6). We are called to trust Him even when it does not make sense. A lifestyle of trust downloads strength in your heart (Isaiah 26:4; Ephesians 3:16; Colossians 1:11). There are amazing, superlative promises to the person who trusts God with a whole heart all of the time. One of these includes God will do all the heavy lifting for you.
- REVIVAL: If there is one solution that will cleanse our hearts, heal our land, reprogram out thinking, sanctify our actions, and set us on course towards a God-pleasing life, it’s revival. It means to ‘come alive again.’ How do we get revival? We diligently seek God for it. The classic verse on revival is 2 Chronicles 7:14. Early on, it became clear that all this global prayer either will spawn a near-future revival, or even is the result of an already emerging revival.
To be continued