As we continue to pray for God’s supernatural move in our lives, it is important to search out this matter of intercessory prayer. The Holy Spirit is trying to teach us something that is beyond our current paradigm. He wants us to understand how to take hold of what has been promised. It is a part of the maturing He is doing in the church during this season.

So let’s look at the questions many of you have been asking: “Why isn’t God answering our prayers for my mother’s healing?” “Why won’t He heal my marriage.” Or, “Why won’t He deliver my son?”

The following are some basics that will help us break through to the victories God has prepared for us. They will be glorious!!But know this: There is a price to pay.

  1. Correct Our Focus. As someone recently put it, we limit God when we focus on the object of our prayer instead of on Him. The focus of intercession should always be on God’s glory. If His thoughts and ways are so far above ours, then the work He will do to glorify Himself will likely be above the limits of what we think He intends. The price: Our agenda.
  2. Ask According to His Will. 1John 5:14-15 promises:

    Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

    Too many of us have settled for “your will be done”, instead of knowing His will and praying that it would be done. “Your will be done” is a general prayer that returns a general answer. Nothing wrong with it, but it is seldom what God is looking for in intercession for, and from, one of His own. Regrettably, we find ourselves too busy to hear what God would have us pray. Waiting on God in prayer is a discipline we must develop. The price: Our time.

  3. Become Pliable in Our Prayers. Psalm 37:4 promises that God will give us the desires of our heart if we delight in Him. Most of us know that the desires He gives are His, and not ours. But how do we acquire them? By delighting. Yes, but what does that mean? It is vital to our prayer life that we understand that the Hebrew word translated as “delight” in this passage is not the same as in other Psalms. Here it means “to be soft” (like a lump of clay in the Potter’s hands; or the Bride with the Bridegroom). Our knowing His will in a matter is directly proportional to our willingness to let Him work out the hard places (of unbelief) and rigidness (of personal rights). The price: Our desires.
  4. Get Clear to Hear. The fervent prayers of righteous men and women avails much (James 5:16). God has grace to work through and around our immaturity, but He resists the proud, and He will not respond to those that are resisting Him. I have been taught that the first step of intercession is right standing with God. Forgiveness is a big issue here, too. The righteous man stands right with God and with the brethren. The price: Our rights (with God and over others).

So now, let me ask: Is it possible that the things God shows us (e.g., in dreams) are more opportunity than promise?  I have too quickly looked at them as promises that are without cost to myself (He will either do it, or He won’t).  I now find myself considering the magnitude of what God has prompted us to ask for (say, in the healing of a loved one).  I confess that I am hesitant to consider (much less ask God) what it will cost me for their healing.  But knowing it is for His glory, I am encouraged to pursue His will for me and them. I am willing to pay the price.

In closing, I encourage you that laying down your life is your reasonable sacrifice. In this situation with Scott, we must ask ourselves, “Are we willing to pay the price this opportunity requires to see God’s glory?  Are we willing to step beyond taking Him for granted, and engage Him, for His glory, in this situation?”

Dear Father, give me grace to find Your way in the distractions, and grace to overcome my own self-centered pity.  Give me a single-eyed heart, focused on You.  You know the weaknesses of my heart; deliver me from all unrighteousness, and save me completely.  In Jesus Christ’s name, reveal the cost each of us must consider. Use this opportunity to extract from us all that You are due for the price You have paid for ___________ (you fill in the blank).

Your servant and His,