Effectual Prayer

I believe God answers prayer, answers always, everywhere;

I may cast my anxious care,

burdens I could never bear,

On the God who heareth prayer.

Never need my soul despair

since He bids me boldly dare

to the secret place repair,

there to prove He answers prayer.

So it has been a few months now that God has had me in the deep end.

There have been seasons in the past where I felt led to “live by faith” just as there have been seasons that I knew I should be working a secular job. To ‘live by faith’ is an old school revival church term for trusting God for provision rather than work a job. You can believe in doing it, don’t believe in doing it, I’m not taking this space to debate that. It’s Biblical, there is no doubt about that. In an age absolutely lost and compromised with the World System, it’s also nearly nonexistent; we are far more comfortable feigning faith while providing for ourselves and almost no one knows anything about prayer or even genuine procuring faith for that matter.

In those times that he had me walk by faith in regards to my supply, it was a huge learning curve. I failed. A lot. I would pray out of anxiety or fear, I would carry doubt around, I would pray based on need, a million mistakes, just a million.

But how many of you know that just because you obey God in the path that you take, that is no guarantee of constant victory? We all have to learn and sometimes it is the losing that teaches us. Selah.

Well, a few months ago I felt him leading me to pray everything in.

My heart sank.

This time though, he upped the ante on me. I felt like I was to tell no one of my needs, big need or small needs, I couldn’t tell anyone anything.

My initial reaction wasn’t pleasant. Due to being in the midst of the worst hell of my life, the trust just wasn’t there, he wasn’t leading me to do this as ‘God’s man of faith and power’, he was leading me to do this as a broken man that had everything stolen from him by the enemy and was only recently clean from daily extreme alcohol abuse and CPTSD. My faith level was nil. I thought I was doing quite well never touching booze and reading my Word and talking at him. He seemed to disagree.

So I began to keep a journal of my needs and wants, the issues that I needed clarity on, the future, that sort of thing. I began from the beginning (which is usually preferable to beginning at the last ending) and told God that I didn’t know how to pray, even after 26 years of ministry. I knew some form of it, I had seen sporadic results over the years.

Sometimes I could explain those results away though – I hinted, I manipulated, I somehow did something to help poor God answer me. Shoot, I would sometimes do the entire thing on my own and then give Him credit for it! You know the drill, man, you’re like, “I prayed and applied for work and God gave me this job that I work at for 40-60 hours per week and I get a paycheck for those hours and I just want to thank God for giving me this job so’s I can pay my bills”. Then how are you different from the sinner next to you that did the exact same thing? Anyway…

I admitted that I didn’t really know what I was doing. My knowledge of prayer theory was encyclopedic, my quotations vast, my confidence in it, not so much. So I started from nothing, no teachings, no presumptions. I went to the Word and dug out everything that it said about the subject and stood those alone. After studying them, I came to ironclad determinations as to their intended lessons. Then I found some writings from men in history that had proven track records in prayer, no one and nothing modern. I then took what they had written and contrasted and compared it with what I had seen in the Word.

Le boom. 💥

I had myself some fully formed unproven theories, by George. Rock meet bottom.

I began with food.

Yeah, you heard me, food.

I had a box or two of Ramen in an otherwise empty cupboard. I sat on a lawn chair. Please understand that I have preached before thousands, I know huge people in the Jesus industry. Ramen and a lawn chair, yep. Anyway, I was down to 172 pounds and went to God because I felt like I was starving to death on Ramen. No calories, no nutrients. I try to be Vegan when I can afford it but Noodlan is not recommended for your general health and well being.

My prayer and its corresponding confession was simple, ‘God send me some meat’. Remember, I can’t tell anyone a need or even hint- a few hours later someone stopped by that had a few extra brisket sandwiches and felt like they might be enjoyed.

This isn’t the parting of the Red Sea but it was a genuine answer to prayer and therefore, a miracle. That brisket sandwich changed everything. Ha! What a statement, right? Some of you might be thinking that it isn’t a big deal, you work and can eat what you want. That’s true but so could the Israelites that were in bondage in Egypt. You buy whatever kind of sandwich you want and thank God (ish) for it, I know. Yet you can’t pray, your Pastor can’t pray and if you had to pray to get food, telling no one, you might starve. What will you do when things crash and you can’t work or buy it? Anyway.

The miraculous supply of meat was a turning point for me. I began going after my daily bread in earnest, laying out shopping items and praying for wisdom in how to prepare the meals. I still have to pray food in daily but there is faith there now.

I have used that initial experience in every other area of life as well. From bills to money needed for necessities and non-essentials. I am still learning and utterly dependent on him for everything, I suppose I always will be in both regards. I am excited for prayer now everyday, I am learning about my Father and his Christ and each instance of answered prayer builds my faith higher and higher.

I’ve kept up with my prayer journal and mark down when I’ve asked for a thing and when the answer came. I won’t post what those items are or have been but just the numbers for you.

Remember this is no work besides preaching, teaching bible studies, counseling. In any of those activities, I never ask for money. It is also without telling anyone a single need, just taking it to God in prayer.

December: 9/11 major items answered. The two are large items, I rolled them over to January.

January: 9/12 major items. This includes the two that were rolled over from December that I am still thanking him for.

Keep in mind, these aren’t small items, each one is a miracle. Yet even the items that I don’t mark down are incredible miracles too. I just haven’t taken the time to put every single thing down. Also remember that this is about as far from bragging as you can get, I want you to be encouraged that God really does answer prayer, even in extreme circumstances.

If you need me to pray for you or if you want discipled in this area, do not hesitate to get ahold of me.

Much love. Blessings.

JC

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