The Last Resort?
Why do we view prayer as our last resort when it should always be our first move? How many times have you felt helpless when “all” you can do is pray? Why is it that prayer meetings at church or other opportunities to pray are always the least attended events?
The answer is simple. The enemy has worked very hard to warp our understanding of prayer. It feels like a desperate last ditch, Hail Mary attempt to plead for change. Satan knows that prayer moves the hand of God. He works very hard to make circumstances seem so big that prayer is a fleeting hope.
Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” The key is that we have to have faith. We have to reject the enemy’s attempts to view prayer as an apathetic fall back plan. We have to remind ourselves that when we pray we are seeking the help of Almighty God for whom nothing is impossible!
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Sometimes this is our hang up, trusting that God will respond. Past disappointment can make our prayers seem more like questions or even doubts.
Psalm 56:3-4 tells us,”Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. This passage tells us to trust but how do we do that when we have had unanswered prayers before? It is a matter of shifting our focus. God doesn’t ask us to trust in the outcome He asks us to trust His heart and that He knows what is best in every situation. The cornerstone of prayer is trust but we tend to trust only if the outcome meets our expectations when in fact God is asking us to trust Him. I think we often see what we consider unanswered prayer because we come asking for an expected outcome instead of His will. Let’s face it sometimes His will is different than we desire and rather than yield to His all knowing, loving will we accept the enemy’s lies of disappointments, disillusionment and doubt and it creates false evidence that He isn’t hearing us. We have to reset our eyes on Him, reminding ourselves of His goodness. We can do this by decreeing Scriptures over our lives and circumstances.
Years ago I was very blessed to be in love with a wonderful man that I unfortunately lost in a car accident. In my grief I struggled in my prayers and one day I realized it was because I had prayed for so long to find my husband and I thought I had found him only to then lose him. I began to cry out to God telling him how abandoned I felt, how far from Him I felt, how I doubted He had good for me. On and on as I sobbed I poured out all the lies I had believed all because I was focused on the circumstances and how they made me feel and not on Him. Then I began to rise up in my spirit and counter each of those accusations with Scripture. I began to speak that God is not a man that He would lie! God knew the plans He had for me and they were to prosper me and bring me a future and a hope! That He was not far away but that He is close to the broken-hearted. At first these felt like wimpy statements not backed with any grit but as I spoke them I began to feel hope and power rise in me. How? By the speaking of His truth my eyes were shifted from what I thought should have been the outcome to His goodness and love. I saw that He was with me in my grief and that He was restoring my soul.
Since that time I have found myself repeatedly being reminded of what happened in those moments. I learned that God is a good good Father not because He gives me everything I want but because He loves me through those hard times. My circumstances could never change who He is and that is why I can put my trust in Him and pray with assurance that He hears me. It was that moment when prayer changed from my last resort to my first step. It is then that I realized I have nothing to offer except His very best.