Prayers of Faith for the Impossible
- Wednesday, August 13, 2008
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don't you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Rarely are there calm waters in the North Sea! And there we were, off the coast of France passing right through the North Sea. The waters were stormy on the first day, and the high waves sent many of us to bed, seasick. When your cabin is bouncing to and fro and you feel as if you have the worst case of the flu, it is hard to imagine stillness, peace, and a sense of well-being. But we fervently prayed, and God calmed the seas. It seemed impossible at the time, but to God all things are possible. God wants to answer prayers of faith for the impossible. Are we willing to step out into this dimension in our prayer lives?
What impossible assignments has God given you in prayer? Is it the salvation of a loved one, revival in your city or nation, healing from an illness? To you it may seem impossible (and the devil would want you to believe that), but God loves to answer impossible prayers because He, the creator of all that is, lives in the realm of what seems impossible. He wants us to be obedient in prayer so that He can stretch our faith to the place where He dwells. In this place of faith-filled obedience, He makes the impossible possible, by His might and power alone. And He wraps His strength around our weakness, bringing our faith to a new level.
The first day at sea on this voyage for most of us was miserable, and we had three more days to endure. But God was at work realigning our lives with His, conquering in a small way the self-life so that His life could shine more brightly through, and strengthening us in faith by answering our prayers for calm seas. We all have a tendency to get discouraged at the enormity of the task before us, in the weariness of the battle when the storms of life seem overwhelming, and when we perceive our own inability to have strength or faith for what is ahead.
We must realize that we are not alone. God is powerful, and He is with us through every storm and danger in life. I once heard the story about a house that caught on fire one night and was being consumed with flames. A young boy was forced to climb out on the roof to escape. His father stood below with his arms outstretched, calling out loudly to his son, "Jump! I will catch you." The only way to save his life was to get the boy to jump. But he only saw the huge flames and black smoke and was terribly afraid. His father kept yelling frantically, "Jump! I will catch you." The boy fearfully protested, "Daddy, I can’t see you. I can’t see you," to which the father replied, "But, I can see you and that’s all that matters."
God Desires Prayers of Faith
"Nothing can be clearer, or more distinct, more unlimited both in application and extent, than the plea and urgency of Christ, 'Have faith in God' (Mark 11:22). Faith covers worldly as well as spiritual needs. Faith scatters excessive anxiety and needless care about what will be eaten, what will be drunk, what will be worn." E. M. Bounds
God breaks through if we don't give up in prayer. Sometimes we feel the darkness of life just like that young boy on the roof. We can't see our way through a situation, but we pray fervently to God for the answer. We may say, "God, I can’t feel your presence. Are you with me?" And He says to us, "I can see you and that’s all that matters. I will never leave you or forsake you. You can trust me." We must realize that God is there and that He will catch us even though we cannot see our way through. He will grant us victory step-by-step as we continue in prayer. Don't give up in prayer, because He will win the battle for you. Remember that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Let us pray for one another that our faith may not fail. Faith honors God. He answers prayer according to our faith (Matthew 9:29). We link our humanity to His omnipotence when we pray in faith.
I want to believe God for the supernatural in intercession, for the impossible to become possible, for His extraordinary hand of power in situations in nations as well as in my life. I want to believe God for a mighty prayer movement that covers the earth. To do so, I need to be ready to take action according to God's direction.
Last year God opened the door to start a one-month 24/7 House of Prayer in southern Spain. It was a step of faith. We invited intercessors from several nations to join us. We invited the churches of southern Spain to join us. God provided a hotel for this month of day-and-night prayer. He blessed us in a marvelous way. Everyone grew in his or her prayer life, and we were able to keep the prayer room going day and night. This vision expanded to pray not only for Spain but for North Africa as well. This led to another one-month 24/7 House of Prayer on the east coast of the United States. We have had invitations to do this in other nations as well. It all began with prayers of faith and an obedient step of faith in Spain.
Nothing is Impossible for God
Elijah, prophet of God, stood before King Ahab and announced that there would be no rain unless he said so. And a drought set in (1 Kings 17). For three years, crops withered in the fields, and livestock died of thirst. And when it was time, God sent word through Elijah that it would rain once again. Leonard Ravenhill, a prominent British evangelist, wrote,
“Such praying men are always our national benefactors. Elijah was such. He had heard a voice, seen a vision, tasted a power, measured an enemy, and with God as partner, wrought a victory. He knew the mind of God. Therefore he, one man, strangled a nation and altered the course of nature. By the key of faith, which fits every lock, Elijah locked heaven, pocketed the key, and made Ahab tremble. Though it is wonderful indeed when God lays hold of a man, earth can know one greater wonder—when a man lays hold of God.”
May we be men and women of faith who lay hold of God in prayer as Elijah did. It will take fervent prayers of faith for the seemingly impossible task ahead. Prayers are needed to turn nations towards God, to penetrate countries and people groups with the Gospel, and to see strongholds in our cities pulled down by the power of the name of Jesus, thereby opening doors to bring in the lost. God majors in performing what men often see as the impossible. He loves to break through when all hope seems dim.
God can break through the stormy seas in your personal life, family, city and nation. He longs to do the impossible in answering the cries of intercession. Prayer is the avenue to see all needs met. Prayer and faith go together. Ask God for increased faith in prayer for all believers. We see in Luke 17:5 that the disciples wanted more faith and prayed, "Increase our faith!" We need great faith and aggressive prayer for all the nations of the world. First Corinthians 16:13 says "Stand firm in your faith." May we look back on these days and say as Paul did in 2 Thessalonians 1:3, "Your faith is growing more and more."
"Don't discount what is possible with God (Philippians 4:13). When God gives an assignment, it is no longer an impossibility, but rather it is an absolute certainty. When God gives you a seemingly impossible task, the only thing preventing it from coming to pass is your disobedience… How do you respond to assignments that seem impossible? Do you write them off as unattainable? Or do you immediately adjust your life to God's revelation, watching with anticipation to see how He will accomplish His purposes through your obedience. God wants to do the impossible through your life."
--Henry and Richard Blackaby
This week’s teaching is one of the 33 teachings on prayer from my new book, Intercessors Arise: Personal Prayer that Changes the World. Since I have gone through some recent trials with getting these Intercessors Arise letters to you, I felt this was an appropriate topic. My faith has been tested, and at times I felt overwhelmed. But God brought my faith to a new level, and I believe that He is going to do greater things in the future. This excites me. I pray that you will rise up to a new level of faith in your prayer life too! If you would like to purchase this book, click here.
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