But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Genesis 15:2
Abandoning prayer about anything is a mistake but abandoning prayer for what I’m most in need of is a grave error. Prayerlessness is the result of unbelief. I have concluded that God can’t, or won’t, do anything good for me.
God’s blessings come in the form of natural impossibilities. When I hear the promise, I can laugh, because it is so far out of my reach. God promises Abram an heir – and then descendants as numerous as the sands of the sea. The thought of an heir was ludicrous enough. His only heir was a slave of his household. When God spoke, Abram and Sarah were too old to bear children. Was God serious? But Abram believed and his faith that God could do the impossible was credited to him as righteousness.
I’m amazed at most every prayer mapping retreat how people answer a question I love to ask during breaks. “What are you going to prayer map when you leave here?” Most give me an answer like this. “What I really need from God is _____________, but I’ve prayed for so long and nothing has happened. I’m going to create a prayer map for something less, something safer.” I launch into a very animated response that encourages them to prayer map their deepest needs.
I should be asking myself, “Where have you lost faith in God?” When captivity spans 15 years, when infertility enters the second decade of a marriage, when a wayward child hasn’t called home in many years, when depression has become a way of life, when financial struggle feels normal, when a family experiences a seemingly irreparable breech, these are the things that cause us to lose faith. What we really need to prayer for, we don’t pray for.
I need to hear the voice of the God of Abraham. He lives in Spirit form, right in my own heart. He’s speaking constantly, wooing me to believe, wooing me to hope in Him again. He is the One who does the impossible as He rewards the one who perseveres in prayer.
At this moment, the embers of faith are stirring in someone reading this. Is it you? Tears of relief are in your eyes as you realize that the deep discouragement that comes from resignation no longer needs to be your friend. You can be fully alive to God, fully alive to faith, once again! As you and I look at the sad themes of our lives, are we numbed out to the point of feeling nothing? That is probably the very area where prayers of faith need to live.
I infuse my unbelief with your hope-giving Word. Give me the grit to dig in and pray expectantly. Amen