"Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving."
- Colossians 4:2 AMP
There are times in our Christian walk when we are praying and believing God for something that is out of His will for us, and no matter how hard or long we stand in faith, our prayers remain answered. Then there are other times when we are requesting something from the Lord that He very much wants us to have, but there are barriers that need to be broken through before the answer comes. Those are the times when taking some specific steps can draw us closer to the breakthrough we need.
First, we may need to press harder into God's promises. Sometimes we look at scriptural promises thinking to ourselves, "That's just too good to be true." As long as we have this kind of attitude, many of the Lord's best blessings will elude us. God wants us to dig into His Word daily, and to ask Him which promises He longs for us to claim. Then we need to show the Lord that we're serious about laying hold of the blessings and rewards attached to those promises. Scripture says: "Pray to the Lord day and night for the fulfillment of His promises. Take no rest, all you who pray. Give the Lord no rest..." (Isaiah 62:6 NLT) God expects us to partnership with Him for the fulfillment of His plans and purposes on this earth. It is our privilege and obligation to do so. This applies not only to our own lives, but the lives of others. Too often, we talk ourselves out of God's precious promises. If they aren't fulfilled according to our timetable, we may let them slip from our hearts and our prayers. But God's Word admonishes us: "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." (Hebrews 6:12 NIV) Ever notice that the most blessed believers are the best "waiters"? They don't get impatient when God's promises are delayed, but they stay in faith, knowing that some rewards cannot be reaped until we endure a period of waiting. The Lord wants us to imitate their faith and patience, so that we, too, can receive His best.
Another thing we may need to do to gain our breakthrough is to pray with a greater passion. Scripture says: "The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]." (James 5:16 AMP) When we put our whole hearts into our prayers and petitions, and when we continue in prayer even when we don't see any results, tremendous power is made available to us that will move mountains and change lives. Sometimes, we give up praying about something, telling ourselves, "It must not be God's will," because we're afraid of offending Him. But often, the truth of the matter is that we are more likely to offend the Lord if we STOP praying about it before the answer comes. The Bible makes this clear when it says: "One day Jesus told His disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer, and to show them that they must keep praying until the answer comes." (Luke 18:1 TLB) The devil and his dark forces are formidable, but they cannot stand against the power that is generated by a follower of Christ who perseveres in prayer.
Another way we can break through barriers is to pump up the praise. Perhaps you're like me, and praising God doesn't always come naturally to you, especially in hard times. I encourage you to tell the Lord about your weakness in this area, and ask Him to teach you how to praise Him in ways that please Him most. I actually began making little praise cards so that I could memorize verses of praise from the Bible, and declare them before the Lord. Did you know that praise is spiritual warfare? Psalm 8:2 (NIV) says: "From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." When we are suffering attacks from Satan and His evil cohorts, we can wage a counterattack by lifting our voices in praise. The devil despises the praises of God's people, and he is not going to hang around us for very long when we are making a joyful noise in honor of our King. David wrote: "I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands." (Psalm 63:4 NIV) Whenever possible, lift up your hands when you worship the Lord. Something happens inside of us when we get our whole selves involved in praising God. We feel refreshed and energized, and our focus becomes sharpened and fixed on the Lord. What challenges are you facing today? Whatever they are, don't cave in--press in! And lay hold of the victories, rewards, and breakthroughs that belong to you in Christ.
Prayer: Lord, help me to hold fast to Your promises until You bring them to pass in my life. Teach me how to pray with greater passion and perseverance than ever before. Thank You that as I lift my voice and my hands in exuberant praise, doors will open and mountains will move!
- J. M. Farro