Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage for Meditation: Matthew 18:18-20
Key Verse: “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:19
I will never forget the day my close friend Julia called me on the phone. Her father, who had not given his life to Christ, was dying from a sudden illness. “Please pray with me,” she pleaded, “that God will work a miracle in his heart before it’s too late!”
In times past I probably would have prayed on the phone with my friend and then gone back to my work without thinking much more about it. (After all, while I cared about Julia, I didn’t know her father personally.) However, that day God challenged me with the thought, “He may not be your father, Melody, but he’s my child. Will you intercede on behalf of my child?”
So after we prayed together on the phone, being reminded that that each soul is of infinite value to God, I felt convicted that God was asking me to continue to fast and pray with Julia until we saw a spiritual breakthrough.
I was quite busy, but I put my work aside and began to pray. However, I didn’t make it through that first night of prayer, for a small area of compromise stood in the way. At first I argued with God, “This is ridiculous; it’s so small! I can’t let this go.” But then I felt His Spirit convicting my heart, “Is it more valuable than a soul for whom I died?” Ashamed, I surrendered my sin of compromise to God, and, as I did, new strength and power came into my prayers.
For the next night and several days thereafter, I prayed with Julia incessantly—almost without stopping—for this miracle. It was a fierce spiritual battle, and at times Julia and I both felt discouraged and wanted to give up. But God heard our prayers of agreement, and—praise the Lord—the spiritual victory we prayed and fasted for was accomplished before her father died.
Today, God calls all of us to deeper, more persistent prayers of agreement. He’s calling us not just to pray for but to perseveringly pray through.
We all know how to pray for: we pray for our meal, we pray for safety on the road, we pray for a class or meeting, we pray for our friends and loved ones, and we pray for anything else that randomly crosses our path—and this is as it should be. But praying through literally means that “I’m committing to pray with persevering faith until I see victory or until I see an answer come!” Praying through is not easy because we must be committed for the long haul—maybe years. And we must be willing to put away any known compromise or sin. But when we are willing to pray through with a surrendered heart, God will give breakthrough!
Inspiration tells us, “To every sincere prayer an answer will come. It may not come just as you desire, or at the time you look for it; but it will come in the way and at the time that will best meet your need” (Gospel Workers, 1915, p. 258).
Of course praying through can only be successful if we are rooted in God’s Word. It’s not about our determination to outlast God. No, it’s about our confidence in God’s faithfulness. “We should not present our petitions to God to prove whether He will fulfill His Word, but because He will fulfill it; not to prove that He loves us, but because He loves us” (The Desire of Ages, p. 126).
Today let’s ask that God would teach us not just to pray for but also to pray through until we see souls brought into the Kingdom.
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Heavenly Father, it’s easy to give up praying for those we love when we see no evidence of change in their lives, but help us to hold on to You and not give up for as long as they have breath. Help us not to give up on ministry goals being accomplished just because things look despairing. Rather, help us hold on in faith until we see breakthrough, for You’ve promised that the honor of Your throne is staked on the fulfillment of Your Word. Thank You for hearing these prayers. Thank You for hearing our many prayers on behalf of our church. Thank You for how You are going to answer all these prayers of faith. We love You and can’t wait to be with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Melody Mason
(To read the testimony of how God awakened Melody to her spiritual need, CLICK HERE.)