How to Move Heaven When You Pray

(Lightstock)
(Lightstock)

Around the turn of the millennium an intriguing megatrend swept across the body of Christ. Believers all around the globe became enthralled with an obscure, 32-word prayer found in one verse of Scripture: “And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would indeed bless me and enlarge my territory, that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that it may not bring me hardship!'” (1 Chron. 4:10).

I believe this brief petition resonated with millions of prayerful people primarily because of the verse’s concluding comment: “So God granted him what he asked” (1 Chron. 4:10, emphasis added).

Wow! How simple can you get? As far as we know, Jabez didn’t attend any all-night prayer vigils. No one laid hands on him for an impartation. He didn’t fast 40 days. He didn’t prostrate himself before the Lord for hours. He didn’t mechanically repeat a certain faith confession hundreds of times. These aren’t bad things to do, but they are not what Jabez did. He just made five short requests combined into one sentence that took maybe 10 seconds to utter. And God was so deeply moved that He actually did it—He granted him what he requested. Don’t you feel like echoing my sentiment? Wow!

I have to admit, I got swept away with the profound potency of this prayer as well, but I can remember thinking numerous times: “If Jabez’s prayer could strike such awe in the hearts of believers, surely there are other prayers in the Bible that should also command our attention, prayers that are just as weighty (if not more so) and just as effective in securing a response from heaven.”

So I embarked on a journey through God’s Word, seeking not just instances in the Bible when people prayed, but specifically times when petitions also attracted some kind of supernatural response. I thought if certain prayer principles worked for celebrated faith heroes in the past, then using a similar approach should potentially bring results for believers who seek God in this era.

Prayer Heroes

I discovered a number of great examples—very inspiring prayers from key Bible figures such as Moses, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Elijah, Jonah and the members of the fledgling church in Jerusalem. Some are lengthy; some are quite short and to the point. But all were effective in bringing the kingdom of heaven down to earth.

Some of these prayers have impacted me far more than the prayer of Jabez ever did—and studying them has awakened a renewed confidence that God will do it again. I pray the same thing happens for you.

Martin Luther is quoted as saying, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.” Let me assure you, we aren’t trying to “force” God’s hand by using any time-proven methods. Instead, we’re merely aligning ourselves with God’s will and getting in a receptive position.

So let’s accept this challenge together! Let’s determine to achieve the full capacity of a consecrated prayer life, expecting “great and mighty things” (Jer. 33:3).

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SOURCE: Charisma News
Mike Shreve

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