Generally speaking, I know that God placed Jahar on my heart and asked me to pray for him – and so I do, often without questioning. Other times – I find myself starting to wonder…..if God has a plan, and He is capable of all things, then why does He need me? Why does He need my prayers and the prayers of my brothers and sisters? Why can’t He just save Jahar and get it over with?
On Good Friday, I participated in Secret Church’s 14th simulcast with friends from my church. As I sat in that living room, I listened carefully as David Platt discussed daily prayer….and everything suddenly came into sharp focus. First, he told the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal from 1 Kings 18, which has been previously discussed on this blog. In the story, Elijah asks the prophets of Baal to call on the name of their god to set fire to their burnt offering. Not surprisingly, their calls went unanswered. Elijah doused the altar with water not once but three times – making it effectively impossible for it to catch on fire. However, when Elijah calls on the name of the Lord, He indeed sends fire. Elijah’s resolute trust in God combined with the power of prayer, in the end, brings incredible glory to God. Platt had two points here: a.) The design of prayer is for us to get the help and God to get the glory, and b.) The power of people who connect with Almighty God is unstoppable. If the altar had just suddenly gone up in flames without anyone crying out to God – would He have gotten the glory for it? Probably not. How much more glory will it bring to God when Jahar is saved if there has been a group of people fervently praying for his salvation for years, as opposed to if it had just happened the second Jahar woke up in the hospital? I truly believe that, just like it was for Elijah, the power of our desperate Spirit-led prayers will be absolutely unstoppable.
Later on, Platt mentioned that God delights in revealing Himself to those who are bold enough to bother Him. He also talked about how there is nothing too small and nothing too great. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37). I remember back when I read “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson that he said “God honors bold prayers, because bold prayers honor God.” Then Platt asked a question that literally made me chuckle out loud. He asked, “What are the great things that you are praying for? What are you praying for that if other people knew, they would think you’d lost your mind?” I think the answer is obvious. And I can’t wait to see God honor my bold prayers.
Platt then began to talk about how intercession is a privilege that we need to embrace, and that it is the means in which we participate in the daily activity of God in other people’s lives. He told the story of Moses imploring God to turn from his anger and relent from the disaster that He had spoken of bringing on His people in Exodus 32:7. “Therefore he said he would destroy them – had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them.” (Psalm 106:23). Had Moses not begged God to turn from His anger, the people would have been wiped out.
And then Platt said something I will never forget: “Our prayer is part of God’s plan. He uses the prayers of His people to accomplish His purposes.”
So from now on, I’m going to choose to stop questioning God and wondering why He needs us in this fight for Jahar – and instead choose to believe that our prayer is a part of His plan to lead Jahar home and bring incredible glory to His name.