Have you ever needed miraculous intervention from God, but didn't know how to pray for it?
Even now I am in the midst of praying and waiting for a miracle in the life of a loved one. Though God has provided answers to many of my prayers, I have been in the process of birthing a vision from God for this person for more than seven years.
The problem is not with God. He always has a ready ear. He is ready, willing and able to respond. The work to be done is on our part. We need an increase of understanding about how to call on God.
When I sought direction in prayer, the Lord led me to Jeremiah 33:3: "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know" (NKJV).
In The Amplified Bible the same verse reads, "Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand)."
This verse points to four steps in calling on God:
* Connect with God's presence
* Obtain revelation to direct your prayers
* Proclaim God's intention
* Travail according to God's direction until the miracle is birthed.
Let's look at these steps in more detail.
1.?Connect with God's presence. In Hebrew, the word for "call" used in Jeremiah 33:3 is q¯ar¯a. It means to call out loudly as though you are shouting to get someone's attention. The word carries the connotation of intensity and passion.
We are to cry out urgently to God until we sense His presence and His attention. When we reach this point in prayer, it is as if heaven is watching to see what will happen.
2.?Obtain revelation to direct your prayers. There are things God is waiting to do in our homes, churches and workplaces, but we don't have knowledge of them. God told Jeremiah He would reveal things that were "fenced in and hidden."
When we connect with His presence, we need to wait in that place of prayer for God to show us His vision. Revelational insight is essential for victorious spiritual warfare. One cannot pray effectively without insight about what God truly wants us to seek after in prayer.
When we have heard God's intention for our prayer need, then we can petition Him with confidence and without hesitation.
3.?Proclaim God's intention. When we have confidence concerning the petition we bring to the Lord, we move past petitioning into a place of proclamation. What does God want to do? That's what we will proclaim.
When you proclaim according to God's will, it will come to pass. God called the light day and the darkness night. It was a proclamation to accomplish a divine purpose.
4.?Travail according to God's direction. The interim between proclaiming God's intention and birthing the vision is full of tears and brokenness of spirit. "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Ps. 126:5-6, NKJV).
Tears and brokenness become a part of our language of prayer. They say things we can't say with words. Charles Spurgeon described tears as liquid prayer. And brokenness aligns us with the purposes and functions of the Holy Spirit. Brokenness brings spiritual harvest.
During the time of travail, God gives us keys of access into the miracle. These are specific keys that God directs us to use for a specific situation. You can't just pick up a spiritual exercise and enter into it. You have to hear from God what your pathway of obedience is. Here are some of the keys God has given me at various times:
*?Fast. Ask God for the times and ways he wants you to use this key.
*?Remember the promises God has made. Rejoice in them. God is in control of the matter. Proverbs 16:33 says, "The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him]" (The Amplified Bible). The Holy Spirit told me to use this key during a time when we felt we couldn't break through the spiritual opposition to our prayers.
*?Sing God's praises. Isaiah 54:1 says, "Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child!" (NKJV).
God wants us to sing before the time of birth has come. That is confident faith. Many of us wait to sing until after we see the miracle. God tells us to sing before we even feel the labor pains. Shout your victory to the host of hell, and watch God deliver your miracle to you.
There are barren places in which we need to sing the song of the Lord. It's a prophetic, intercessory act. We sing and establish a boundary of the praise of God around houses, around streets, where we work.
The enemy works to take the song of the Lord away from the people of God. If he takes the song, he takes the strength. The song of the Lord is filled with the strength of the Lord. Psalm 149 says, "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand" (Ps. 149:6).
You can sing songs that you already know, or you can sing in the Spirit. Another good way to sing His praises is to make up your own music for words of praise in Scripture. Following are some good verses to use. The Lord can lead you to many others.
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Ps. 27:1).
"Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me" (Mic. 7:8).
"Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those also who hate Him flee before Him" (Ps. 68:1).
It is God's will is for us to participate in the birthing process according to His direction. Nevertheless, we must remember that everything was, and is, up to the Father. Though we may follow the four steps to calling on God and pray in perfect accord with His plan, using whatever keys He gives us, there is no forcing of a miracle-its timing or its manner. All things must, and will, proceed under God's ordinance.
Be prepared to wait for the completion of the birthing process-and trust God to "show you great and mighty things, which you do not know."
Barbara James is involved in intercessory ministry in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.