“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
– James 5:16
Throughout history, God has honored the prevailing prayers of His people. One example comes from the first century BC when the unmistakable sound of the shofar could be heard coming from the wall surrounding Jerusalem, echoing across the sun-scorched valley. The blowing of the trumpet heralded great public distress and was used to summon the people. A severe drought was threatening the very existence of Jerusalem. And so the city elders had called for the people to gather outside the city walls. Then they sent for Honi, an old man known for his devout faith.
After he was summoned, the elders instructed Honi, “Pray that rain may fall.” Honi prayed but nothing happened. So he drew a circle around himself in the dust of the ground and prayed again, “O Lord of the world, Your children have turned their faces to me … I swear by Your great name that I will not stir from here until You have pity on Your children.”
The rain began to fall, one large drop at a time. But Honi protested, “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill the cisterns, pits, and caverns.” In answer to his prayer, the heavens opened and the waters descended in a violent gully washer that threatened to flood the city. So once again Honi pleaded, “Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of goodwill, blessing and graciousness.” It is said, and recorded by the Jewish historian, Josephus, that in response to Honi’s third prayer, a long, soaking rain began to fall that ended the three-year drought. Honi had prevailed in prayer.1
The story of Honi has made me wonder…how many answers to prayer have I missed because I didn’t push through until I prevailed in prayer? I’m almost afraid to reflect too deeply. But I don’t want to make the same mistake when it comes to interceding for America. I believe this is a time for God’s people to pray. And if ever there was a time to keep praying until we prevail in prayer, it’s now. The national chaos and confusion, anger and accusations, discord and division, fear and frustration, wounds and worry seem to be increasing rather than diminishing following the Presidential Inauguration. Could it be the turmoil and unrest are evidence of a national spiritual drought? Has God indeed backed away, withholding His blessing from America in response to our official and legal demand that He get out of our institutions, government, schools, marketplace, organizations, and businesses? If that is so, then the solution is not political or financial or educational or denominational or organizational. The solution is prayer. Not mechanical prayer. Not lofty, pious prayer. Not shallow or superficial prayer. Not just any prayer, but heartfelt, soul-searching, humble and repentant prayer that is rooted in God’s Word so that Heaven is moved and our nation is changed.
God has promised in His Word, When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain (no blessing), or command locusts to devour the land (environmental disasters) or send a plague among my people (lack of personal, political, relational, social, racial, or financial good health), if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14. Clearly, the key to healing our nation is directly related to you and me, as God’s people, prayerfully, humbly, forsaking our sin as we seek God’s face…His blessing on America.
Would you join me in driving the stake of your faith down deep into God’s Word? Make sure you meet the conditions attached to the promises; then let’s pray together, and keep on praying, until we prevail in prayer.
For His glory,
1 Adapted from The Daniel Prayer, Anne Graham Lotz, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, 2016, p.170
Anne’s Newest Resources
In this six-session video Bible study, Anne looks at the life of Daniel and unpacks the prayer he prayed in Daniel 9. Unlike the everyday now-I-lay-me-down-to-sleep kind of prayer, this is a prayer birthed under pressure. A prayer that changes hearts and nations—even in our world today. A prayer that works. Learn how to pray as Daniel did.
- Session 1: Bible Study Workshop
- Session 2: Preparing for Prayer
- Session 3: Prompting in Prayer
- Session 4: Pleading in Prayer
- Session 5: Prevailing in Prayer
- Session 6: Battling in Prayer
The greatest gift you can give a child is to introduce him or her to Jesus. Join Anne and her daughter, Rachel-Ruth Wright, Bible teacher and mother of three, as you learn how to be intentional about passing the baton of truth to the next generation. This seminar presents Biblical teaching that challenges parents and grandparents alike.
- Message 1: The Gospel Message (Genesis 5) • AGL
- Message 2: Raising Disciples (Mark 3) • Rachel-Ruth Wright
- Message 3: The Gospel Messenger (2 Timothy 1) • AGL
- Message 4: Pass It On (Joshua 23-24) • Rachel-Ruth Wright
- Message 5: The Gospel Mission (2 Timothy 2-4) • AGL
Click here for the Bible study especially developed for this newsletter.
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