Prayer That Is Hard

“Faith fights for the lives it loves.” ~from a teaching on Abraham and Lot (I wish I knew who said this, but it’s just a notation in my Bible, and I can’t find it in any old sermon/teaching notes.  I only know I did not come up with it!)

Confession:  For nearly two years now, I have neglected part of my calling from God.  You see, five years ago in April, God called me to be a prayer warrior.  He called me to do battle on my knees.  And I did, for about three years.  Three years ago it began to dawn on me that the people I was battling for were not even doing battle for themselves, and that brought with it tremendous discouragement, but I ploughed on anyway.  Two years ago I became tired and succumbed to feelings of hopelessness, and I stopped.

I didn’t stop praying,  I just stopped doing battle.  I stopped putting my blood, sweat, and tears into praying for other people.

God has been prompting me to go back into battle for a long time now, and I am ashamed to say, I’ve kept telling Him no.  I have resented the target that’s been on my own back as I do battle for others.  I have resented the emotional exhaustion of pouring out my heart to God on behalf of others and nothing ever changes.  I have resented the people I’m battling for as they don’t know or care about the intercession going on for them and they don’t change.

In the past year, I have begun to do battle for myself once more, to pray more boldly about what God will do with me, but I’ve held off fighting for others.  In my heart of hearts, I have been guilty of thinking that it is easier for God to change me than for Him to change others.

Last week, I was doing some thinking, and I heard God say to me,  “This is not what you prayed three years for.” And I just said back, “Are You even going to do what I prayed three years for?” (Oh, me of little faith).  And I breathed a little prayer right then, and almost promptly forgot about it.

Until what I prayed about happened.

I was then forced to reckon with the fact that the three years I spent doing battle had not gone to waste.  My prayers had been seen, heard, and known by the Sovereign of the universe, and He has always intended to do what I’ve done battle for.  And again, He asked me to do battle.

And so I did.  And I will continue to do so, hard as it will be.

Spending that kind of time and energy in prayer is never fruitless!