How to pray through

June 30th, 2010 · by Tom Stuart · Prayer, Relationship with God

Recently I made a commitment to up my prayer life.  It is easier said than done.  Putting the time in is one thing, but being earnestly engaged and getting into a place of praying effectively is quite a challenge.  To do so requires battling through lethargy, distractions, rote babblings and just plain old unbelief and doubt. 

I have realized afresh that to be effective in prayer one must be committed to doing what the saints of old called “praying through.”  In essence praying through means praying until something happens.  You might call it the PUSH method of praying – Pray Until Something Happens. 

That “something” does not have to be the actual answer to the prayer and in most cases it is not.  But that “something” is invariably the assurance that you have been heard.  That assurance is the evidence that you have prayed yourself into to a place of faith. (Hebrews 11;6)  There is a release in one’s spirit that comes when you know that God has heard because we know that when He hears us, an answer is on the way. (1 John 5:15) 

Isaiah likens earnest prayer and intercession to the travail of labor in giving birth.  Praying through is like that.  It is hard work and it requires an engagement of ones entire being in bringing forth the desired result. 

While there are many different ways to pray, praying through is not a quiet, contemplative, sweet lullaby, by and by type of praying.  It is most often forceful, loud, emotion filled, physically taxing, a heart wrenching type of praying.  Advancing the kingdom of God often requires such “forceful” prayer.  Jesus’ reference to this literally means to “eagerly claim for oneself.” (Matthew 11:12)

Here are some examples of individuals who knew how to pray through.

  • Jesus – “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (Hebrews 5:7)
  • Jacob – “He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor.” (Hosea 12:4)
  • Hannah – “Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD.” (1 Samuel 1:10)  Her prayer that the Lord would give her a child was so demonstrative that Eli the priest thought she was drunk. 
  • Elijah – “Prayed fervently.” (James 5:17)  He prayed seven times that it would rain “bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees.”  (1 Kings 18:42-46) 
  • Hezekiah – “Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.” (Isaiah 37:14) What Hezekiah did here when threatened by King Sennacharib of Assyria was literally lay it all out before the Lord. In so doing he cast his burden fully on the Lord. (Psalm 55:22) 

Do you see the picture of praying through that emerges here?  As a result I have moved my place of prayer from my study to the basement so I can let it rip.  Can you imagine if we prayed more like that we just might get the same results they did.

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