I decided to dedicate the rest of this month to women, especially with Mother’s Day having been a few days ago. I have decided to learn more about prayer that touches God’s heart from a woman’s perspective and following last week’s challenge on being sincere with Him, I have begun to have a deeper relationship with Him. As I had hinted in the previous post, I will not come up with a new magical formula for effective prayer; rather I will bring back the basics that are often overlooked.
In scripture, I have found women, both in the New and Old Testaments, who understood God’s love for them and understood the meaning of genuine relationships. On one side, there was Hannah who was childless for the longest time and it really hurt her especially with the diminishing self-worth in her marriage. On the other side, we had Mary and Martha who had just lost their brother Lazarus and were described to be in deep pain when they met Jesus. These two stories seem to be worlds apart at a glance, Old Testament and New Testament, having a child and the death of a loved one, yet the common trend in the women brings out prayers after God’s heart. So what do these women have in common?
- Step in Faith
Hannah’s story starts off as a sad one, she goes out praying in a lot of pain; not only does her rival wife ridicule her for her childlessness but she had to go through the same answered prayer year after year to no avail.
1st Samuel 1:6-7 And her rival (Peninnah) also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it was, year by year, when she (Hannah) went up to the house of the Lord, that she (Peninnah) provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.
However when she made this last prayer at the tabernacle, she changed her whole countenance, she chose to be happy. Nothing had changed on the outside as she was still as childless as she was year after year but this time she believed that something was happening on the inside. When Eli stood in agreement with her and they put their faith together, she was pushed to the supernatural. The change inside her spirit as she put her faith in action brought the change on the outside by her being blessed with a child.
1st Samuel 1:17-19 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” And she said, “Let your maidservant find favour in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord, and returned and came to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her.
For both Mary and Martha the first statement on seeing Jesus Christ was one of disappointment. Had Jesus shown up earlier their brother, Lazarus, would still be alive.
John 11:21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
John 11:32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
The sisters had clearly despaired and to them there seemed to be no solution, what was done was done. However when they went to the tomb with Jesus, their faith was stretched. Lazarus had been dead for four days and yet Jesus wanted the tomb to be opened. They had to do something that did not make sense physically by opening a tomb that would obviously smell. They had to choose to go against their intellect and do all that they were being instructed by Jesus Christ. Nothing changed in the way they thought but they moved the stone that covered the tomb in faith.
John 11:39-41a Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.
The fastest way to touch God’s heart is through faith. Abraham was a friend of God because of faith; faith is what gave Him direct access to God’s heart and He moved His hand in favour of him. Faith is moving despite the situations remaining the same; Hannah had not changed physically yet she believed she would bear a child, Mary and Martha had not changed mentally in their view about Lazarus being dead yet they moved the stone from the tomb. These women needed that extra push in their faith and it came from Eli and Jesus. The people who speak into our lives drive our faith, we need to stay around people who bring out our faith rather than kill it. Take a self-assessment today-who speaks into your life? They have a key role in either building or destroying your faith.
Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 I communed with my heart saying, “Look I have attained greatness and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.” And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceive that this also is grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
It would not be fair to leave you with this information and let you try to change by your own wisdom and strength-it is like chasing the wind. Only in Jesus Christ does all this make sense and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit will we know the way to go. Say this prayer and receive a new life..
Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life, according to Romans 10:9-10—”If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead.
I am now reborn! I am a Christian—a child of Almighty God! I am saved! You also said in Your Word, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). I am also asking You to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues as You give me utterance (Acts 2:4).
The prayer was obtained from the Kenneth Copeland Ministries.