What Will You Do When Faced With A Bad Situation?
The Reason for a Thirty Thousand Foot Prayer – Part 2
Could it be that you’ve fallen prey to the idea “prayer doesn’t work for anyone?” I want to say it’s okay because it’s normal, but you know I can’t do that. It’s not okay because normal thinking is flawed and leads us down a path that produces normal results. If we believe this normal thought that prayer doesn’t work for me, then we travel down a path to results based on prayer not working for me. Just as believing prayer doesn’t work for me, believing prayer doesn’t work for others is equally normal. Let’s take a look at each of the scenarios individually.
Prayer hasn’t worked for me.
My prayer isn’t working, hasn’t worked, and my situation still remains. This is where a person finds themselves when they attempt this exercise called prayer. Let me state this while it’s in my thoughts. What would make a normal person believe they know how to do something that’s not normal, like pray and do it successfully? Here are other normal questions that might be running through your head. Why must I pray? Isn’t someone else praying? Haven’t other people been praying? Surely it doesn’t come down to me and my prayer life. If this is the case, I’m doomed, this situation is doomed. I’m not the one who hears from God that’s for someone like Moses or the church pastor. I’m not qualified to pray over such a large problem or make such a large request. Have you ever had these thoughts? Know anyone in this situation? If your answer is ‘yes’, you’re in the right place because that’s normal.
Prayer hasn’t worked for others.
“I never met anyone who says their prayers work.” – Anonymous
This is a real quote that came from a young lady who had no idea what prayer was. She thought prayer was that activity old people participated in, but wasn’t meant to produce positive results in their life. It was simply an ineffective ritual. My response to hearing her say this was…she’s never met anyone who’s actually prayed before. Think of it this way, do you actually believe that talking to the God of the universe would be pointless or useless? She never thought of prayer as the communication method a person uses to communicate with the commander and chief of Heaven, who is also her loving Father. You see normal thinking will have you believe you can’t talk to the commander and chief of the Universe. That’s okay if you’d like to remain normal. This website is called no-longer-common because you want to know what’s just on the other side of normal. Therefore, you’re interested in knowing about others who’ve prayed and had their prayer reach Heaven and worked. In fact, you’re not reading this because you want normal results, you’re reading this because normal results and normal thinking hasn’t worked in the same way you believe your prayers haven’t worked. Not only that, normal people have a way of spreading the news that their prayer doesn’t work. In doing so, they miss the point that even when it comes to your thirty-thousand-foot prayer, normal, ordinary, common just isn’t enough. Let’s see what the story of Nehemiah has to say about it when he encounters the makings of his bad situation.
“Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem. They said to me, “Things are not going well…”” – bible.com/116/neh.1.2-3.nlt
The story of Nehemiah begins with a visit from one of his brothers, who has arrived from his home town with the bad news. Let’s put ourselves in Nehemiah’s shoes for a moment. His people, that’s his relatives. It’s the people in his nationality. It’s the group who were chosen by God and showed tremendous favor throughout all time. The same people who escaped Pharaoh of Egypt. The ones who walked through the Red Sea. I said through the Red Sea. They were fed directly from the hands of God. They heard God speak directly to them while on their way to the land promised to them. After all the miracles this group experienced they find themselves no longer captives in Egypt but in ruins in Jerusalem. Why in the name of all that’s right would they now be in ruins? Why would God stop favoring His special people now?
So, the problem has reached Nehemiah. Before it reached him, Nehemiah was unheard of. Now we find Nehemiah coming face to face with the problem so big that it impacts a nation of people.
When problems remain far away, it’s okay to pray a “normal” 30-thousand-foot prayer and not expect an answer. It doesn’t impact you. I’m certain this wasn’t the only time Nehemiah had concerns about his very own hometown and its people. When big problems don’t impact you there’s no urgency to do anything, even pray. But when the situation comes into your homeland, what then? Not only will you pray, you want others to pray and get involved. What happens when no one moves to aid in the problem you face and your entire family is facing? This is the making of your bad situation.
What are you facing that’s impacting your world? What has been brought to your attention that seems someone else should be responsible for handling? This is the making of a bad situation which has your name on it. The only question remains is this. Will you treat it like a “normal” 30 thousand foot prayer, pray, and hope that it goes away? At least goes away for you? Or will you do something else?
Join us next week at NoLongerCommon.com to find out what “something else”, something not normal, looks like.
Thanks for reading and sharing this installment of “The Reason for a 30 Thousand Foot Prayer.”