What You Can Do With Your Impossible Situation?
When Prayer is Your Only Option – Part 4
The phrase is there’s nothing humanly possible that we can do. When you hear these words, it’ll take your breath away. The only option we have is to seek help outside of humanity. When you have a problem, a conquest so big you can’t see any way that’s humanly possible, this is the recipe for a thirty-thousand-foot prayer.
In this message, we will provide a how-to lesson on praying with compassion. Praying with compassion means placing oneself in the shoes of another. As alluded to in the previous message, I left you at the point where (20+ years ago) I had visited Mrs. R., who’d been hospitalized and her life completely altered with the effects of a stroke. Honestly, I knew very little about prayer back then, but today what I realize is that I knew more about prayer then, than most do at any point in time. Note that knowing very little about prayer is common, ordinary, and average. That’s a lesson for another day.
However, let’s get to what I learned following that visit. I asked myself, how would I pray if I were Mr. R.? How would I pray if it were my wife who was laying in that hospital bed?
We Always Have Actions We Can Take.
When praying with compassion, there are some actions that one can take. I concluded that there were two actions I could take. Let me explain what praying would look like if I were Mr. R.
- God and I would have an issue over this situation.
You see if my wife were laying in that hospital room, God and I would have a problem. I’m not saying I’d try to pick a fight with God; that’s stupid, but it’s normal. A normal human-being would get mad at God for causing this problem or even blame Him. The average person would then turn away from Him because of it.
Instead of taking the natural approach, I’d do my best to wear God out night and day. In teaching on prayer, Jesus gave an illustration using a story about a widow who repeatedly requested justice from an ungodly judge. The judge rendered her a just decision because he was sick and tired of her repeated requests. In other words she wore him out with her requests. If this is what it takes to get God to hear me when I pray on behalf of my wife, then like the widow, I am going to repeatedly take my case to God. I am going to wear Him out day and night. Jesus uses this story to show that it’s necessary to pray consistently and never quit. Could it be that we’ve not gotten an answer to our prayer because we’ve settled with being normal and have given up?
Having compassion in this situation with Mrs. R. says it’s not someone else’s wife on the hospital bed, but it’s mine. So then, how am I going to pray?
- This is where we must take our prayer.
Through an image of the human anatomy, I remember God giving me the idea on where my prayer must go. If this was my wife, I would study the human anatomy. In studying the human anatomy, I’d wear God out by praying over every muscle that’s not functioning as it was intended to function. Are you with me?
For example, since her arm lost its abilities, I’d start with the area where the muscles stop working. If it were her hand that’s not working, I find that area on the anatomy diagram which in this case is 7 muscles which operate the hand as it reaches the wrist. Next, I’d pray over her “Adductor pollicis”, her “tendon extensor pollicis longus”, until I reached the “flexor pollicis longus”. While the words may be hard to pronounce, I’d learn how to pronounce them so that I could pray to God. As I would visit with her I would speak to the areas and tell them to receive life again and function. I think you might be starting to get the point. Could it be that our prayers haven’t been answered because we’ve not prayed specifically, consistently, and without quitting?
We must know how to pray and get results.
As I mentioned previously, Pamela and I have a more recent experience of a hospital visit under the same circumstances. This time having knowledge of the thirty-thousand-foot prayer, I had a different way to pray and therefore we could expect to receive different results.
Our friend was made blind from his stroke and the doctors said he’d not regain his sight. What a devastating blow for any person or family? There’s those words we mentioned at the start of this message; there’s’ nothing we can do humanly to alter this outcome.
When asked to visit him in SICU, I realized I’d need some God support in what to say upon arriving at the hospital. So, I prayed. I took my prayer from high in the sky, thirty-thousand-feet as I did 20 years ago, to ground level. Here’s what God spoke to me. Since our friend’s sight was the issue, then pray for his sight to be restored and I was reminded not to want his recovered sight more than he did. That’s the what I need to say portion. On the other side of our praying for our friend, came a set of actions to take. God will, more times than not, give us an action to take and here was mine.
I heard these words in my thought, let’s go into “two-a-days.” Let me explain what that means. I must pray for our friend twice a day. To be more specific, I must pray at the visitation hours each day; that’s 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for SICU. So with agreement, I said God I can do that, but how long must I do this? The last time I was on such a prayer assignment, it lasted three years. I’ll speak more of this in our next episode. It was in this reply that I cut a deal with God. I asked Him to give me results in my prayer, not for me, but for the people I’m honored to lead as a prayer coach and those who might read this content on “the thirty-thousand-foot prayer.” If I’m going to be a prayer coach, I need to be able to show that I know how to pray and get results.
We are to take action when praying with compassion.
If there is but one thing to take from the principle of the thirty-thousand-foot prayer and praying with compassion, it’s these three actions.
- Break it (you problem) down into pieces.
Whatever it is we face, break it down into pieces, the smallest pieces. Put the work into seeing what it takes to overcome your big prayer request. List all the components or challenges.
Maybe you’re trying to purchase a home. Study to find out what’s needed to do so and begin praying for each component. This is what Pamela and I did. First, our credit. Then the credit repair tool, the advice we received, and the plan to walk it out. Next it was getting control over our bills. Then there was obtaining a down-payment. Then there was the mortgage agent and company. I wish I could go into all the details, but I need to continue.
- Pray over the smallest levels until you see results.
Begin praying over the things that you can potentially see results in immediately. Like any goals we set, we like to see progress and accomplishments. The same is true in prayer, when you see progress, it fuels you to continue pressing forward.
Maybe you’re praying for a child to be free from a drug addiction. Pray for the one small step he/she can take next. That step might be that he/she will admit they have a problem and the desire to want to change. Start small. Wear God out with this request until you see results.
- Don’t move on to the next step until you see the results you’re asking for or He’s showing you.
How long should you pray? You pray until you get some type of results whether good or not so good. If no results, you need to break it apart further and find the area that you can further impact with your prayers. Remind yourself you have nothing to lose by praying. It’s said that even before you may the call and even while you are making your request, God will hear you.
Did you know that it’s said of Jesus that what looks humanly impossible, becomes possible with God. What that means is simply this, when you find yourself in impossible situations, you need to get with God. Outside of Him, there is no way your impossible situation will ever be possible.
Question: what will you do when you hit an impossible to move wall?
Reference #1: Matthew 19:26 NLT, Bible.com, accessed April 8, 2021, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/MAT.19.26.NLT
Reference #2: Luke 18:1-8 NIV, Bible.com, accessed April 8, 2021, https://www.bible.com/bible/111/LUK.18.1-8.NIV
Reference #3: Isaiah 65:24 NIV, Bible.com, accessed April 8, 2021, https://www.bible.com/bible/111/ISA.65.24.NIV
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.