Prayer Takes Work

Learn How to Farm Your Prayers

The Business of Prayer – Part 4

Let this thought sink in. Prayer takes work and work produces results. I can’t understand why a person would pray and not expect anything to come of their prayer. What we’ve discovered is that it’s time to break the generational misunderstanding and lack of understanding when it comes to prayer. Prayer like any other worthwhile activity takes work. If it were easy then everyone would do it and do it well. What if I were to ask you to take paper & pen and write a list of “everything.” Yes, “every thing.” Where would you start? Where would you stop? How would you make sure you covered everything? How long would it take for you to draft a list of everything? Now think about this. After having a list of everything, how long would it take to pray about everything you listed? If you’ve not asked these questions regarding prayer, you and I have a lot to learn. While prayer is easy, then again it is not, since one of the directives is to pray about everything. With that said, one should include making praying about everything a priority-objective. [1] This is the business of “next level” prayer!

Prayer takes work; it results in work.
Have you given much thought to how Jonah ended up in the belly of a whale? Most normal people have no idea. In fact, very few realize it was because of prayer. First, God spoke to Jonah and gave him an assignment to deliver a specific message to the great city of Nineveh. In other words, Jonah prayed, he talked to God and from that conversation there was work to be done. Jonah decided he wanted nothing to do with that. [2] However as the story goes, a powerful storm threatened to destroy the ship on which he sailed. The crew onboard decided to cast lots, whatever that means, to determine whose God was offended and the cause of such a storm. As the story goes the lot landed on Jonah. [3] Jonah advised the crew to throw him overboard, get rid of me, end my life, in order to save the crew and ship. Instead of carrying out Jonah’s wishes they did something that was peculiar. This crew, the sailors, prayed to Jonah’s God for what they were about to do. [4] They prayed over the work that must be done even though that work was throwing Jonah off the ship. As a result of these two prayers, you know what happened next. Again, prayer takes work and it results in some work.

You don’t get to just drop it off (your prayer requests) and abandon them.
You’d be surprised at what God will ask you to do when you’re asking Him to do something, especially when you have a big request. Following the story of Jonah proves that sometimes you have to pray even when faced with throwing someone overboard. You don’t get to just drop off your prayer requests and simply leave it to God. You have work to do. Since we know that most people fall into the category of 90% unanswered prayers, could it be that they simply tried to drop off their prayer without putting any work in? Let’s reverse this, when you pray, wait to hear what God is saying for you to do.

That means you’ll have no more generic prayers beyond this point. Do you know what it means to pray a generic prayer? I mean you’ll pray prayers that ask the question, God what will You have me do next with this? A generic prayer is one of those 099 prayers we’ve talked about. A generic prayer is one that you recite from memory. A generic prayer is that type of prayer that gets a check mark on the list that you’ve completed a prayer for the day. No generic prayers beyond this point, be specific.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” [5]

There was a blind man by the name of Bartimaeus who cried out to Jesus. He’d decided to no longer sit there the same old way he had in the past. He decided to do something that wasn’t normal. He cried out with a loud voice.

There’s no doubt that Jesus and those with him knew that Bartimeaeus was blind. Jesus asked this blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” What a question? Would you have gotten smart with Jesus at this point and said what do you mean? Can’t you see I’m blind? How would you have responded?

This blind man realized that he had Jesus’ attention and Jesus had just asked him for his request (prayer request). Notice what the blind man didn’t say. He didn’t say Lord bless me. He didn’t even say Lord heal me. He could have said Lord can’t you see I’m blind; but he didn’t. Rather the blind man was specific. “I want to see!” When you have God’s attention, there’s no time to beat around the bush. Be specific because in your heart which God sees is the specific results that you desire. Such prayers take work and it’s work that produces results.

Knowing what you are responsible for.
Moses had been leading the Israelites for over a year and the Lord spoke to Him. Don’t miss it; this is prayer. God gave Moses specific instructions on how to track all the warriors by clan and family. In other words, Moses had to create a database of those enlisted in the armies of Israel. [6] After Moses concluded the work that came from prayer, his conversation with God, it’s said that the number in his database records was 603,550. [7] Are you really ready to perform the work that comes as a result of what you pray? What would you do if God asked you to record 600 thousand names? When you pray, you become responsible to what God asks you to do. In fact, more times than not you’ve not prayed until God has given you some work in return.

Since we’re talking about what you are responsible for when you pray, you’re responsible to keep praying until. I like that passage  that says, if you keep asking, you receive. If you keep knocking, you enter. [8] If you keep seeking, you find. I like adding this to the mix, if you just keep praying, you will hear from God. You are responsible to keep on praying and never stop.

You see, you must pray like your prayers are seeds.
“The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens.” – Jesus [9]

The ways of God work like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Because prayer is a kingdom action, then it too is like planting seeds. The more you plant, the more you can expect to harvest. Prayer takes work. Sometimes you’re planting. Other times you’re watching it grow and removing the weeds. Other times, you’re guarding the field and protecting it from insects or animals that will try to eat and destroy your crop. Prayer takes work. Other times, you’re gathering the harvest. Have you been planting enough in prayer? What are you seeing grow as a result of the work of prayer? What harvest have you collected from your work in prayer? This is the business of prayer.

Question: what work will you begin putting into your prayer efforts?

[1] Philippians 4:6 NLT‬, Bible.com, accessed March 21, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/PHP.4.6.NLT
[2] Jonah 1:3 NLT‬, Bible.com, accessed April 20, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/JON.1.3.NLT
[3] Jonah 1:7 NLT‬, Bible.com, accessed April 20, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/JON.1.7.NLT
[4] Jonah 1:14-17 NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬, Bible.com, accessed April 20, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/JON.1.14-17.NLT
[5] Mark 10:51‬ ‭NLT‬‬, Bible.com, accessed April 20, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/MRK.10.51.NLT
[6] ‭‭Numbers‬ ‭1:1-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬, Bible.com, accessed April 20, 2022, https://www.bible.com/116/num.1.1-4.nlt
[7] ‭‭Numbers‬ ‭1:46‬ ‭NLT‬‬, Bible.com, accessed April 20, 2022, https://www.bible.com/116/num.1.46.nlt
[8] Matthew‬ ‭7:7-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬, Bible.com, accessed April 20, 2022, ‬‬https://bible.com/116/mat.7.7-11.nlt
[9] Mark 4:26-29 NLT‬‬, Bible.com, accessed April 20, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/MRK.4.26-29.NLT

All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.

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