“As a child of God, you ought to expect God to answer your prayers. Do you ask God to do something without adjusting your life to what you are praying? If you are praying for revival, how are you preparing for its coming? If you are praying for forgiveness, are you still living with guilt? If you have asked God to provide for your needs, do you remain worried and anxious? Ask God to increase your faith, and then begin living a life that reflects absolute trust in Him.” Henry Blackaby
We all want God to answer our prayers. We believe in the power of prayer. But when it comes down to our own individual lives and our own problems, we often don’t have the faith to believe God will answer. We are often trapped by our unbelief and independence. But God is preparing us for the end-time harvest. He wants to enlarge our territory. He wants to bless us with increase, because His nature is to bless. We are the ones who limit God because of our lack of faith and our fear of stepping out in dependence on Him. The truth is that the things we do for God should be outside of our own ability and trusting in His supernatural ability. When we back away from dependence, we are not living by faith. We need to be willing to attempt things big enough that unless God’s steps in, we are sure to fail. This is the kind of faith and dependence He is looking for in our life. Remember the Jabez prayer in I Chronicles 4:10 that many of us were praying a couple of years ago:
“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.”
He cried out to God to enlarge his territory and bless him. He cried out for God’s hand to be with him. We, too, are made for destiny. We have a God-inspired desire to impact our world. Created for something bigger than ourselves, we are designed to touch a lost world. As intercessors, we long to make an impact on our land for eternity – whether it is where we work, live, or minister. But in reality, most of us are afraid to step out by faith. We are afraid of failing. Why are we afraid to become dependent on a God who has unlimited resources? But if we pray for God to enlarge our borders, we must be dependent on Him and prepared to believe for miracles that only God can bring about.
“God’s bounty is limited only by us, not by His resources, power, or willingness to give. Jabez was blessed simply because he refused to let any obstacle, person, or opinion loom larger than God’s nature. And God’s nature is to bless.”
When reading the book, The Prayer of Jabez, many of us were praying that God would enlarge our territory. God gives us the desires of our hearts and He wants to answer extraordinary prayers combined with extraordinary faith in the impossible. He wants us to live beyond our self-imposed limits. He wants to give us favor, but many of us don’t believe it. I encourage you to begin to pray big prayers, because God is able to bless. I am right now praying for big things for Intercessors Arise; things that are absolutely impossible unless God comes through. I want to believe God for the supernatural in intercession, for the impossible to become possible, for His extraordinary hand of power in situations in nations. I want to believe God for a mighty prayer movement that covers the earth. To do so, I need to be ready to take action according to God’s direction. I know that I must demonstrate my dependence on Him by stepping out by faith in whatever way He leads. Bruce Wilkinson, author of The Prayer of Jabez, says the following:
“The most exhilarating miracles in my life have always started with a bold request to expand God’s kingdom a lot. When you take little steps, you don’t need God. It’s when you thrust yourself in the mainstream of God’s plan for this world – which are beyond our ability to accomplish – and plead with Him, Lord, use me – give me more ministry for You – that you release miracles.”
My willingness and weakness + God’s will and supernatural power = God’s unlimited opportunity to bless
What God is trying to teach each one of us is dependence on His strong hand and supernatural power. When we surrender our weakness into the mighty hand of God, then our needs and problems turn into His unlimited opportunity. Then God becomes great through us. Then he can entrust us with an enlarged territory and the fulfillment of our destiny. But we have to take steps of faith even if they are small. God honors these steps and turns them into His unlimited opportunity because at that very point, we become dependent on Him. This is His plan for each one of our lives as intercessors. I encourage you to take time, and meditate on this. If we are willing to give God our weakness and obey His Word by faith, then it opens the door for supernatural power and God’s opportunity to bless. What step of faith is God asking you to take today? What impossibility will you put into His hands and by faith obey what He tells you to do? Will you invite Him today to take over? Will you trust Him? Will you put everything into His almighty hands, adjust your life to what you are praying for, and step out by faith in whatever way He leads. When you do this, you become dependent in His dependable hands. He is waiting for your invitation to enlarge you in faith.
Notice that Jabez did not begin his prayer by asking for God’s hand to be with him. At that point, he didn’t sense the need. Things were still manageable. His risks, and the fears that go with them, were minimal. But when his boundaries got moved out, and the kingdom-sized tasks of God’s agenda started coming at him, Jabez knew he needed a divine hand – and fast. He could have turned back, or he could have tried to keep going in his own strength. Instead he prayed. If seeking God’s blessing is our ultimate act of worship, and asking to do more for Him is our utmost ambition, then asking for God’s hand upon us is our strategic choice to sustain and continue the great things that God has begun in our lives. That’s why you could call God’s hand on you ‘the touch of greatness.’ You do not become great; you become dependent on the strong hand of God. Your surrendered need turns into His unlimited opportunity. And He becomes great through you.” Unnamed quotes by Bruce Wilkinson