By Sandy Mayle
Lately I’ve become more and more aware of how very ignorant I am when I come to God in prayer.
I intercede for this one who has done an inexplicable about-face, for that situation I didn’t see coming and still don’t understand, for people involved I’ve never even met. Often I’m praying blind, relying on the Holy Spirit to help shape my petitions.
I’m not only ignorant in prayer, I’m impotent too. I cannot fix any of these needs on my own. That requires powers I don’t have, So when I come before God, I, in myself, don’t bring a lot to the throne room. I’m certainly not going to be the one who answers these prayers. But I’ve come to the One who can. And I’m realizing more and more who God is and all He has at His disposal for everything and everyone I’m interceding for.
All knowledge. Our Father possesses piercing and thorough insight into barriers thrown up and excuses thrown out and the hidden state of the heart. He’s fully aware of every nuance of every situation. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Heb 4:13).
You know, Lord, what lies behind. What lies within. What waits ahead. And You know exactly what needs to happen. My soul is comforted in this.
All power. God is omnipotent over all things terrestrial and celestial. He can move heaven and earth out of the way or into it. He sets boundaries around Satan and his forces. Just as Jeremiah prayed, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jer. 32:17), so I can pray with confidence:
Be mighty, my God, in the lives of my loved ones. In Your great power, stretch out Your arm on their behalf. Be for them.
All authority. Angels await God’s command. Evil people (Rom. 9:17) and pagans (Ezra 1:1) become instruments for His purposes. Times and seasons are in His hand; every force of nature–floods, hurricanes, earthquakes–is subject to His purposes. His authority extends to human nature: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (John 6:44).
O Lord, engage the forces of heaven and earth and people and all things to help these I pray for. Stand up in their lives like You “arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now!” (Mk. 4:39 Amp). In mercy, draw their hearts to You.
Unwavering attentiveness. Our Father’s eyes are always on everything and everyone. “Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? declares the Lord. (Jer. 23:24). “His eyes are on the ways of mortals; he sees their every step” (Job. 34:21).
I praise You for Your unbroken awareness, Your attention to every detail. You watch and watch over this hard place and these dear ones in ways I never could. Please cause them to sense Your eyes continually upon them.
Relentless love and tireless pursuit. Behind my loved ones march “those strong Feet that followed, followed after . . . with unhurrying chase, and unperturbed pace, deliberate speed, majestic instancy” (from “The Hound of Heaven” by Francis Thompson). God the Shepherd looks for the lost sheep until He finds it (Lk. 15:4). He pursues unswervingly, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
Come down any road You choose, Lord. Woo and wear them out. May they experience Your love, grace and mercy catching up with them, capturing their wills, winning their hearts.
These wonderful attributes of God are not magic genies that automatically and immediately produce results. Intercession is still warfare. People still have choices to make. But how joyful and powerful prayer becomes when I ask Him to bring these divine abilities to bear specifically, in the best ways possible, on the ones I am burdened for.
My heart is revived, my faith is strengthened and my intercession is raised to new levels when I’m praying on the premise that my Lord possesses no weakness, no ignorance, no inability to control circumstances. That He doggedly pursues those I love. That they are constantly on His heart and in His eye. All praise and glory to the God who answers prayer!
What an encouraging enterprise prayer becomes, if and when:
If I remember who I am speaking to.
When I pray with all that God has.
—Sandy Mayle is a freelance writer who has written for numerous publications including Prayer Connect. She and her husband Dave are from Erie, PA.