Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! James 5:17
The goal of effective prayer is to align our wills with God’s. But sometimes we treat prayer as though it was a spiritual checklist, and once we’ve gone down the list, we are free to resume our normal lives. The Bible doesn’t present prayer that way. Even the idea of a “prayer list” can be misleading if we view communication with God as a duty. Praying down a list is fine, but don’t stop there. After we have complained, begged, repented, claimed and exhausted our list of demands, God is just getting started. Some Christians call this “praying through.”
“Praying through” means we’ve come to the end of our ability to pray, and we let the Holy Spirit take over (Rom. 8:26). The real passions of God’s heart are usually revealed at the end of our prayer list. He longs for us to join Him in His work on earth. He is not indifferent to our wants and needs; He simply has a bigger agenda in mind. Prayer is like a parent who takes a child to the doctor for vaccinations. The child may beg not to go, but a wise parent does not allow a child’s desires to supersede the bigger plan. Our prayers are often attempts to supersede God’s bigger plan. When we “pray through,” we come to know the heart of God in a deeper way so that our prayers, like Elijah’s, bring about uncommon results.
Have you approached prayer as a checklist to be completed? Try praying through, and God will join you.