Friday, May 21, 2010
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Someone finally started looking at us Americans and realizing that a bunch of us are a whole lot bigger than we ought to be. And I don't mean we're too tall! You know? I know what the weight battle is all about - I know it's hard, I know your weight has nothing to do with your worth, but it can have something to do with your health. I guess all the talk about our weight and our health has even affected some of the fast-food restaurants - who might conceivably have something to do with the "widening of America." Oh, they're changing, having healthier offerings and reducing fat and sodium. And then, not too long ago, they started to get rid of "super-sizing it." Remember, we'd go in and they would ask you after you'd placed your order, "Would you like to super-size that?" They might as well have asked, "Would you like to super-size you?" In many places, there's no more super-sizing.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Secrets of Super-Sized Prayer."
I'm happy to report that God is still in the super-sizing business. Except He's asking, "Would you like for Me to super-size your life?" He does it through super-sized praying - believing God for things only He can do. Maybe you're in one of those "got to be God" times right now - it's got to be God or it's not going to be! Then you're ready for the secrets of miracle-making prayer. They're actually found in 1 Samuel 1, beginning with verse 10, our word for today from the Word of God.
Hannah is childless. She desperately wants a child. Her prayer, which results ultimately in the birth of Samuel, one of Israel's great leaders, contains those secrets of super-sized prayer. The Bible says, "In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow saying, 'Lord Almighty, if You will look upon your servant's misery...and give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life...And she kept on praying to the Lord."
Let's stop for some of those secrets of super-sized praying. First, problems turned into prayer. You can turn a problem into many things: worry, resentment, self-pity, negativity, or heartfelt prayer. That's the mountain-moving choice. That's what Hannah did with her problems. The psalmist said, "I pour out my complaint before Him; before Him I tell my trouble" (Psalm 142:2). Admit your bankruptcy in the situation, and He'll open up His bounty. Then, the second secret Hannah shows us is pursuing your all-powerful Lord. She calls God "Lord Almighty" - that's mightier than the mightiest possibility. When you come to Him, come to Him as the one who's got the whole world in His hands.
There's a third secret in this prayer, too - pre-surrendered results. As much as Hannah wants a son, she says, "Lord, if You give him to me, I won't hang onto him. He's Yours." And she kept that promise. God will trust you with what you want so much when you give it back to Him in advance. Otherwise, when you get it, you may make an idol of it or let it come between you and your Lord Almighty. It has to be pre-surrendered. Notice, too, another secret Hannah shows us - persistence in the Throne Room. She "kept on" praying. Faith grows, your spiritual muscles grow, as you wait on the Lord and keep coming to Him trusting Him for your answer.
One final secret of super-sized prayer - Hannah said of her prayer, "I was pouring out my soul to the Lord" (1 Samuel 1:15). God loves it when we come to Him, not with our usual script and our religious self, but all hanging out with our real, true emotions. The deep contents of your soul become the substance of your prayer. Passion in your praying is one of those powerful prayer secrets.
The end of the story? God gives Hannah Samuel, she takes him to the temple and gives him to the Lord's service, and God gives this woman who couldn't have children three more sons, and two daughters! And that name she gave her little answer to prayer, Samuel, means "heard by God." Everywhere Samuel went, he was a walking testimony to a prayer-answering God, and so are you.