by Lynne Hammond
Emergency hours are coming upon the world. Hours that will require God's people to be a praying people. When I say "praying people," I'm not talking about people who just pray aimless, namby-pamby kinds of prayers. I'm talking about people who know how to pray supernaturally and bring the power of God to bear in a situation.
Where prayer is concerned, you and I can't afford to be "airheads." The Bible says it this way: "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead . . . Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wisesensible, intelligent people" (Ephesians 5:14-15, The Amplified Bible). In other words, don't be an airhead. Instead, pray purposefully and accurately.
How? I could write volumes in answer to that question. But for now, I just want to look briefly with you at three elements that are essential to supernatural prayer: faith, the Word and the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please [God]." In recent times, some people in the body of Christ have tried to separate the prayer of faith from other kinds of prayers and put it in a category by itself. But the truth is you always, always have to travel in faith no matter what kind of praying you are doing.
I like to think of faith as the vehicle that gets your prayers where they're going. If you don't use that vehicle, they won't ever get there. What's more, the higher your faith level is, the faster and more effective your prayers will be. You might say, the level of your faith will determine whether they go by pony express or by the Concorde.
So to pray supernaturally, you're going to have to constantly cultivate your faith by staying in the Word of God.
There is no way to overemphasize the importance of the Word of God in your prayer life. In John 15, Jesus said, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (verse 7).
What does it mean to live in Him and have His words remain in you? It means you're so full of His Word that when you come up against a problem in prayer, you latch onto the word God has given you about that problem and remain in it. You meditate on it and refuse to let go of it.
You see, when God gives you an assignment to pray for a specific situation, He'll always give you scriptures that show you how that situation is going to be resolved. He won't give you scriptures that reflect the problem the person is going through. He'll give you the scriptures that reflect the victory that's coming. He'll give you a promise to hold onto.
Those are the words that remain in you-and those are the words you pray. You don't pray the problems. That's the earthly part. You pray the heavenly part. You pray the victory.
I once heard someone say that when a black belt in karate stands in front of a stack of boards and prepares to split them wide open, he doesn't focus his attention on the boards. If he were to do that, he wouldn't break through them. He puts his focus down through the floor. That way the energy of his blow will take him right on through the boards to his point of focus.
It's the same way with prayer. You settle in on the Word of God deeper and deeper until it becomes implanted so deeply that you can't see that situation any other way. That is what the Bible calls "fervent" prayer, and it says it's a very powerful thing (James 5:16).
There is a story about George Mueller, a great man of God in the last century, which illustrates that kind of prayer very well. Mr. Mueller prayed for 57 years for a certain man's salvation-without any apparent success. Yet when someone asked him if he had any doubts as to whether the man would ever be saved, Mueller said he had none at all. He said he was as certain of that man's salvation as if he's seen him standing before the throne of God. Sure enough, the man was saved at George Mueller's funeral.
One thing you need to understand. Time is not a factor for God. We live in such a fast-paced world that everyone seems to want what they want instantly. They want God to do this or that right now. That doesn't work with God.
When I pray, I spend as much time just abiding in God as I do praying. Sometimes I only pray 15 or 20 minutes, but I've spent a lot of time prior to that just fellowshiping with the Lord and letting Him put things into my spirit.
This is where we miss it so much of the time. We get up in the morning and say, "Oh God, guide me today in my daily affairs." But when it comes to prayer, we don't want to have to wait on God and get direction from Him. That takes too long. We just want to jump out there and do whatever seems best to us.
Not only is it vital to give God time, but you need to learn to cooperate with the Holy Spirit when you pray. Prayer doesn't come from your head. It comes from your heart by the power of the Holy Ghost.
But before you can pray from your heart, you have to find out what's in there. You have to locate what is in your own heart. You can't pray from what is in someone else's heart.
A few years ago we had some seasoned prayer warriors in our church. A few other people started looking at what they did and said, "That's spiritual, so I'm going to do what they do."
Here is the mistake in that: You can't copy someone else's spirituality. What those prayer warriors were doing was great because it came directly out of their fellowship with God. But what the other people were doing only came out of watching someone else.
God never created you to be like anyone else. He only makes originals. God wants you to pray out of your own heart. He wants you to listen for the cues the Holy Spirit is giving you personally.
Cues? Yes, cues! Subtle signals and hints. Quiet inner suggestions. God is giving His people cues all the time. But most people miss them because they're looking for the wrong thing. They're looking for something spectacular. They want goose pimples and a great revelation to get them started praying.
But the Holy Spirit doesn't usually operate like that. What He does is send you cues, and if you're not looking in the right place, you'll miss them.
Have you ever been driving along in your car and someone that you haven't thought of in years suddenly crosses your mind? Then two weeks later, you hear they were in a car accident and are laid up in the hospital. You go see them and say, "Isn't it strange? I was just thinking of you two weeks ago."
Do you know what you did? You missed your cue. The Holy Spirit is inside you.
Do you think He brought that person to your mind so you could just think about them? No, He wanted you to pray!
If you'll learn to respond to those cues and yield to that force, it will get bigger and bigger. He'll give you more and more people to pray about. He'll even start giving you cues to pray for people you don't know.
That happened to me a few years ago. All summer long I prayed for a man I'd never heard of. The Holy Spirit just caused his name to come up inside me. It was "Guy Hunter." When I prayed for him, I could see him crouched down in some sort of a box. The heat was coming down on that box and he was about to suffocate. So I prayed Psalm 91 over him fervently. I prayed the protection of God over him.
One morning, just after the war with Iraq had begun, I turned on the television and heard the newscasters talking about the prisoners of war who had been taken captive. One of the pilots mentioned was Guy Hunter!
I just said, "Glory to God!" because I knew he'd be all right. I'd been praying for him all summer. You see, the Holy Spirit doesn't want you to be praying about things after they've already happened. He wants to show you things to come so you can get to them with the power of God before they get to you.
That's supernatural praying. It is what God wants for His people. It's not the kind of praying where you say, "Let me see now, where's my prayer list? What Word can I pray over this situation?"
Praying like this involves a supernatural move of God. But remember, that move doesn't necessarily start with lightning bolts or great revelations. It begins with those quiet little cues from the Holy Spirit.
So start listening for those cues. Pray from your heart. Let the Holy Spirit lead. When He gives you His Word about the outcome of a situation-pray it fervently and don't let it go. And above all, keep your faith constantly in gear.
Those are the elements that will bring the power of God to bear in a situation. Those are the elements that will take you into supernatural prayer. Believe me, in the emergency hours ahead, that kind of prayer is not just an option. It's the only thing strong enough to see us through.