By: Robin Halvorson
On Easter Sunday 2019, a little-known terrorist group bombed 3 churches in Colombo, Sri Lanka killing nearly 300 people and injuring almost 500. It was a blatant attack on observers of this sacred holiday, and here in the US we grieve for our brothers and sisters and are left with a helpless feeling as there is little we can do to help. This is so often the case when tragedy, terrorism, war or natural disasters strike. We feel powerless in the face of the immense suffering, and the question "why God?" often lingers in our minds. We know we should pray... but how do we pray for breakthrough when something seems as foreboding and impenetrable as terrorism? Do our prayers have an impact in these impossible and tragic situations? The answer is YES, they absolutely do!
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14 -
“And this is the confidence we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. -1 John 5:14-15-
“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” -Matthew 21:22-
On a nuclear level, my husband and I have asked these very questions while we wrestle with our daughters’ diagnosis of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. We have been told our two girls will never walk, and the prospect of healing oftentimes seems impossible. However, we continue to pray in faith because we believe the word of God is true, and we know, without a shadow of a doubt, Christ died on the cross for our daughters’ healing! So, we continue to stand in faith that one day the impossible will be made possible in their lives!
Maybe you are struggling with an impossible diagnosis, or maybe you feel terrorized in your life through toxic relationships or financial struggles. Here are a few pillars I’ve established in my walk with the Lord which may help you in your prayer life as you traverse through “impossible” terrain:
1. Remember the strength of your God! When I encounter a mountain, I don’t think I can climb, I remember the strength of my Father in Heaven. He created the heavens and the Earth! As the children’s song goes, “He holds the whole world in His hands.” If you’ve ever gone to the beach and seen the waves crashing on the shore, you’ve seen the massive strength of our God! The wind and waves obey His every command (Matthew 8:23-27). Your Father is the creator of the universe!! Nothing is too big for Him!
“God sits above the circle of the Earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” -Isaiah 40:22-
2. Remember the strength inside of you! You are the very daughter of this King that sits above the Earth and commands the wind and waves! And as a daughter of the King, your words have power as you are speaking as a representative of your Father. As you grow in your identity and understanding that He desires you to walk in His authority, His words will become your words. The mountains in your life have to crumble at your feet because your Father is the King of Kings! He is bigger than any mountain you could ever face!
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” – Romans 8:11-
“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind in Earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in heaven.” -Matthew 18:18-
3. Remember what your Father says about you! You are treasured and deeply loved by God. In fact, Luke 12 says He has numbered every hair on your head. One of the best ways for me to relate to the Father’s love for me is think of the way I love my own children. I have three children under 5 years old, and I think each one is the cutest kiddo on the planet. Even the little things they do delight my heart! I think they are the most brilliant, most hilarious, most beautiful children and all they have to do is simply be themselves. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized God loves me the same way I love my children. He rejoices in every victory and weeps over every loss in my life. He wants me to succeed and never disciplines out of punishment only love. So, when I encounter impossible mountains in my life, I remind myself that my Father is behind me propelling me forward and cheering me on just as I do my own children! He is delighted with every movement of my life, and because of that I can never fail only grow and mature.
“Now you are no longer a slave, but God’s own child. And since you are His child, God has made you His heir.” -Galatians 4:7-
“I have called you by name, you are mine.” -Isaiah 43:1-
So, Beloved, when you face seemingly impossible situations in your life, or when you pray for world events that seem far beyond your grasp, remember the character of our Father in heaven. He is good no matter the situation, and He turns mourning into dancing and replaces sorrow with joy. He is the creator of the universe that lives inside of you and calls you His own. In the face of tragedy and destruction, we have this assurance that God is always faithful and always good. And, our prayers are simply agreeing with His character and activating our faith to agree with what He speaks over our life. You, Beloved, are a MOUNTAIN MOVER!
About the author // Robin Halvorson is a part of the Beloved Team. She lives in Roanoke, TX along with her husband, Jordan, two girls, Shiloh & Gabrielle, and her son, Judah. She is a member of New Life Worship and leads worship for Tuesday Night Prayer. She is currently a stay at home mom. With a degree in Communication and Worship Leadership from Oral Roberts University, she was a public speaker for nearly 10 years speaking to students across Texas and the surrounding region about abstinence and bullying.
By: Joy Carignan
Developing a good prayer life is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. Prayer is simply talking to God. It doesn't need to be more complicated.
As a child, I remember thinking prayer was so REVERANT and just a tiny bit scary. In prayer groups, I would be intimidated by other's passion and ferver. It didn't make a lot of sense to me. So, I decided when I wanted to talk to God, I would lay on my bed and simply talk. Nothing fancy; just a child talking like I would talk to anybody. I would tell Him about my day, about all the things I wanted, and all the things I was afraid of. I would even ask God questions about the shadows on the wall or the clouds in the sky. It was simple; it was pure.
Matthew 18:4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The simplicity of my seven-year-old self talking to God is the foundation of my prayer life. It hasn't changed much since then. I still come before the Lord and talk about my day. As I have grown, I have learned, like any child, how to have a conversation. I now LISTEN a lot more in my prayer time than I did as a child. There is an exchange in this discussion now. It is no longer the incessant prattling of a child, my prayers have developed into a genuine conversation.
John 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.
There may be times in your life when a great stand of faith is required and serious fasting and prayer is necessary. Turn to scripture and the Beloved community to help you stand firm and pray during those times. However, every day a culture of prayer, a consistent line of communication between you and God, is needed to sustain your whole life.
In my quiet time, a short time back I was feeling pressure. Pressure to be better, somehow more, to work harder, and be more perfect! I was starting to drive myself into works and religiosity in my prayers. But, God stopped me and said, "work on intimacy, not perfection!" Take this line and post it on your wall, make it the screen saver on your phone, write it in your Bible, whatever you need it to get it in your soul. The whole point of PRAYER is INTIMACY. That is the end goal. It's the win of your Christian walk: To have an INTIMATE relationship with GOD!
Any time you read your Bible, pray, or worship, strive after intimacy with God. Make that the goal, the end mark, the desire of your heart! In pursuit of this goal, the world will fall away, and the purpose of prayer will be unveiled. The beautiful conversation with your creator will become simple. As simple as a child talking to a loving Father.
Joy Carignan is the World Missions Director at New Life Family Church in Euless, TX. As a recent graduate of Oral Roberts University, Joy led prayer in the ORU prayer room for several years and now is prayer leader on Tuesday Night Prayer at New Life.