Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Isaiah 35:4
While meditating on Isaiah 35 this morning, my heart was quickened and renewed with the assurance that we will see God’s glory in the midst of our dry desert, and the excellency of our God in every situation that we go through.
In Isaiah 35:1, it says your wilderness and dry land shall be glad and your desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose. It goes on to say your desert will blossom abundantly! If you understand it in its natural context it seems like an oxymoron. When one thinks of a desert they attribute it to barrenness, dryness, emptiness, and isolation. But when we go back and read in Isaiah 35: 1, it says “the Solitary place shall be glad for them.” It is saying this solitary place is good for you because it is teaching you how to be strong, it is equipping you with spiritual armor, and forcing you to rely on and trust God even though your situation looks dismal in the physical. More, the solitary place is where your faith is being developed, and where your praise is born. Calling down prayer rain is to send praise up to heaven.
In Isaiah 35:6, it says in the desert the tongue of the dumb will sing. It says upon this singing waters shall break out and streams shall flow in the desert. I believe it is saying the tongue of the ‘unlearned’ will learn how to praise and worship their God, and upon doing so rivers of blessings shall flow into their barren places and dry lands.
The desert is where you learn how to praise God before the victory. The desert is where you learn to thank Him for the many blessings He has already bestowed upon you. The desert is where you praise Him for the trials in your life because you know according to “His excellency,” everything will work out for your good. It is where you thank Him for your desert experience because it is truly a blessing in disguise. And lastly, the desert is where you learn how to praise God in advance for answers still to come.
In speaking to different people about their prayer habits and prayer life, I noticed a common theme: Their prayer life is a direct reflection of their daily life. What I notice is a lot of people do not persevere until they get results. Many people with dire needs and circumstances may go to God in prayer but when their needs aren’t met in their timeframe they give up and stop praying. They do not push through until the end. It is the same method they use in their daily lives. They may start a project, task or goal but when they do not see satisfactory results they easily give up. The problem is this pattern of behavior becomes habitual. The person’s thinking is more focused on the task not working as opposed to their own belief system, stamina and endurance. They do not realize that the fault lies in their perseverance instead of the task.
First, before pursuing any assignment or goal one must be passionate about it. If you’re not passionate about it it’s not going to propel you to stick with it long enough to see the desired end. As well, prayer; one cannot go to God half-heartedly and expect results. No you must pray passionately about what you are expecting God to do for you. You must pray with intent and strong will, and earnestly believe that your situation will change. Now here comes the hard part: It’s easy to believe in prayer when a request is answered quickly or in a relatively short period of time, but it’s those prayer requests that may take months or years that you need perseverance for. Beloved, I have continually prayed for things that literally took y-e-a-r-s to come to pass. But nonetheless I kept praying because God promises us in Matthew 21:22, that “…whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” I hold onto that and other verses like that because God is a God who does not lie!
In prayer and in life you have to learn how to be a closer — complete what you start until you get a finished result. God will not always give you exactly what you pray for because He knows what is best for you. Sometimes people pray for things that are not in God’s will for their life. God does not grant many prayer requests because He knows it will harm you or it is not in your best interests. In the above mentioned times, God will reveal to you why He chose not to answer specific prayers but you must have a personal relationship with Him and spend time in His presence to receive these revelations. Prayer requires reciprocity. Before you say prayer does not work, are you asking and then spending enough time with the Father to receive His answer, and not the answer you want to hear? It is hard to ask for something not knowing when or if you will ever get it. But if you do not at least keep asking and persevering in prayer, you will give in to failure and defeat. You will stop praying and allow despair and sorrow to overtake your mind. Beloved, be determined, be persistent, and persevere in prayer until you get an answer from God!