Leonard Ravenhill On “The Only Type of Prayer God Answers”

(Photo by KTMD Photography on Unsplash)

“God doesn’t answer prayer. He answers desperate prayer.” I can still remember my feelings of shock and bewilderment as Leonard Ravenhill, the late church statesman, spoke these difficult words to me.

Of course God answers prayer, I thought. But after much reflection I’ve come to recognize what Ravenhill meant: Often we approach prayer with the wrong attitude.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we must admit that our prayers frequently degenerate into little more than religious incantations and shallow platitudes spoken out of a sense of religious duty. Yet the Bible compares prayer with the travail of childbirth.

It is, in essence, a passionate activity. I have found that it is often in times of desperation that I pray with a genuine passion to the Lord—a passion that allows no room for mediocrity or compromise.

That’s the kind of prayer that God answers.

In November 1996, God led me to organize a time of passionate, city-wide prayer that became known as the Houston Prayer Mountain. For 40 days and nights, Christians gathered together across racial and denominational lines to pray, worship, repent and cry out for people to come to Christ.

One night, as men’s ministry leader Ed Cole spoke to the group, he pointed to one of the banners on the platform. It read, “P.U.S.H.”— the acronym for “Pray Until Something Happens.” That banner reminded him, he said, of a woman in labor being coached to “push, push, push” during the final stages of delivery.

His comparison rang true to us. We sensed that we were in a critical stage, pressing heaven for the birth of God’s purpose for our city. In fact, the fourth chapter of Micah—which talks about a woman in labor and points to the process of “birthing” revival—was one of our themes.

Birthing Revival

Revival is coming—and it will arrive in one of two ways. It’s interesting to note that the first part of Micah 4 is virtually identical to the first part of Isaiah 2, although the two chapters end differently. Micah 4 is a picture of revival by birth, while Isaiah 2 shows revival by judgment.

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SOURCE: Charisma News, Doug Stringer