There has always been a need to pray. Sometimes the need stands up and shouts. This is one of those times.
A mere glimpse at the headlines and the nightly news is enough to convince you that God’s children simply must stand up and pray — and pray with power.
This is not a time for wimpy prayers or wimpy pray-ers. It’s time for us to grow up into maturity in our prayer life, and when I grow up, I want to pray like Anne Graham Lotz.
I can’t see any way God won’t answer Anne’s prayers. It’s as if they’ve come straight from God’s heart into hers.
When Anne prays, I think of those hand chairs in my garden — the ones in the photo above, in fact:
All ten fingers spread open wide, not grasping onto demands,
but spread out ready to receive from God.
My garden chairs aren’t wimpy. They’re strong powerful hands ready to receive a lot!
We need those kind of prayers and pray-ers all over the world.
If you’ve not read any of Anne’s prayers, now’s the time. In fact, let’s look at Ann’s 9-1-1 Prayer together.
I want to show you the Ten Fingers of Powerful Prayer that I’ve learned from reading her prayers. They reveal why Anne has such a firm grip on powerful prayer — and how we can, too.
Click on this link to read her prayer. You can even print out a PDF of it:
For those who don’t know, Anne asked anyone who would, to join her in fasting and praying for Jerusalem in the 9th month, on the 1st day, for 1 hour, hence: 9-1-1. Larry and I joined Anne in praying on September 1st, and we’re continuing to pray using her powerful prayer.
(Dissecting Anne’s prayer actually makes me a bit uneasy because the last thing I want to do is make it even appear that I’m reducing her prayer to nothing more than a literary exercise for us. This is a truly heartfelt prayer that honors God as much as any I’ve ever seen.)
1. Focus on Who God is
Particularly when we’re coming to God with a heavy, serious or urgent need, we often rush to the request.
Anne lingers over who God is.
Anne immerses herself in the character and works of God — the truth about God. By the time she’s ready to bring her request to Him, all doubts appear silly.
In order to linger on God’s character, however, we must know His character.
This comes from much time seeking His face in His Word, and through time spent alone with Him in prayer.
There are no short cuts. But even a little light breaks darkness.
First and foremost, linger on the full character of God.
2. Lay The Problem Out Before the Lord
Before Ann begins to make a single request, she lays the problem out before the Lord.
It’s not that God doesn’t already know. He knows it better than Anne does — than anyone does. She just pours out her heart before the Lord, clarifying the problems facing Jerusalem and the world before she comes to God with her requests.
As we do this, we may even discover that what we thought was the problem, isn’t really even the problem.
We need a firm grasp on the true need so we come to God knowing what it is we’re truly seeking.
Fortunately, in times when we don’t — or can’t — know the fullness of the problem, we can lay even that out before God. He knows, and He’ll respond to our faith.
Lay the problem out before the Lord as clearly as you know it.
3. Refocus Your Eyes Back onto God
After laying out the problem before the Lord, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed again by the enormity of the need.
Anne wisely turns her eyes immediately back onto the One who is able to meet every need — the One who is never overwhelmed.
We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You. (2 Chronicles 20:12)
With our eyes fixed on God again we should marvel that anyone would ever dare to come against Him. And yet, that’s the nature of enemy — he won’t give up even though he’s already lost.
The enemy is powerful, but our God is infinitely more powerful.
Turn your eyes off the problem and back onto the Lord.
4. Pray with Humble Confidence
Based on who God is and on the blood of Jesus Christ who paid for all her sins, Anne approaches the throne of grace with her requests with bold confidence.
The children of a billionaire don’t creep up to the dinner table and drool over the meal laid out before them, longing for a bite to satisfy their hunger. They walk up boldly and join their father in the feast based on their knowing their father’s goodness to them and based on their belonging to him.
Who is a better more caring Father than God?
We don’t come to God with our demands, though, as if He owes us.
We come humbly to His throne, knowing His character of grace and our standing before Him as His child by faith in what Christ did — not anything we’ve done.
We should approach God more humbly and confidently than we would the most loving, wise, and wealthy father on earth.
No one is more wise, loving, nor has more treasures to pour out onto His children than God does.
Approach the throne of grace with humble confidence.
5. Pray with Compulsion
Anne is compelled by a deep love for the things that God loves — His Chosen People Israel, His children adopted through faith, justice, truth, His promises, redemption.
Anne is also compelled by a deep hate for the things God hates — evil, sin, rebellion against God, the lies of Satan blinding those who’ve not accepted Christ.
Learn what God loves and what He hates, and let those things drive your prayers.
Let what God loves and what He hates drive your prayers.
6. Pray with Contrition
Because Anne hates what God hates, she has no tolerance for sin in her life — or in ours. She doesn’t dare risk anything coming between her prayer and God, and neither should we.
The psalmist knew this: “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;” ~ Psalm 66:18
Anne isn’t vague about her sins, either. “Forgive me for my sins,” isn’t exactly a strong expression of contrition.
She itemizes the sins — hers and ours sins — clearly and empathically. We should, too.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
~ Psalm 51:17
Humble yourself before the Lord and confess your sins specifically, repentantly, and emphatically.
7. Pray with Clarity
Anne isn’t blind to the seriousness of the need, nor to the power of God. She prays specifically for God’s people to see Him for who He truly is as we bring Him our requests.
(Are you seeing a thread here? All throughout Anne’s prayers, she continually comes back to who God is.)
The enemy has blinded unbelievers. (2 Corinthians 4:4) They don’t see who their true enemy is.
But Christians have eyes to see the truth, and we must not let Satan and his schemes cause us to doubt or waver in fear. (I Peter 5:8)
Keep your mind clear and sober on what is true — not what feels true, but what is true.
Open your eyes to the truth and pray with clarity.
8. Pray Continually
When Anne’s prayer comes to an end, there’s no period. There’s an AMEN, but no period.
Anne’s not going to stop praying until she receives God’s answer for His glory. (God’s answer — not her demands.)
“I tell you, although he will not get up and supply him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his shameless persistence and insistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.” (Luke 11:8-9 AMP)
Pray continually until God’s answer is received.
9. Pray for the Glory of God
Anne prays for the serious needs, but all her prayers are focused on God getting the glory.
Everything we say and do — everything — is for God’s glory.
It’s not about our comfort or our happiness. It’s about God’s greatest glory. (Run from any teacher or preacher who says otherwise. Run!)
“God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.”
~ Psalm 67:7
Our blessings aren’t the point, but they are God’s delight.
He longs to be gracious. He rises to show us compassion. (Isaiah 30:18)
God is glorified as He blesses His children who trust and wait on Him.
Anne’s prayers magnify God’s glory, and I believe she moves God when she prays.
Pray all that you pray for the glory of God.
10. Wait Expectantly For God to Answer
Anne’s Amen at the end of her prayer reveals her certainty that God will answer.
Amen comes from the Hebrew word for truth and certainty.
Jesus ended His example of prayer in Matthew 6:13 with Amen.
Jesus never doubted that God would answer His prayers — we shouldn’t either, if we pray as He did.
When we come to God with empty hands, clinging to nothing but our assurance of who He is, and we ask Him to fill our hands according to His perfect will, we then rest. We actively rest.
We don’t worry or fret, or become lazy and forget we even prayed.
We confidently watch and wait, eager to see how He’ll answer, assured that He will as He knows best for our good and His great glory.
Actively rest in God, waiting expectantly for His answer.
With these ten fingers that are revealed in Ann’s 9-1-1 prayer, we can get a firm grip on powerful prayer every day.
Yes, when I grow up I want to pray like Anne Graham Lotz.
Grow me up quickly, Lord, so that You will be more glorified by my prayers.
To Print a one-page summary PDF of this post, click here:
The Ten Fingers Of Powerful Prayer
I Learned From Anne Graham Lotz
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