I recently had the privilege to read an advanced reader copy of the new book written by best-selling author John Eckhardt entitled Desperate Prayers For Desperate Times(releases August 7th). What intrigued me most about this book was the premise that, using the prayer of Hannah as a model, we as believers could learn how to receive breakthrough in our own lives. We all know the story of Hannah: barren woman, taunted by her husband’s other wife, cries out before the Lord, Eli mistakes her prayers for drunkenness, God opens her womb, she dedicates her son, Samuel, to God and he is raised in the temple, she has other children, the end – right? That’s honestly how I always looked at her story. She was a woman to be admired for her persistence and faithfulness and she was definitely someone to emulate when faced with infertility issues or simply longing for motherhood but beyond that I never gave her story – or her legacy – much thought. Until now, that is.
He didn’t give us the stories in the Bible to put us to sleep at night. He gave them to us to build our faith in the impossible and so that we can declare, “If He did it for Hannah, Josiah, David, the people of Israel, and the blind beggar on the roadside, He will do it for me!”
What impacted me most in John’s discourse about Hannah was that her deep desire for a son lead her into such an intimacy with God that she was able to see what God was desiring for His people and do something about it. John writes, “For seventy years before Samuel came on the scene, Israel had not heard from God. Through prayer Hannah not only received what she wanted; she also opened a portal to the heavenlies.” BAM! Revelation bomb! And it didn’t stop there. Throughout the rest of the book John explained how desperation can be a tool that God uses to partner with us to bring His vision to earth, IF we will persist. Listen, I’m a woman who longs to see God’s glory manifested in the earth but I’m also a woman who struggles daily with discouragement, fear, and doubt. I am in a desperate season! I am desperate for God to move in my heart and help me find freedom so the thought that this season could be a time where God not only delivers me but makes me a partner in bringing deliverance to others had me literally pounding on my dining room table and shouting burden-lifting praises.
As you cross over from desperation to fulfillment, realize that what you have received from God is not just for you. Your time being perfected in the wilderness—the strength, faith, and boldness you received during that time—has prepared you to believe for that same level of increase, blessing, deliverance, and prosperity to be released in the earth. It is time to pray for more than just you and yours.
In Desperate Prayers For Desperate Times, John encourages his readers to stop being “spiritual wimps”, to learn how to fight during these seasons of desperation, to be pliable in God’s hands, and to get rid of anything in our lives that would keep us from the glory of God. He also warns readers not to take matters into their own hands and produce Ishmaels and Dans first rather than Issacs and Josephs; and I believe that’s a much-needed warning in these days of instant gratification. John speaks directly and honestly and the end result is a book that challenges and compels its readers to press in to prayer, tear down anything that hinders, and bring heaven down to earth. Seasons of desperation should not be something that we try to avoid or escape. In fact, I am now convinced that every healthy believer should have seasons of desperation in their lives – not desperation that leaves us wanting and in lack but desperation that wakes us up to persistent prayer and breakthrough not just for us but for all mankind.
Although we may go through dark seasons of desperation personally, as we put our eyes on God, we begin to see that the desperate times extend beyond us and into the whole world. As we continue in prayer, God will show us His compassion for the world, and our prayers will begin to align with His plan to not only have His glory manifested in our lives but to have His glory fill the entire earth.
What are you desperate for and how can I join you in prayer for breakthrough? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.