This is the first time I heard this story. It really spoke to me since this is how I view prayer and what the real answer to prayer is.
Pray Until Something Happens
Known as P.U.S.H this has been going around the Christian community for quite some time now, it is about a story of an old man who was tasked to PUSH against a rock as commanded by the Lord. For many years the old man toiled from sun up to sun down with his shoulders squarely set against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might.
At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God ACTUALLY wants is just simple OBEDIENCE and FAITH IN HIM. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it’s still God who moves the mountains. Discouragement began to set in his heart that the Devil started to put thoughts of doubts and discouragements in his thoughts but the Lord in His compassion was quick to the old man’s prayer and replied “My friend, when I asked you to serve Me— you accepted. I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength— which you’ve done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me— with your strength spent, thinking that you’ve failed. But is that really so?”
“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands are callused from the constant pressure; and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you’ve grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
The answer to our prayer will greatly depend on what we are praying for. But the answer to our prayers is simply God himself and not the solution to what we are praying for. When I say God himself, it is through the process of prayer that we get to know who God is, how He answers and how good He really is. For example, we might have been praying for a new job. I can think of three ways on the duration of how it can be answered.
Upon praying, you immediately get an answer.
- During this time, you will really feel amazed at how God can put everything in place in such a short amount of time. Thus, you see how God is good and he hears your prayers. Through this situation you become much more aware of who God is and who He can really work things around for you.
It took some time, maybe months or years, but your prayer was answered.
- It’s always hard to be in constant prayer while feeling God is not hearing or answering it. But if you push on and continue to trust him you develop patience, endurance and most especially your faith in Him.
It’s been years, and your prayer hasn’t been answered yet.
- You might not really understand why. You have been praying for it for quite a long time already. You didn’t get what you want but you begin to trust Him that He knows better than you. Then, He answers you way totally than what you expected from Him. You realize, you really don’t know what you wanted – it was Him who answered it in the right time, place and way.
We have to see prayer as a process rather than an answer. The answer to prayer should always be God and the process is how our character will be tested and refined.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
We shouldn’t be anxious. But understand that the process of prayer should give us peace by learning to trust in a faithful God and thanking Him no matter what the outcome of our prayer is. The real significance of prayer is to draw near to the Lord and get to know Him more.
Let us join together in prayer waiting on God. We may get the answers immediately; we may not even get an answer at all. But as long as we push on prayer the answer that we will get is far greater than what we’ll expect and it is God working in and through us.
When was the last time you pushed in prayer and what was the result?