Since 1998 Redland has sent mission teams to Mexico and the Dominican Republic—a total of about fifteen times. And—you would think that with all those trips—my Spanish vocabulary would have improved. But that’s not the case. I’ve only learned a handful of phrases like, “Good Morning” – “Buenos Dias!” —“How are you?” – “Como Sta?” and “What is your name?” – “Como se ama?” But that’s about it and whenever I try to go beyond these seven phrases—my Spanish makes little or no sense.
Once I was trying to strike up a conversation with a little boy who had come to VBS. I thought I was asking him how old he was but instead of “Quantos numerous annios?”—I said, “Quantos numeros dientes?” — which roughly translated means, “How many teeth do you have?” And—when I said those three words the little boy looked at me with a very puzzled expression on his face. Then he gave me a forced grin—one that showed all his teeth—as if to say, “Here they are—count for yourself weird old man.”
That’s just one example. I’ve seen a lot of puzzled looks over the years—because my Spanish is not very good. It doesn’t make much sense! Well—the sad fact is many people pray in ways that doesn’t make sense. Now—to be clear—God doesn’t’ give us puzzled looks because He understands the intent of our hearts—He knows what we are trying to say no matter what words we use when we pray. I mean, our Heavenly Father loves to hear our prayers no matter how we word them.
When Lydia was about 18 months old, we gave her a piece of construction paper and a crayon and let her go to work. She just made a few lines and circle deals on the paper but I was thrilled! I grabbed my phone, took a picture, and shared it will the entire family with the following caption: “Look at her skill! Is she an amazing artist or what?!” And—I’m sure you do the same thing with your kids’ and grandkids’ artwork. I bet your refrigerator is full of their less than good artwork. When other people look at it—they respond with puzzled expressions—but not you! Well, God feels the same about our prayers. As long as they are sincere He LOVES them.
But if we are to soar—if WE are to fully benefit from this essential spiritual discipline—we must learn to pray more rightly—more intelligently. And to help with that, I want us to look at the prayer of another hero of the Bible—good king Hezekiah.
And he was a GOOD king. In spite of the fact that he was the son of King Ahaz, a very wicked, idolatrous king, Hezekiah turned things around and accomplished much good. He destroyed false religion and restored true religion in all of Judah. I mean, he was far more than a political leader. He was a spiritual leader. And as such, he was the driving force behind a revival of genuine faith in God among his people. 2nd Kings 18:3ff says, “Hezekiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord—just as his father David had done. He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow Him. He kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.”
But, in spite of ALL Hezekiah’s GOOD deeds, BAD came his way. Ten years after conquering the Northern Kingdom, Sennacherib, the new Assyrian king, came with his 185,000 soldier army ready to conquer Hezekiah’s tiny Southern Kingdom. Sennacherib captured Judah’s fortified cities—and in spite of the fact that Hezekiah sued for peace and literally scraped together some gold and silver to pay him—Sennacherib marched on Jerusalem—but, in the hopes of avoiding a long siege, Sennacherib made an offer. And he shrewdly didn’t make the offer to just Hezekiah.
No, he had his field commander say in earshot of the walls of Jerusalem so all the people could hear. This field commander yelled out: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you from my hand. Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree—and drink water from your own cistern, until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death! Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’” (2nd Kings 18)
When Hezekiah heard this, he sent his officials to seek out the prophet Isaiah—and Isaiah relayed word from God that Hezekiah was not to worry. But then—just when Good King Hezekiah’s spirits were lifting—Sennacherib sent him a letter. It’s in our text for this morning so take your Bibles and turn to 2nd Kings 9. Follow along as I read verses 9-19.
9 – So [Sennacherib] again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word:
10 – “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the God you depend on deceive you when He says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’
11- Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?
12 – Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar?
13 – Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”
14 – Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord.
15 – And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim,You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made Heaven and earth.
16 – Give ear,Lord, and hear; open Your eyes,Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.
17 – It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands.
18 – They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.
19 – Now,Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone,Lord, are God.”
Now—have any of you ever gotten a letter that just knocked the breath out of you? I mean life was going good—things were looking up—and then you check the mail—and there’s a letter that hits you like a sledge hammer? Maybe it was an unexpected bill—or a note from the doctor—or some legal news you weren’t expecting.
My mom—gets scary letters all the time—letters written by scammers—crooks preying on the elderly of our nation—-telling her she is going to jail if she doesn’t send them money for some reason or letters that say she must buy this warranty on her car or its going to fall apart. The letters are bogus—but mom’s fear is real. It hits her hard. I can hear it in her voice when she calls and tells me about them. She says, “Mark—I got this letter! What should I do!”
Well do you remember what Hezekiah did after he received this threatening letter that just knocked the wind out of him? Verses 14-15 say that when Hezekiah read it, “he went straight to the temple of the LORD and spread the letter out before God…and prayed.” I don’t know about you guys but I love how Hezekiah takes the actual letter—this full-of-bad-news threatening hand-written sledge-hammer letter from Sennacherib—and he runs to the temple and he literally spreads it out before God—as if to say, “Look at this letter God—Read it! Look at this first paragraph! Look at this sentence. Do you see what Sennacherib says?! I need Your help! I have no human plan B, C, or D here. I’ve tried that before with this guy. So, God, without Your intervention—we are going down.” I appreciate Hezekiah’s vulnerability—his dependency on God—don’t you? Okay—I want us to look at Hezekiah’s prayer and see what basic prayer lessons can we learn? More specifically, what principles can we pick up from this text that will help our prayers make more sense?
(1) Here’s the first: We should begin our prayers in a way that FILLS our FAITH TANK.
Look at verse 15 where Hezekiah starts by saying, “O LORD, enthroned on high, You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone made the heavens and the earth.”
We might call this “the preamble” to his prayer. And it’s an important part of his prayer because in it—in his first two sentences—Hezekiah reminds himself Who he is praying too. He reminds himself that God is ABOVE Sennacherib—and all earthly kings. He’s saying to God (and himself), “You’re the One Who controls everything: every king and every kingdom. You’re the One with unlimited power.” Hezekiah does this because he knows there’s a huge difference in WISHING God can help—and BELIEVING it. With this prayer-preamble he’s reminding himself that since God spoke the world into being and flung the stars into space—He has more than enough power to handle a two-bit, sword-rattling king like Sennacherib.
Here’s my point. Faith is critical to effective prayer. We have to believe God can help us—believe He loves us and WANTS to help us—or praying makes no sense. It’s vital that we begin our prayers as Hezekiah did—with a time of praising God for WHO He is and for all He’s done.
If we don’t take the time to begin in this way—well, many times our prayers devolve into half-hearted wishes. I mean, if we don’t take time to review Who God is—His power, His majesty, His sovereignty—well our prayers lose their punch because we don’t have the confidence to pray BOLDLY. So–it’s important to START this way—to fill our faith tanks by proclaiming God’s praises for Who He is—and all He has done—especially those things God has done in our lives.
I mean, it’s good for me to say, “God, You have given me a wonderful wife. THANK YOU. God You healed me from cancer. THANK YOU. God, You took away my anxiety. God You helped me buy this house! God You blessed me with three children and helped me provide for them.” When I remember things like this—when I recount all the ways God has blessed me—my faith grows—my confidence in God grows—and I realize anew that He has the power to help me with whatever “sledgehammer-concern” I’m facing. Then, with my faith tank filled—I pray boldly believing God can and will help me.
My point is, when we remember WHO GOD IS—and WHAT HE HAS DONE—we pray better!
You know I love the way Patrick Germain prays. I love his prayer preambles. He always begins by saying, “Almighty God—if I had 10,000 words they would not be enough to begin to describe how great you are…” and then he prays. Isn’t that good!
All this reminds me of the story of a sailor named Michael Plant. Have you heard his sad story Plant was experienced and passionate about sailing the ocean’s wild winds. But his third trip around the world was different. He designed and built a $650,000 racing vessel called the Coyote, a lightweight fiberglass-coated, foam-core-hull sailboat that was very fast. Equipped with the latest in technology, on October 16, 1992, Plant launched from New York and headed across the Atlantic toward France—the start of a 24,000 mile four-month race. But it wasn’t long into the trip before Plant began experiencing trouble. No one heard anything from him for several days. Then, on October 21, a passing Russian freighter picked up his transmission. “I have no power, but I’m working on the problem.” He ended the transmission with his only request: “Tell my fiancé not to worry.” That was the last direct communication anyone ever had with Plant. After 32 days, the Coyote was finally spotted on a Sunday morning by a Greek tanker. It was drifting upside down, and there was no sign of Plant. The mast, still fully sailed, plunged some eighty-five feet into the frigid waters. The hull was intact but upside down—and it exposed the fatal problem: the eighty-four-hundred-pound lead keel bulb that weighted the boat had been sheared off. To this day, no one knows if it was a rogue whale, sea garbage, or just a faulty build that damaged the boat—but without that weight, the small boat was useless against the crosscurrents and high winds of the open seas. The ballast’s weight in the lowest part of the vessel would give it stability and balance in the rough seas—and without it, the vessel would become top-heavy and be easily overpowered by the angry ocean.
Our knowledge of God’s greatness and power is our “Prayer KEEL”—it’s our “prayer ballast” in that it helps us pray rightly. It keeps our prayers headed in the right direction. Without that—we pray all over the place. I mean, it makes no sense to ask God to help you—if you don’t have the faith to believe He can. So, begin by praising Him—begin by filling your faith tank. It will change the way you pray.
Okay—let’s look at a second prayer principle that Hezekiah’s prayer highlights.
(2) Be sure to embrace the two “S’s” — SIMPLICITY, and SINCERITY.
Look at verse 19 and note the simplicity of Hezekiah’s supplication, “Deliver us from [Sennacherib’s] hand so that all the kingdoms on earth will know that You alone are God.”
Remember—Hezekiah is in the temple. He’s got this letter spread out on the altar. Sennacherib is poised to attack. And Hezekiah says simply and sincerely: “God, will You protect us—save us—from this bad king with a long name!” Hezekiah follows a principle of prayer in the sixth century B.C. that the apostle Paul taught in the first century A.D. I’m referring to Philippians 4:6 where Paul says, “Just simply let your requests be made known to God.” In other words, when it gets right down to what you want to see God do, just tell Him! You don’t need to use flowery language. No lengthy groveling is necessary. Remember, as a Christian, you are God’s child! You have direct access to His throne! And on top of all that God has invited you to come to Him—to simply and sincerely let your requests be made known.
So, when you’re praying, you don’t have to ramble, you don’t have to drone. You can just tell God what you need. Jesus has said to all potential prayer droners: “When you pray, do not heap on empty phrases, thinking you will be heard for the many words you pray.” (Matthew 6:7) Here’s a Hybels’ paraphrase: “Just get to the point: What do you want to see Me do? No droning. No rambling. No showing off of how long you can pray.” And I like that paraphrase because Jesus is saying we can simply talk to Him. This is important guidance for us to heed because it is very easy to get caught up in using certain jargon or terminology in prayer. I mean, some prayer phrases may sound appropriate, spiritual, even pious, but after a while if we are not careful—we can find ourselves stringing together a bunch of popular phrases to form what I refer to as “autopilot prayer.” You look like you’re praying—you sound like you’re talking to God—but you’re not. You’re just saying the same things you always say. It’s a rote prayer with no sincerity behind it.
Have you ever played the game TABOO? It’s like PASSWORD but they give you a list of words you can’t say—and if you do your opponents will buzz you with an annoying buzzer—and you will lose points. Well, I think if we applied this buzzer principle to prayer and had a list of words like “bless” or “praise” or generalized phrases like “forgive me of my sins—”—many of us would be buzzed all the time. We use words and phrases like that too much, so much that they have become meaningless to us. We must remember that Jesus invites us to prayer authentically, personally—earnestly. As someone once put it, “Never use a gallon of words to express a spoonful of thought.”
And that word “spoonful” reminds me of my dad and the way he would do the blessing. Dad pastored churches for over 40 years—-but when he said the blessing it was not a sermon—it was not even a thought. No—it was short and sincere and to the point. We would join hands and bow our heads and dad would pray, “God thank You for this food.” Then we’d eat! And dad was sincere. He loved to eat. He was indeed thankful. And his decades of sincerely talking with God had helped him learn the importance of simplicity.
Remember God loves to hear from us. But He wants to really HEAR from us which is why sincerity is so important. I can’t help but think of a scene from the movie BRUCE ALMIGHTY.
Jim Carrey places the part of Bruce Nolan—a mediocre news reporter with serious issues—including his concept of God. Morgan Freeman plays the part of God and there’s this scene where he’s trying to help Bruce cut through the pomp and pretense and pray sincerely about the real issues in his life. Bruce says, “What do you want me to do?” God says, “I want you to pray, son. Go ahead.” Bruce squints his eyes and says, “Um…Lord, feed the hungry and bring peace to…um…all of mankind. How’s that?” God says, “Great…if you want to be Miss America. Now come on. What do you really care about?” Bruce thinks of his estranged girlfriend and says, “Grace—I care about Grace.” God says, “Do you want her back?” And Bruce seems sincerely surprised by his own response. “No. I want her to be happy, no matter what that means.” He closes his eyes and thinking of his selfishness he continues, “I want her to find someone who will treat her with all the love she deserved but never got from me. I want her to meet someone who will see her always as I do now…through Your eyes.” God says, “Now that’s a prayer! I’m going to get right on it.” Of course, that’s just a movie—but the writers got this part right because God loves our SINCERE prayers—and no one sincerely RAMBLES. They get right to the point.
Here’s a third prayer lesson.
(3) Remember, when you pray don’t need to ask God to BE where He already IS and you don’t need to TELL Him things He already KNOWS.
Hezekiah ran to the temple to pray—and that’s cool—but we don’t need to do that. We don’t need to run to where God is—because He is always with us. So, praying, “God please be with our pastor.” Or “God please be with so and so” makes no sense because of course God is omnipresent. He’s everywhere. There is no place where God is not. I fall in to this kind of flawed praying all the time—and when I catch myself using this phrase I remind myself God is already with the person I’m asking Him to be with.
Do you remember how David put it in the 139th Psalm? “God, where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.” On top of this God PROMISES to always be with us. In Hebrews 13:5, He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” In Matthew 28:20 Jesus said, “I am with you always!”
Listen! You and I will never be alone. God is ALWAYS WITH US. Now—I know the intent of those kinds of prayers—but a better—a more Biblically accurate— way to put it would be like this, “Father, awaken so and so to Your presence. Let him feel You with him in a tangible way. Remind him that You are always with him—even in the tough time he’s enduring right now!”
My point is we don’t have to ask God to be with us because He already is. We don’t need to INVITE GOD INTO THIS ROOM. He’s already here.
This week I read about an article in the Denver Rocky Mountain News that described various web sites to which people can submit prayers. One site, Newprayer.com, says, “Simply click on the ‘Pray’ button and transmit your prayer to the only known location of God.” The site claims that it can send prayers via a radio transmitter to God’s last known location, which is “a star cluster called M13 believed to be one of the oldest in the universe.” Crandall Stone, 50, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, engineer and freelance consultant, set up the site last winter after a night of sipping brandy and philosophizing with friends in Vermont. The conversation turned to Big Bang theories of creation, and someone suggested that if everything was in one place at the time of the explosion, then God must have been there, too. Stone said, “It’s the one place where we could be sure He was. Then we thought that if we could find that location and had a radio transmitter, we could send a message to God.” But, after consulting with NASA scientists, the friends settled on M13 as the likely location. They chipped in about $20,000, and built a radio-wave-transmitting Web site. Stone reports that they transmit about 50,000 prayers a week from seekers around the globe. What a waste of money! Sure—God is way out at M13. But He is also HERE WITH US and our prayers should reflect that fact.
Our prayers should ALSO reflect the fact that God KNOWS all things. I mean, God is not only OMNIPRESENT—He is also OMNISCIENT. There is nothing He does not know. Look at verses 17-18 where Hezekiah says, “The Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.” I think Hezekiah was kind of filling his faith tank a little here but of course God already knew that these Assyrian kings had laid waste to other nations. And we often pray this way. We tell God things He already knows.
Of course, it’s not WRONG to pray things like, “God please be with us.” Or “God, Fred has had a hard time lately. He lost his job and broke His leg” as long as you are sincere. I mean, as I said, God loves our prayers—but He expects us to mature. He expects our prayers to make more sense as we grow. He wants our prayers to reflect our growing knowledge of His character and power and knowledge.
You know, I loved it when Lydia was a baby and she would coo and giggle—and say the silliest things—I was as thrilled with her babbling as I was with her early art skills—but she’s 5-years-old now and sometimes she reverts to baby talk—and when she does I tell her, “LYDIA, don’t talk like a baby—you’re not one anymore. Talk to me as the grownup little girl you are now.” I say this because I want Lydia to REALLY talk to me! And our Heavenly Father wants the same.
My point is that as you and I grow—as we mature—we learn how to pray specifically, sincerely, not droning, no Guinness World Records, no thoughtless or mindless kinds of things—then, as you begin to pray more intelligently, you’ll have that sense that God is really listening to your prayer because it’s thoughtful and consistent with his Word.
Okay—let’s get back to Hezekiah’s prayer for one final prayer lesson.
(4) When we pray remember what Hybels refers to as the “SO THAT” principle.
Hezekiah says: “Please, Lord, deliver us from the hand of Sennacherib.” And then listen to the next part: “…SO THAT all the kingdoms on earth may know that You alone are God.” If you read through God’s Word you will see that MANY TIMES women and men in the Scriptures boldly ask God to help them with some need—and they use these two words, “SO THAT.”
Well, that’s what Hezekiah does. He’s not saying: “God, deliver us from this murderous attacking king so that I can keep my job, so that I don’t have to give up Air Force One and Camp David.” He’s not praying that. He’s not saying: “Deliver us from the attacking enemy so that I don’t look like a failure and have to walk around with the loser-guy thing on my forehead for the rest of my life.” He’s not even saying: “Deliver us from the evil king so that my wife and kids can survive…” although that’s a legitimate prayer. No Hezekiah says, “Now, O Lord, our God, deliver us from his hand SO THAT all the kingdoms on earth may know that you alone are God.” That’s a GREAT prayer! That’s a prayer that makes sense—because the only thing that matters—the only thing that lasts in this world—is the kingdom of God. And—our prayers should always reflect this principle.
James 4:3. It says, “When you pray, you do not receive what you ask for, because you ask with wrong motives that you may spend what you get on your selfish pleasures.” God put this verse in His book because so often we pray selfishly—with worldly motives. We mustn’t pray like that. I mean, God is not our divine butler. His chief goal is not to make us healthy, wealthy, thin, or happy. No—God’s goal is to conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s goal is to grow us up to be strong women and men of faith so He can use us to lead lost people to Jesus.
And Hezekiah, this young threatened king—he understood this. He said, “Deliver us from this attack, O God, SO THAT every kingdom on planet Earth will know that You alone are God.”
Hezekiah wanted God’s NAME to be lifted up, God’s GLORY to be made manifest. He wanted all the kings of all the kingdoms to fall on their knees and worship the one and only true God. In other words, Hezekiah didn’t want to win the battle. He wanted GOD to win the battle. Hezekiah didn’t want to be praised. He wanted GOD to be praised. He wanted OTHER kings to learn what He already knew—that there is one TRUE GOD.
These two words “so that” are a great PRAYER FILTER. They help us pray rightly—pray in ways that make eternally significant sense. Try them out! They will help you see if your prayer is coming from your selfish motives—or if it’s motivated by a desire to further the Kingdom of God. Let me give you a couple of examples of how you might use these two words.
Here’s how you can pray about your work. “Help me at work today, Lord, SO THAT all the non-Christians around me will see Your grace and love in the way I work. Father help me to relate in a way—so that people will see that all the negative stuff about Christians is not true. Father help me to work today SO THAT my co-workers will want to know You as I do.”
Would God answer that prayer? Every day! Certainly He would!
I remember years ago, Dennis Woofter prayed like this about his health. He came forward at the end of a service and he said, “Mark I have been diagnosed with bladder cancer. My prayer is not for healing. I just want to glorify God in the way I respond to all this.” And God MORE than answered that prayer. He not only healed Dennis. God did it in a way that brought Him glory.
Parents, pray like this for your kids, “God, help me to raise my children SO THAT they are so secure in Your love that they resist the negative peer pressures of this fallen world—so secure THAT their primary desire is to point people to You.” You know with 300 players involved in UPWARD this season—if you add coaches, refs, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings——we easily have 1000 people coming through the ROC each Saturday. I strongly encourage you to be a part of that. Work in concessions. Run the time clock or the score board—and as you do pray this way. “God help me to build relationships with all these people You bring on our campus—especially the unchurched…the lost—SO THAT they can be brought to faith in Your Son.” Listen—every time you use this “SO THAT” principle in prayer you realize it’s not all about you, but it’s about God’s glory, God’s purposes, God’s movement in this world.
To close the loop on the story of Hezekiah. Guess what happened just as he’s finishing his SO THAT prayer? God sent a prophet into the temple. He taped Hezekiah on the shoulder and basically says, “I just want you to know God heard your prayer. He’s got this.” I imagine Hezekiah thought, “Great! So—I’ll go sound the trumpet, rally the troops, and we’ll go out and fight.” And the prophet says: “No, no, no. Let me say it to you again: God’s got this.” Maybe Hezekiah struggled a bit with that and thought “What do you mean? You want me to do nothing?” The prophet says, “Yep. God’s got this.” Here’s the exact quote from 2nd Kings 19:31. This is what the prophet says to Hezekiah: “The zeal of the Almighty God will accomplish this.”
Hezekiah goes: “You mean God’s going to fight my battle for me?” The prophet says: “That’s exactly what I’m saying.” That night God sent one angel—not a hundred angels, not a hundred thousand angels. God just sent one angel into the enemy camp and he decimated the entire enemy army. A hundred-eighty-five thousand soldiers met their maker that night. And the story ends with a rumor that circulated through all the kings and all the kingdoms of that day. These pagan kings all started saying to each other: “There is only one true God in this world and he’s powerful; we’ve just seen that. There’s only one true God in this world and he’s powerful.” And then they’d go—dot-dot-dot— “and Hezekiah’s His friend. So let’s leave Hezekiah and Israel alone for a while, because Hezekiah’s got an in with this all-powerful God.”
I want to remind you fellow PRAY-ERS: There is a powerful God; only one true God in this world. And through Christ, you’re His friend. There’s no one who would rather come to your assistance than our great God. There’s no one who would rather meet the needs that you have in your life than our great God, and he’s got power to spare. And as you learn how to pray the way the Bible asks you to pray—vulnerably, briefly, sincerely, right to the point, no showing off, with appropriate “so that’s” that purify your prayers—here’s what the Holy Spirit’s going to do: He’s going to come along at certain times when you’re praying fervently for something and He’s going to tap you on the shoulder. He’s going to say: “God’s got this. Get up. Get up off your knees. Go back to work; God’s got this. The zeal of the Almighty God will accomplish this; you don’t have to worry about it. So get back to what you need to do and be confident that God’s got this.”