Last Updated on March 7th, 2017
image courtesy of Milkbomb
I recently heard a story from Graham Cooke on that I feel reveals what it looks like for us as believers to Ask, Seek, and Knock in prayer (Matthew 7:7-8). This example shows Cooke’s persistence in prayer and his pursuit of intimacy with the Lord. I would love to hear others’ thoughts on this story.
What is Your Highest Good For Me in My Present Circumstances?
I was on a plane headed to Australia from San Francisco. I had just done a couple of events and I was pretty tired. I’ve got a 16 and half hour flight in front of me and I’m driving to the airport and I’m praying, “God can you just me favor?” Can you give me an upgrade? You know, just give me a great seat. Give me an upgrade on the plane so I can get there refreshed.
Flight to Australia is full. No upgrades possible. So, ok. I’m still pursuing my favor. OK, Lord, can you make the flight time go faster? Half an hour into the flight the pilot gets on and says we have a really serious headwind and it is going to add three hours to the journey. I’m thinking OK, what’s my next bit of favor?
Lord, can you put me to sleep on the flight. Just knock me out. Put me to sleep. I’d no sooner said amen than behind me there’s a baby starts crying. And, I mean, whaling like every physical bodily ailment babies can get had come together at one-place at one-time. This kid is whaling. So, I sat there thinking, am I missing something?
Cause I could feel the Lord saying no keep going keep going. So, I don’t know what else to ask. So in the absence of God saying anything I’m just going to get quiet cause I need to hear something here cause I am actually really exhausted. And I want to arrive refreshed because I have a busy tour. So, I’m sitting there asking Lord am I missing something. He said, “Son, I want you to give favor away.” “Oh, OK, so what does that look like? What does that mean?” So behind me there is this dear woman with a screaming baby and she has two small kids who are fretful and she is by herself. And she is tired and she is harassed and everything else.
So I just stand up and said you know, I’m a father myself. I’ve loved having my kids, and I’m brilliant with babies. Can I just take him for an hour and give you a break?
I held this kid for four hours. Everyone on the plane was blessing me. Cause I know how to put kids to sleep. (I’m not available for babysitting.)
So I’m thinking, I have this child. I put it to sleep. I’m just going to prophesy over it. Pray a blessing over it. So I started to pray over this child. The woman is asleep. The two kids are asleep. I’m walking around. I’ve done a marathon on this plane with this baby walking around the plane. And I’m just praying and enjoying speaking into this kid’s life.
And the flight attendant comes up. “That’s so sweet what you are doing, but why are you doing it?” So I started to explain to her about favor. And, she’s like puzzled. “How could this be favor?”
I say, “you’re kidding. I have got a human being at the start of their life and I’m praying into their life all that God wants. How can that not be favor?”
And, I’m giving favor away right now, so I’m expecting it to come back to me at some point, yeah.
So, I start sharing the gospel with her. About the good news. About who Jesus is. About the goodness and the kindness of God. And why favor is everywhere all around the earth for anyone to pick up on. Because God is no respecter of people in that sense.
And so, she was talking to me. We talked about the trip, what I was doing, why I was in Australia, what I was going to do. She was so, how long will you be here? When will you be coming back?
I fly back on the certain date. And that was it you know. Baby’s asleep. The woman woke up. Took the kid back. OK.
What’s interesting when I got off the plane, I actually felt like I had slept. What was fascinating was three weeks later I get to the airport in Sydney the plane is full but I have a first class ticket. Because this flight attendant had called ahead and said if there are any first class seats it needs to go to this passenger. She noted my seat on the plane and noted the date I was going back. There was a first class ticket.
The tour was so busy. I was five times more exhausted going back, but I had a first class seat.
Your favor is designed to make you look like Jesus. Favor gives you a lifestyle of giving and receiving.
A Prayer for Faith and Understanding
By Dick Woodward
“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” – John 20:29
As we ponder the definition of faith we hear it said that believing is seeing. “When I see it I’ll believe it” is the way some would put it. In the verse quoted above David clearly writes that we believe first and then our believing leads us to the seeing of what we believe.
Biblical faith always has an unseen object. According to other Scriptures there will always be evidence that the unseen object of our faith exists, but when our faith is biblical faith the object of that faith will be unseen (Hebrews 11:6). Seeing does not lead to believing because we already have the object of our faith when we see, but believing does lead to seeing according to David and other authors of the Bible.
A rural pastor told his people that when they invited him home for dinner after church he was always hoping they would have southern fried chicken. If he had no reason to believe that would be the menu he could only hope there would be chicken for dinner. But when he came into their home if he smelled chicken and if he saw from the living room chicken gravy on the dining room table, those things were the evidence of the object he could not see. He could now believe there was chicken in the kitchen and he would have it for dinner.
David tells us that after the believing that leads to seeing, all we have to do is wait on the Lord until we see the object of our faith. Are you believing God for something you cannot yet see?
Dear Lord, we cannot see you but we trust that you are there. We trust that you hold the world in the palm of your hand. Help us to live every day with this perspective. Help us to understand that faith is found in the small actions of kindness we make. When we comfort the grieving, when give help to the homeless, we are declaring your victory. Amen.
*Editor’s Note: The following is an abridged version of What is Faith? By Pastor Dick Woodward. To see the full devotion, follow this link.