Well, What Did You Expect?

Getting results in prayer doesn't have to be difficult. In this message, Matt W. Leach teaches how to pray effectively.

How would you like a hot fudge sundae? With a great big scoop of French vanilla ice cream topped with gobs of hot fudge? Finished off with nuts, a big mound of whipped cream, and a big red cherry on the top? Can you imagine how delicious it will taste – with the cool ice cream and the oh-so-good hot fudge? Doesn’t it make your mouth water just to think of it?

That sundae wouldn’t taste half so good if you didn’t eat it first in your imagination. Mouth-watering anticipation makes it taste ever so much better. It’s exactly the same with prayer. It’s exactly the same with Prayer Groups. If we will come with mouth-watering anticipation these will be days of delicious miracles.

In prayer, mouth-watering anticipation has another name. It’s called daydreaming. Not what you dream when you are sleeping, but those dreams about your life and future you wish would come true. What are your daydreams? What dreams are you hoping, with all your heart, will come true? Glenn Clark set up the Camps Farthest Out to be training camps for athletes of the Spirit. Glenn Clark believed your daydreams ( or imagination ) can be used in prayer. He taught that if you dream them right, and if your dreams are true to your nature, and align with the Word of God, your dreams can become reality in your life.

The Man Who Dreamed

I want to tell you the story of a man who dreamed a dream and made that dream come true. His story highlights three questions each of us must answer before we can make our dreams come true. I think you will find these three questions immensely valuable.

The dreamer had a name, but most people had forgotten it. All his life he was known as “Tim’s son.” That happens sometimes when you are born with a disability. People forget your real name. I don’t know what happened – maybe sickness or an accident – but Tim’s son had lost his sight. In those days there were no schools for the blind. No welfare programs. No job training. Life was hopeless, the future bleak. About all you could hope for was that people would feel sorry for you and put money in your beggar’s cup.

Tim’s son would never see a sunrise or the breathtaking colors in a sunset. Never look on the face of a loved one. Never see joy in children’s eyes. His life was a begging cup and coins from strangers.

One day, while he was sitting in his begging spot, Tim’s son heard strange stories about a Teacher. A Teacher who “taught with the ring of authority.” Whose “reputation spread like wildfire.

It was said that the Teacher “healed great numbers of people who were suffering from all kinds of disease.” It was said that “wherever he went, in villages or towns or farms, they laid down their sick right in the roadway and begged him that they might just touch the edge of his cloak. And all those who touched him were healed.”

Tim’s son began to dream. The more he dreamed, the more he lived and breathed and ate his dream. He visualized every detail. He dreamed of the Teacher coming. He saw the Teacher passing by where he was sitting. He saw the Teacher stop. Heard the Teacher call for him. Heard the Teacher say “You are healed.” He saw himself seeing.

One day a great crowd was bustling past. There was laughter, shouts of joy, and merriment in the air. “What is it? What’s happening?” Tim’s son asked.

“It’s Jesus passing by!” they told him. The Teacher had come.

Immediately Tim’s son shouted out, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”

Many of the people tried to push him aside and told him to shut up. But Tim’s son shouted all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!”

Jesus stood quite still and said,

“Call him here.”

So they called the blind man, saying, “It’s all right now; get up, he’s calling you!”

At this Tim’s son threw off his coat, jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

“Oh, Master, let me see again!”

“Go on your way then,” returned Jesus, “your faith has healed you.”

Tim’s son recovered his sight at once.

Making Your Dreams Come True

His dream had come true. Not by chance. Not by luck. Not by fate. But because he had dared to dream, and dared to answer the three questions that set his dream free to come to pass. Those same three questions can set your dreams free to come to pass.

1. What do you want Jesus to do for your?

The first question Tim’s son answered was: What do you want Jesus to do for you?” Or, as Glenn Clark put it, “What is your soul’s sincere desire?”

The Bible tells us we can have the desires of our heart. Psalm 37, verse 4 states, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart.” This verse has two meanings. First, as you delight in God, God puts in your heart desires for those things that will give you the greatest joy and fulfillment. Second, as you delight in God [draw near, trust, honor, delight to please Him], God will give you those things that are your soul’s sincere desires.

We are dreamers. We dream of the home we would like to own, the places we would like to visit, things we would like to accomplish, and the money we would like to earn. We dream about our families, our future, our relationships with others, our health, and our wealth. We dream, and dream, and dream. Some dreams are only passing fancies. Some are the soul’s sincere desires.

God has His dreams for us too – dreams He plants in our spirits. We can boldly ask God for our soul’s sincere desires, and for His desires for us, because God’s word says that God gives us the desires of our hearts.

Tim’s son knew what his soul’s sincere desire was. He knew exactly what he wanted. When Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you,” he answered, “Oh, Master, let me see again!” That desire, that dream, was a pure dream. It was true to his nature. What are your dreams? What are your soul’s sincere desires? What do you want Jesus to do for you? What is your daydream about your church? About what will happen in your prayer groups?

James tells us that we don’t receive when we ask if we ask with the wrong purpose and evil selfish motives. That is, if your intention is, when you get what you desire, to spend it in sensual pleasures (James 4:3). Tim’s son had no trouble answering the first question: What do you want Jesus to do for you? Tim’s son knew what his soul’s sincere desire was. He knew exactly what he wanted. “Oh, Master, let me see again”

2. What is hindering you?

The second question Tim’s son had to answer was: “What is hindering you?” Is there anything standing between you and the answer? There might be a block you never expected. Tim’s son had to face fear. He had to face losing the security of what he’d always known his life to be. He had learned to live with blindness. He was poor, but there was security in knowing the reality of who he was and who he was expected to be.

If Tim’s son could see, he would lose that life. He would lose the need for the mercy and pity of his family who met his basic needs. He’d have to get a job and earn a living. All he knew was begging. Who would hire a man with no job skills? It’s scary to go into an unknown future with no security. Many give up their dreams because they are too afraid.

Tim’s son chose to give up fear and security in order to see again. He chose to follow Jesus into the future that God had for him. He chose to become all that he could be and to embrace the future’s possibilities.

Is something hindering your dreams? If you don’t know, ask God. If there are any blocks He’ll show them to you. Prayer groups can help us remove blocks. It may be scary, and it may hurt a little, but you can trust your prayer group. They will love you, support you, and help you do it.

3. What is your point of contact?

The third question Tim’s son had to answer was: “What is your point of contact?” A point of contact is something that enables you to release your faith. Tim’s son knew what his point of contact would be. He had rehearsed it over and over in his mind.

Maybe he couldn’t see to get up and go to Jesus, but Jesus could see him. He made seeing his point of contact. He thought, “If Jesus sees me, and calls for me, I know I’m going to see again.” It was just the right sort of point of contact for a blind person. Each of us needs a point of contact that is just right for us.

Notice something very important. What did Tim’s son do with his point of contact? He acted almost ferociously. How different the story would have been if he had sat there with his fingers crossed, saying, “I hope he sees me. I hope he sees me. Oh God, make him see me.” Not only would the story be different, there wouldn’t have been a story! Once Tim’s son knew what his point of contact was, he went after it with everything he had. He shouted. He wouldn’t let those people shut him up. He wouldn’t be silenced. He shouted violently and pestered the crowd until Jesus stopped.

Tim’s son has set a powerful example for us. Once you know the point of contact that will release your faith, be like Tim’s son. Go for it with all you’ve got. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you. Glenn Clark believed the point of contact was crucial. Sometimes he called it a lever of prayer. We use a lever to move an immovable object, like a boulder, or force a board loose. The point of contact is a lever that gives leverage for applying your faith to the need. When an axe head was lost in the river, Elisha cut a stick that he could grasp with his hand to use as a lever of prayer. He threw it out on the water where the axe head had sunk, and the axe head floated.

Glenn recounted the story of the woman with the hemorrhage. She decided that her point of contact would be the hem of Jesus’ garment. Once she decided the hem would be her point of contact she did everything within her power to get to that hem. She pushed her way through the crowd until she could touch it. She touched it and was healed.

Sometimes Glenn would retell this story and then invite others to reach out towards a picture of Jesus and touch the hem of his robe in the picture. It released their faith, and they were healed. Glenn envisioned prayer groups as prayer laboratories for experimenting with points of contact for releasing our faith. We need to be creative and imaginative in our private prayers and in our prayer groups. Experiment with points of contact. Experiment with different ways of praying for different things. Be open to the Holy Spirit giving you ideas and ways that might seem unusual or even childish.

One time the Holy Spirit reminded Glenn of the old vacuum cleaning trucks that used to come around to do whole house vacuuming. That image became a point of contact as Glenn led in a prayer of imagining a heavenly vacuum cleaner sucking out all the debris, bad feelings, resentments, and poisons in the body.

Make Your Dreams Come True

Points of contact are levers of power. They enable us to release our faith. Releasing our faith brings the answers. Jesus told Tim’s son, Your faith has healed you.” He told the hemorrhaging woman, “It is your faith that has healed you.” Awaiting you is a glorious opportunity. You have the opportunity to make your dreams come true. Do as Tim’s son did. Answer the three questions. And expect a miracle.

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