What To Do Between ‘Amen’ and ‘There It is’

Have you ever faced a seemingly impossible situation? Perhaps it was a doctor’s report that you would not be able to bear children. Maybe it’s a relationship that has come undone. Or it’s a financial crisis that has brought your world to a standstill. However impossible the situation may be, your Heavenly Father wants to bring you out of it. He wants to turn your trial into a testimony; a living memorial of His goodness! This is why prayer is vital. But why do so many of our prayers seem to go unanswered? The reason could be a missing piece between ‘amen’ and ‘there it is’. 

Heaven is Waiting on You! 

In Matthew 6:8, Jesus said that God already knows what we need before we even ask. I love how intimately acquainted He is with everything we are, including our needs. That means that there is no situation you are going through or that you will ever go through, that He does not know the solution. And as remarkable as that may sound, my question was, “if he knows what I need, why do I have to ask Him?

There is no situation you are going through or that you will ever go through, that He does not know the solution.

One of my favorite quotes on prayer comes from the late Dr. Miles Munroe. He used to say, “prayer is an earthly license for heavenly interference.”  In other words, heaven’s resources and power are awaiting your prayer. The moment you pray, heaven now has a legal right to interfere on your behalf and bring its unlimited power to work in your situation.  That is why Jesus asked us to pray that God’s kingdom would come, and His will would be done, on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10).

Praying Incomplete Prayers

Yet one of the biggest reasons why people still do not experience Heaven’s interference, is that they pray incomplete prayers.  Philippians 4:6, 7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” 

Notice that our prayers for heaven’s interference is incomplete apart from thanksgiving. While we have been raised to politely say “thank you” after something has been done for us, Heaven requires us to say “thank you” before anything is done for us. It is the missing piece between ‘amen’ and ‘there it is’. 

The Impossible Made Possible

Throughout the Bible, throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, we see the effect of thanksgiving in impossible situations.  In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat found himself in an impossible situation when three powerful nations invaded his land to destroy him and his nation.  After fasting and praying, God gave them a wonderful promise, and assured them that they would win against these invaders, but that was not the end of it.  King Jehoshaphat then appointed singers and worshippers to go ahead of the army and to sing praises to the Lord.  Verse 22 tells us what happened: “And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.”

Another impossible situation is when Jesus found Himself with a hungry crowd of thousands, and all He had was five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish. We know the end of the story, how there was a miracle of multiplication, but it began with Jesus giving thanks. John 6:11 says, “Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.” Thanksgiving turned “not enough” to “more than enough” because thanksgiving proceeds miraculous provision. 

Whatever challenge you are facing, bring it to your Heavenly Father in prayer, then begin to thank Him that it is already done. You will begin to see your challenges through a different perspective as you encounter the power and the majesty of God, giving you peace that He is at work on your behalf.