My good friend, Zane Anderson, keeps an umbrella in his prayer closet. That would be a bit strange anywhere. But in Arizona, it’s even more strange because rain is not typically in the forecast; in southern Arizona, they don’t get a lot of rain. Zane keeps it there to remind him to always pray with expectation! The whole umbrella thing was born out of a story he heard many years ago. It challenged his prayer life and took him to an entirely new level of understanding the authority he’d been given in prayer.
Zane encourages us, “Don’t just pray – pray with an authoritative expectation – a faith-filled confidence and conviction that God not only hears us when we pray, but He will answer!” Here’s his explanation of the umbrella, and a challenge to take our praying to the next level.
“The story is told of a village that had been without rain for many months. The crops were failing, and the people were starving. Finally, the village leaders called for a day of prayer. Everyone in the village was to gather in the center of town to pray for a miracle, to pray that rain would come. On the appointed day, everyone gathered, from the oldest to the youngest. The village elder stood in front of the people, seeing the fear and desperation on their faces. He could read the questions in their eyes: What will happen if no rain comes? How long will we be able to survive?
“It was then that the village elder’s eyes looked into eyes of faith. They were set in the gaunt face of a little girl, so frail and thin she looked as if a breath could blow her away. Among the many fear-filled faces, she stood resolute and confident, the edges of a smile on her lips, faith in her eyes, and an umbrella in her hand!
“I love that part of the story: ‘an umbrella in her hand,’ Zane continues. “She came to the prayer meeting with an expectation, a deep-seated confidence, indeed, an inner assurance that God was going to answer her prayer. And she was going to be ready when the rains came!
“This child reminds me of our Lord’s words, ‘except you become as a child.’ In fact, He tells us that is how we come into kingdom dimensions and kingdom partnership – we come as a child, with a faith and expectation that our God can do anything!
“And so, the umbrella in my prayer closet is a constant reminder to pray with faith and expectation; to come to my Father as a child, with child-like faith and boldness, knowing that nothing is impossible to Him. Praying with expectation causes us to pray authoritatively, declaratively. It is more than just thinking, ‘I sure hope it rains.’ It’s more than weakly praying, ‘Please, Lord, let it rain; we sure need some rain…’ Rather, it is declaring authoritatively: ‘The rains are coming!’”
It’s amazing how revelation can explode in our hearts. The New Testament word for revelation literally means “to lift a veil, or uncover.” It’s what is happening when you have read a verse of scripture dozens of times, then you read the verse again and lights go on! It’s as if you never read it before. Or, it’s like a person who has heard the gospel before and it did not impact them. Then they hear it again, and it explodes in their heart. That is revelation; it’s what happened to Zane as he read about this little girl. God wants to bring revelation to you. He wants you to experience the reality of child-like faith.
Zane continues, “My prayer life changed dramatically when I began to see who I was ‘in Christ,’ and the kingly authority He had bequeathed to me – to us – through our relationship with Him. Prayer went from a religious form to a powerful instrument of advancing His kingdom and tearing down strongholds of darkness. Prayer went from hoping for things to happen, to expecting them to happen – indeed, legislating them into being.
“I’ve said for years, ‘we can’t do it without God – but He won’t do it without us!’ I believe in honor of his Son’s sacrifice at the Cross, God will do nothing redemptive on this planet without the partnership of those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. Through prayer, we can engage in one of the most significant and powerful aspects of that ‘partnership’ with the Lord. Prayer is essentially a partnership of the redeemed child of God, working hand in hand with God, toward the realization of His redemptive purposes on earth!
“Yes, our God is sovereign, but He has sovereignly chosen to move in response to the prayers of His Ekklesia on earth. I like the powerful statement I heard years ago: ‘All power in heaven and earth are God’s; but all prayer – invoking heaven’s power into earth’s need – is ours.’ Make no mistake, only the power of God can transform the earth, but He has ordained that the entry of this power be through a praying church, one that does so with an authoritative expectation, declaring and decreeing, binding and loosing. One that comes to the prayer meeting with an umbrella!
“The next time you go to a prayer meeting, take one! And when people ask you if it’s going to rain, tell them, ‘Yes, it’s going to rain healings, miracles, breakthroughs, kingdom advancement, and harvest!’”
Pray with me:
Father God, we come to You in childlike faith, our eyes fixed on You! We come as Your child, in confident boldness. We ask You to release Your heavenly justice to shake the earth. Bring justice for the unborn, for the abused. Bring justice for the wrong to be made right. We thank you for awakening your sons and daughters to arise with healing and restoration to the broken and forsaken.
Father God, we war in the Spirit for Your purposes to be fulfilled and for the transformation of lives and nations. We pray for corruption to be overturned and righteousness to rule throughout the earth. We petition You for solutions regarding our borders, our government, and our families. In Your mighty name, Jesus! Amen.
We decree the kingdom rains have come: rains of healing, signs, wonders, and miracles in our nation and the throughout the world. We decree the harvest is ready and your Ekklesia is going forth to bring in this great harvest of souls. We decree the kingdom is here, now, for a biblical revival, reformation, and restoration!