What do you do when the staff’s behaviour is worse than the kids??? It was a small school I’d just been appointed to. None of the staff would speak to each other. They would only communicate via me, since I was new on the scene and hadn’t fallen out with anyone! What had I come to? How would I survive the year I’d agreed to? It became evident that one lady in particular was more the root of the problem than the others. And it became evident that there was a spiritual element, that needed dealing with in the spiritual realm. One evening at home, we felt God show us each room in the school building, and we prayed for God’s cleansing power in the name of Jesus in every corner of the place. And we prayed it like we meant it. The next day, that particular member of staff had gone off sick. Long-term sick. She never reappeared in that school again all the while I was there. The atmosphere changed overnight in the whole place.
Real, serious prayer is effective. I once heard someone say that for the angels to watch us pray, must be like us watching children playing with fireworks. We have no idea of the power that we have at our disposal. We just need to learn how to access and use it effectively.
God said that he had made Moses ‘like God to Pharaoh’. (Exodus 7:1-6) He and Aaron had amazing, unknowable power at their fingertips, they just hadn’t harnessed it yet. Moses had felt a failure; he felt powerless and probably depressed. God wasn’t offering him an easy ride – for Pharaoh’s heart was to be even harder than ever – but it would be possible. There would be a mighty battle ahead, but it was one they were going to win. The Israelites were leaving Egypt. Fact.
So what would make the difference? Why would failure and disaster turn into success and victory? For that matter, what is the difference between our prayers being answered or not? How do we access and unleash the immense power that prayer can be? I think it must hinge on listening to God. Too much of our prayers are about talking at God, too little about listening to him. Moses had to listen to God’s strategy every inch of the way, then act upon it. Result = success. We spend our time telling God about our strategy, how we want it to be. Result = variable. Maybe we’d do better if we spent 90% of our prayer times with our ears open and our mouths closed, and the other 10% with our mouths open, and our ears open too! God’s the one with the answers – it makes sense to listen to him.