Summary: You cannot know that God answers helpless prayers until you are in a helpless and hopeless situation. Only then will you come to know God as the God who answers helpless prayers.
Tonight we’re talking about the power of helpless praying and what happens when we understand what God can do through our prayers.
The Secret of Your Power Is Your Weakness
What is the secret of power to you? If you’re Popeye, I guess the secret of power is a can of spinach. If you’re Superman, the secret of power is kryptonite. If you’re a Christian, the secret of your power is weakness.
The Word of God says, "In the same way [that is, by faith], the Spirit helps us in our weakness."
It is not in our supposed strength that the Spirit helps us.
It is not in our egotism.
It is not in our pride.
It is when we recognize our lack of power that we plug into His power.
When we understand how much we need Him, then that’s how much we have Him.
But God works in our weakness.
Just a casual reading of God’s Word would indicate that. God likes to hit big licks with little sticks. God likes to honor Himself with things that look weak and helpless.
The Bible tells us Moses was the meekest man who ever lived. Here was a man who was humble, who understood what the Word meant when it says, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up." The implication is that He’ll lift you up much higher than you could ever make yourself go. Yet Moses’ meekness was not the kind of meekness that says, "Well, I can’t do anything, so I won’t do anything. I’ll leave it to the people who can do things." His was a meekness that says, "I am not able to do the great and mighty thing that God would want me to, but He can. So I place my confidence not in myself, but in Him." The proper definition of humility is God-confidence as opposed to self-confidence.
For forty years, Moses was in the very best of positions in the worldly view. He was royalty in the mightiest of all the nations of his day. He was trained and schooled as well as anyone ever was in his day. He had all the tools.
At the age of forty, he sought to do a good thing. He was going to make his mark, and he failed miserably. In fact, he had to run for his life because of his failure. For the next forty years, he became the kind of man who could pull aside and see God burning in a bush. He became sensitive to the leading of God.
He became the kind of man that when God said, "I have for you the grandest assignment I’ll ever give anyone outside of my Son Jesus." Moses would say,
"Who am I that I should do this?" God said, "You’re someone who is going to have Me with you."
And that became enough for Moses to do the greatest thing that had ever been done in his world at that time. When Joshua succeeded Moses, God said to him in Joshua 1:6, "Be strong and courageous." In verse 7, He said, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous...for the Lord your God will with you wherever you go." Joshua is not strong and of good courage. He was weak.
Yet, God used him in a fantastic way.
When God said to Gideon, "I want you to lead and become a military messiah,"
he said, "How can I save my people? I’m a member of the least important tribe in this land. My family is the least important family in that tribe.
I am the least important person in my family."
When God has someone in that position, He has someone He can use, and Gideon was used with a little army of three hundred people to defeat and rout the well-trained, powerful opposition with thousands of soldiers.
When the prophet Samuel came to Jesse’s house, he said, "I’m going to anoint one of your boys as the next king. There’s going to be an ordination service." Well, David wasn’t even invited to the meeting. In his own family, he wasn’t seen as someone who would be a king. He was young and short.
God likes to hit big licks with little sticks.
God likes to his straight licks with crooked sticks.
God shows His power in our weakness.
And when we say, "Lord, I’m weak," then we’re strong, because in our weakness, we plug into the very strength of God.
In John 15:5 Jesus said, "Without Me, you can do nothing." When we learn that, then we become powerful people indeed. The Spirit helps us in our weakness.
The Spirit Helps You In Your Weakness
How does He helps us? He leads us to pray.
What is prayer? Isn’t prayer really admitting to God that we’re weak? Isn’t prayer really saying to God, "We recognize our weakness?"