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The Lord says…
“I’m calling you to stretch yourself over the dead things in your life, over the dead things in your community, over the dead things in your family and in your nation, and call those things back to LIFE through prayer.”

Prayer is a life-giving power.
It is the path by which we make our way to the source.

Whenever we are through with hearing and thinking about prayer, we are, at the same time, done with, and through with, our path back to God.

Prayer is the key, the relationship builder, the resource, and the place of power.

Without fervent, life-giving prayer, our soul will slip into the bondage of the enemy, and the things of our life will begin a downhill spiral.

I fully understand that we cannot base our success out of our EFFORTS…that it is Jesus’ grace alone that saves and keeps, but at the same time, we cannot FORSAKE prayer and expect to continue to live spiritually, much less to thrive.

In the same way that breathing is the key to life, so, prayer is the oxygen in our relationship with God.

It is not so much a “work” that you do, as it is a breath to your soul.

In fact, scripture says…
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man or woman of God avails MUCH.

With that being said, let me say that…
It’s not an easy thing God has called his people to…it’s a hard thing.

Prayer is work.

Everywhere we look there is violence and decay.
There is destruction and devastation.
Spiritually, people are making choices to step away from God, to turn their back on the source, and to stop their relationship with God.

And if they don’t completely STOP the relationship, they try to FOUND it upon principles that GOD HAS MADE CLEAR HE WILL NOT BLESS.

But, in the middle of it all, there is HOPE.
Because though we see spiritual death, and apathy…
God is a resurrection God, one who raises the dead.

And he has committed that same resurrection power into our life through Jesus.

Anyone can wake up the living, but God is calling his church to raise up the dead.

Spiritually dead people.
Spiritually dead situations.
Spiritually dead problems.

Raised by the power of the Spirit of life.

Remember Abraham?
Abraham, believed in hope against hope.
He did NOT consider his body, NOW DEAD.

Romans 4:13-21 NKJV
[13] For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. [14] For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, [15] because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. [16] Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all [17] (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed-**God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; **

The church, like Abraham, like God, has to take on a new vocabulary.

A vocabulary of faith, of hope, of power, of resurrection.

  • That where we see a dead political system in our nation, we speak life.
  • That where our family, and friends don’t know Jesus or step away from Jesus, we speak life.
  • That where our churches across the nation are in decline, sleep, and apathy, we speak life.

Faith that exerts itself through prayer, calls those things that do not exist, as though they DO EXIST.

Prayer refuses to accept that God cannot or that God will not do something.
We press into the faith-life of God until he releases in us.

Speaking of Abraham, the Bible says…

[18] who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

That is one of the most powerful scriptures in the Bible, reminding us that there are moments when we have to believe even against hope.

That there are times when it makes no sense, naturally speaking, to have hope…but IF GOD HAS SPOKEN A PROMISE…there is always a reason to PRAY, BELIEVE, HANG ON, PRESS THROUGH, KEEP GOING, AND KEEP FIGHTING.

And that’s what Abraham did.

[19] And not being weak in faith, he did not consider (WHAT ARE YOU CONSIDERING?) his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. [20] He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, [21] and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

Why could he do this?
Why could Abraham be a man of faith?
Because there was a promise.
The promise brings life.
The promise brings hope.
The promise brings power.
The promise brings prayer.

  • IF you believe in the promise…you will pray.
  • If you believe God keeps his word…you will pray.
  • If you believe that the Lord will come through…you will pray.

Faith presses in through prayer UNTIL the answer is ready.

Dead things don’t stay dead in the presence of God and his Holy Spirit.

You have to be willing to COVER the dead thing, with the life inside of you, through prayer.

The Old Testament has two separate, yet similar passages that exemplify this.
Listen to this first passage…

1 Kings 17:17-24 NKJV
[17] Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. [18] So she said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?” [19] And he said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed.

What does the prophet do next?
He PRAYS!
HE PRAYED!

LIFE SPRINGS FORTH WHEN YOU PRAY!
YOU COVER YOUR DEAD SITUATIONS IN WITH LIFE WHEN YOU PRAY!

Prayer is the divine key to resurrection power in your life.

[20] Then he cried out to the LORD and said, “O LORD my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?” [21] And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the LORD and said, “O LORD my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.”

This stretching out is a symbolism of what we do IN PRAYER.
We cover.
We stretch our life over the dead situation.
We stretch our life and our prayer over the problem.
We stretch our life, our faith, our hope, and our prayer over the circumstance and cry out to God for HELP!

[22] Then the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived.

When you intercede for your children, you are covering them with the life of God.
When you intercede for revival in the church and revival in the nation, you are covering them with the life power of God.

What would happen in YOUR CHURCH if every single person made a choice to stretch ourselves out in prayer until REVIVAL AND LIFE SWEPT THROUGH THIS PLACE AND THROUGH THE COMMUNITY?

Life would come!
Salvations would come!
Miracles would come!

[23] And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives!” [24] Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is the truth.”

Now listen to that last verse…
“BY THIS I KNOW…”
Because the prophet covered the dead, lifeless, boy and God miraculously RESTORED LIFE, she KNEW that God was real and that TRUTH was in Elijah’s mouth.

When the power of God to bring life fills our heart, and we willingly stretch ourselves over the problems, circumstances, and situations, God will restore life to dead situations and it will prove the truth of God.

I’m telling you…

The world is looking for a powerful church, not church that cannot even shake the dust off their own selves.

They are looking for a church where miracles happen.
They are looking for proof of the existence of God so that they might have hope.
They are looking for the words of scripture to be REAL IN US!

We must rise up and shake the dust from our life.
We have to take a risk, so to speak, and stretch out our prayer over the problem.

  • Cover the problem while the world watches.
  • Cover the problem while the enemy rages.
  • Cover the problem while it is difficult.

Now here again is the story of a prophet covering the lifeless situation…

2 Kings 4:15-21 NKJV
[15] So he said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. [16] Then he said, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!” [17] But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her. [18] And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. [19] And he said to his father, “My head, my head!” So he said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” [20] When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. [21] And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out.

Why did she lay him on the bed?

Because the anointing of God had been in that place.

There was a plan in her heart to see life resurrected in her son.
She took him to the place that symbolized the power and anointing of God.

2 Kings 4:22-26 NKJV
[22] Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.” [23] So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well.” [24] Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” [25] And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel. So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman! [26] Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?'” And she answered, “It is well.”

Notice her answer… “it is well.”

It wasn’t a lie…
What she was doing was calling those things that were not, as though they were.

She was speaking by faith.
She was hoping against hope.
She placed her child on the bed of anointing and ran to the man of God which was the only symbol of God’s Spirit in those days.

2 Kings 4:27-35 NKJV
[27] Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the LORD has hidden it from me, and has not told me.” [28] So she said, “Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me’?” [29] Then he said to Gehazi, “Get yourself ready, and take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; but lay my staff on the face of the child.” [30] And the mother of the child said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her. [31] Now Gehazi went on ahead of them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Therefore he went back to meet him, and told him, saying, “The child has not awakened.” [32] When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. [33] He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD. [34] And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. [35] He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

Let me ask you a question…
Are you stretching yourself out in defeat or in hope?
Are you praying with faith or with doubt?
Are you willing to look foolish and take a risk, or will you slink away in sorrow?

Now is the time for the people of God to pray, to stretch, to believe, to fight, and to awaken.

Let me finish with the same word from God I started with…
The Lord says…
“I’m calling you to stretch yourself over the dead things in your life, over the dead things in your community, over the dead things in your family and in your nation, and call those things back to LIFE through prayer.”

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Larry Shankle

My heart is for the church that Jesus is building and returning for...the church that the gates of hell will not prevail against.
More than anything, the desire of my heart is to see the greatest revival of the Holy Spirit, salvations, spiritual awakening, and for the miraculous to come back to the church, preparing believers for the return of Jesus.

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