Life’s Cheat Codes: A Biblical Perspective On power in Prayer

So I wake up in the morning, walk in my pajamas to an old tube TV that weighed 300 lbs, and flip the switch to turn that puppy on. I reach over to the Nintendo, powering it up, but before I start playing my game, I press ‘up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, and the Start button’ on the controller. Why? Because video game creator Kazuhisa Hashimoto built a cheat code into the Nintendo to make games easier. And when you’re 9, video games are hard, and you need every little advantage you can get. Now the games were still challenging; they still required lots of focus and attention, but they were easier!

Don’t you wish life had cheat codes? Kids, work, family drama; life is not easy. Well, in Matthew 7:7-11 and Luke 11:5-13, Jesus teaches His disciples a simple code that’s easier than ‘up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, and the Start button’; it’s just ‘Knock, Knock, Knock’. Here in these passages, Jesus highlights the principles of focused, persistent prayer and the goodness of God in responding to the requests of His children. In the parable, a man in need of bread for a guest goes to a friend at midnight. Despite the inconvenience and the initial reluctance of the friend, the man’s persistence results in him receiving what he needs. Jesus uses this story to illustrate how much more willing and able God is to give good gifts (Matthew 7) or the Holy Spirit (Luke 11) to those who ask.

This passage reminds me of the wedding at Cana, or the woman with the issue of blood. These individuals placed a demand on Jesus, a persistent, focused, determined demand. Not like a child throwing a fit and making demands, but like a stubborn entrepreneur who won’t give up. Guys, Jesus gave us life with cheat codes. Life is still promised to be difficult and challenging, requiring our attention and focus, but how much easier would it be to just know that God is good, He loves His kids, and He answers their prayers? Better yet, He does not only answer their prayers from afar, but God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, comes down to help us and empower us with spiritual gifts.

In the Christian classic ‘Why Revival Tarries’, Leonard Ravenhill instructs his seminarian-trained pastors: ‘in all your getting, get unction’. For Ravenhill, ‘unction’ was the essential endowment of the Holy Spirit’s power and presence in the life of the believer. Much like in Ravenhill’s day, we look to theology, church practices, and even 3-step programs to make life ‘easier’. But with all our getting, we must get unction. Jesus does not say, ‘I will give you theology, and it will empower you to be my witnesses’, nor does He say, ‘4 steps for more in 2024’. Rather, Jesus tells us to ‘wait’, He tells us to ‘knock’, He tells us to ‘tarry’ for what? Power. Because it is power that the believer needs; it is the collaboration of the Spirit in our life that gives us relief from our weariness. It is the Spirit’s synergy that causes us to tear cords like wax and outrun chariots. It is the Spirit that leads, the Spirit that guides, the Spirit that frees, the Spirit that comforts. If life is hard, get some cheat codes; get unction!

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-Published by King’s Fellowship Church In Ada, Oklahoma