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El Pípila—A Lesson on Prayer

As I was thinking about my prayer life, I remembered the story of El Pípila.

The drum of war resounded throughout the land. It was 1810, and Mexico was fighting for its independence from Spain. Insurgent troops were threatening to take over the city of Guanajuato. Several Spanish troops and loyalist leaders had barricaded themselves in the old grain storage building, the Alhóndiga de Granaditas. Tall walls and big wooden doors made it a good fortress for the loyalists.

To break into this building, the insurgents decided to burn down the eastern door. Juan José Martínez—a local miner renowned for his physical strength—was chosen for the task. He was known as El Pípila. It is said that he tied a large, flat stone to his back to protect himself from the bullets and made his way through the enemy’s fire to get to the door. Once there, he set the door on fire, and as it burned to the ground, the insurgent troops marched right in and took the spoil that was inside the building.

At times I’ve felt like “El Pípila” in my prayer life. Praying for others has felt like a heavy load on my back. What I should have identified as simply a burden to intercede turned into a false responsibility for the salvation, spiritual growth, and safety of the people around me. I’d mistakenly thought that if I didn’t carry this load on my back, the Enemy would win. Can
you relate?

Weariness can set in if, after praying for healing or financial provision for a long time, you don’t see the desired results, or if you engage in spiritual warfare but your problem only gets worse. Maybe you’re feeling like you’re not connecting spiritually in your prayer time. The truth is, when we think we’re praying, sometimes we’re actually doing religious works to obtain favor from God. But God has a better way to pray!

Andrew’s teaching helped me see that God wants us to be believers, not heroes in our own strength.

In his book A Better Way to Pray, Andrew says, “Prayer is communion and fellowship with God. It’s saying, ‘Father, I love You’ and hearing Him answer, ‘I love you too!’ It’s listening to Him in your heart and feeling His pleasure as you spend time with Him. If you did that, you wouldn’t have to spend much time asking for things because they’d just supernaturally show up” (p. 105).

Andrew has also said, “Two thousand years ago, Jesus purchased everything that you [or your loved ones] will ever need, so the New Testament person comes and stands in the finished work of Christ. You aren’t trying to get Christ to finish His work. He’s already done it” (brackets added).

This is liberating! Realize that asking for things is not the purpose of prayer. Change your focus to use prayer to love God and fellowship with Him—abide in the light of His glory and grace. Drop that heavy load from your back. Free yourself to worship God, and the fire of His Spirit will burn down the door to the Enemy’s camp so you can walk right in and take the spoil!

In his teaching A Better Way to Pray, Andrew shares principles that will improve your prayer life and help you experience the freedom and joy that come only through knowing God in spirit and in truth. You can order this teaching as a CD or DVD series as well as a book (English or Spanish) or a study guide. Your prayer life will never be
the same!

Please leave a comment below if this has blessed you!


Eyes Opened to God’s Goodness 

Moses watched his passengers demonstrate God’s love in a manner foreign to his Muslim faith. As the designated bus driver for a team of second-year Charis Bible College students, he escorted the group across Uganda, where they witnessed healings, deliverances, signs, and wonders. Unknown to Moses at the time, he was being used by God to help carry out His plans—plans so big that the missions team had been getting glimpses from the Lord of things to come for weeks before their arrival.

“During praise and worship one morning, the Lord gave me a vision,” Charis student Rebecca Fenske began. “I saw a man with cloudy eyes being healed by my hands. Two weeks later, we were in rural Kayonza Rakai, Uganda.”

Revival broke out in Kayonza Rakai as Charis students saw the Lord’s healing power manifest for several of the locals who had “incurable” diseases. “The need was overwhelming,” Rebecca continued. “Hundreds of people were lining up from surrounding villages and hillsides. The people were set free of demons, pains, parasitic infestations, malaria, fevers, digestive problems, infections, female problems, and STDs. Legs grew, ears opened, and blind eyes began to see.”

Several instances of legs being lengthened came by student Jimmy Davidson. “I noticed a young boy who was about four years old, hunched over and walking with an incredible limp,” explained Jimmy. “With his mother’s permission, I sat him down and examined his legs. His right leg was several inches shorter than his left.”

Confident in his identity in Christ, Jimmy encouraged the boy’s mother to watch as he commanded the leg to grow out and line up with God’s Word. “His leg grew out right while I was holding it,” continued Jimmy. “The boy’s mother began to cry profusely. We walked around the room in celebration as the interpreter explained how much Jesus loved them.”

Miracles and healings continued for hours, when suddenly a middle-aged man caught Rebecca’s attention. “The Lord reminded me of the vision I had seen before the trip,” shared Rebecca. “I asked the Lord, ‘Is this the one?’ Then I heard our interpreter, Godfrey, explain to us that this man’s eyes were cloudy and that he couldn’t see very well anymore.”

Rebecca enthusiastically prayed for him. “He opened his eyes and they were clear! With a big smile, he said softly, ‘I can see.’ We hugged as we all began to praise the Lord with such joy.” This man was not the only one to receive sight as a result of the team’s obedience.

As the team spent time with Moses and included him whenever possible, he began to feel comfortable enough to ask questions. After a talk one day with student Selina Williams, he gladly received some tracts.

“During the youth conference, when the altar call was given, Moses was one of the first ones to respond to give his life to Christ,” Selina recalled. “When Moses showed up the next morning, he informed the team that he had led his wife to salvation when he got home.”

As a bus driver, Moses was unaware that he was being used by God to bring life and freedom to Uganda. Are you aware that partners of Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis Bible College are being used by God to bring life and freedom to the world? Partner with us today to make more stories like this one possible!


Amidst Everyday Life

How do you know that God hears your prayers? I remember a time in my life when I didn’t know the answer.

A few years ago, I listened to a teaching about how Christians must follow the format of the Lord’s Prayer while praying or else their words won’t make it to heaven. Around that same time, I would babysit for one of my neighbors on a regular basis. While getting ready to babysit one evening, I asked God if He heard me when I prayed and if my prayers had any effect. Confusion over how to pray and doubt that He was listening had stifled my communication with Him. In response to my questions, I was impressed to start talking to Him like a friend. I didn’t realize that I had slipped into a formula. But a subtle nudge from the Holy Spirit reminded me to stop my formulas and just talk
to Him.

This reminds me of something Andrew says in his book A Better Way to Pray:

“In the Bible, people knelt, raised their hands, and even looked up into heaven at times, but don’t make a religious form out of these things and require their presence in order to consider something ‘prayer.’ You can pray with your eyes open or closed, hands raised or down, standing, kneeling, or prostrate. Since meditation is prayer (Ps. 5:1), you don’t even have to talk out loud! Your communion with God should be constant” (p. 19).

God was showing me how to relate to Him in normal, everyday life. I didn’t have to follow a method; I could just be myself with Him. So, I talked to God about everything—my family, friends, dog, dreams, the past, the future—and then I asked Him to work in other people’s lives. I then wrapped it up by praying for the Christian family I was going to babysit for, whose house I was about to enter.

As I walked through my neighbor’s front door, I saw the dad preparing dinner for his two young daughters. He and I chatted for a bit, and while he was setting down full dinner plates for his girls, he blurted out, “I feel like someone has been praying for us.” He turned around and looked at me. Oh my gosh! I shrieked in my mind as I stared back at him in silence. It had just been a normal conversation with God.

In A Better Way to Pray, Andrew says,

“You just need to learn how to fellowship with God in the midst of everyday life. Do you know how to appreciate Him in the small things? Are you always trying to do something earthshaking or monumental to build your intimacy with Him? You can’t sustain your relationship that way! Adam and Eve walked in the cool of the Garden with God. I’m sure their conversations consisted of: ‘Father, I saw a flower today that I’ve never seen before. You did a great job!’ That’s prayer” (p. 47).

I realized that God Almighty was hearing my voice! Heaven was using my prayer to bless the people in my life! And it definitely made an impact. Knowing this may sound like a baby step of faith in prayer, and that’s probably true. But if babies never take that first step, they’ll never learn how to walk. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” The line to heaven is always open, and He’s always listening. Now I just need to let God get some words in edgewise!

Are you confused or frustrated about your prayer life? Do you feel like you’re not “doing it right”? You can learn how to transform your prayer life into an intimate friendship with God. Check out Andrew’s teaching A Better Way to Pray. It’s available in CD, DVD, book, or study guide format. You can also watch Andrew teach this topic on the Gospel

Post a comment below if this has encouraged you!