I was sharing with someone last night how I think it is wise for me to stay just outside of the downtown area of San Francisco, from where I will first be staying, downtown will be just a short (10 minute) bus ride in for me. I said this remembering a time in the Tenderloin years ago when my heart had become so vexed by what I was exposed to nonstop that I started to weep and weep and demand in Spirit that something be done (by God) to help the poor and seemingly crazed people that were all around me .To the brother that was with me it sounded like I was upbraiding God in prayer, so I assured him then that God had put a tremendous cry in my heart to see deliverance come to the people on those streets and I felt that I needed to be completely honest and open with Him about what I was feeling.
This brother tried his best then to comfort and console me with “God is in control, Dave,” but I felt led to tell him then that we as “Christians” don’t pray as we ought to in certain situations, that we often pray like spiritual wimps when “fervent and effectual prayer” is really needed. This is saying that sometimes we need to COMMAND in the spirit realm what we KNOW to be God’s will on earth. Jesus is the One who taught us to pray in this way- to knock and knock and knock and demand/command (in the Spirit) what we know to be the will of Father, and do this until we see results! (or feel a release).
Anyway, on this particular trip to San Francisco I felt as though I had been eating “lamentations, mourning, and woe” for days on end and I just couldn’t take any more of it. I later realized that God was working in this way to teach me (and others by extension) about the fervent and effectual prayer that takes both a genuine cry in our hearts and the faith to believe that our cry WILL be heard on High.
This particular S.F. trip was unusual for me in that I was brought to a point where I just couldn’t bear any longer the sight of the things that we were seeing there. This brought a cry forth from my guts that had such a ferocity to it that even I was a bit shocked by what I heard come out of my mouth. On a street corner and with tears streaming down my face, out of my innermost deep came forth…
“Oh, God!!! How long are you going to look down on all of this and not do something about it?!! I know that it’s NOT Your will for elderly and ill people to be abandoned to the streets where they sit for days and days in their own urine and feces talking to themselves! My God! HELP! I know that it IS NOT Your will for beautiful young girls to be abused and to be turned to the streets where they become heroin junkies and disease ridden old prostitutes! Oh, God! How long can You bear to look at this stuff? If I can’t stand to look at it any more, How can YOU?! I know that IT IS NOT Your will for pushers and drug peddlers to operate so freely here in the Tenderloin that almost an entire city community has now become addicted to their junk and bound by their witchcraft, people doomed to walk these filthy streets day and night like utterly insane zombies doing whatever they can to get money for another fix or another rock of crack cocaine!! Dear, God!! Please HELP!! WHEN are You going to rend the heavens and come down and deal with this awful mess?!!! Please Lord, HELP!!!!”
I then got a strong sense by the Spirit that God was teaching me something about guttural cries that lead to fervent and effectual prayer. I knew also then that my prayers were heard on High, though I also knew that (for reasons I don’t understand) the Father might be longsuffering in answering them. Though I didn’t see it immediately, I knew then that the day would come when the precious souls that I was praying for would see divine deliverance. I KNEW then that many of them would sometime soon see the SALVATION of their God, for THAT is the will of their Father!
Father, may the people of the Tenderloin know Your love and mercy and see Your glory. May Your Spirit move upon even all of San Francisco now, that it might truly become a “Golden Gate” of this nation.