In the book ‘The Circle Maker’, Mark Batterson speaks of the life of a carob tree, stating that we must have a carob tree mentality when praying, praying long and praying hard.
I did a bit of research on the carob tree, as I was intrigued by this. The carob tree takes years to start bearing fruit, as early as 6 years, but it can bear fruit for up to 80-100 years. Although irrigation does help its production, it can thrive in dry areas.
In a world of instant gratification, we are not accustomed to bearing these times of drought in our lives. We pray ‘pop-up’ prayers wanting them to be answered as soon as we finish praying. We pray, and then expect a “presto” answer as toast popping out of a toaster.
The truth is, “As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given” (Daniel 9:23), however, you may not see the answer for quite some time, maybe not even for years and years. The ability to withstand these periods of drought is the same as having a carob tree mentality. We must not give up. We must continue praying – praying without ceasing. We must persevere through our longings. When we shortcut our longing, this becomes a lust, because we seek that instant gratification rather than holding out for that which we are longing.
‘Praying’ is an important part of seeking that which we most desperately long for: Jesus. Praying long and praying hard is the answer for, in due season, we will see the fruit of our prayers. We will see a harvest, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9). If you are restless, frustrated, disappointed, weary, unhappy, dissatisfied, or WHATEVER… just PRAY. Pray long, and pray hard.
I have a dear friend who once told me that I was my own worst enemy, making me realize I was looking at only the negative and not trying to be a part of the better picture. Prayer can do this for us. Even if we don’t see an answer at this moment, prayer gives us hope that the answer is coming.
Keep praying, without ceasing. Do not give up. We may get to a point where we are at the end of the rope and think, “I have nothing left BUT prayer.” Well, let me tell you, dear friend… Prayer is EVERYTHING.
Prayer is not the last resort but rather the beginning of hope.