The 2017 movie, “Wonder,” inspired viewers to never judge a person by outward appearance and to always choose kindness.

“Wonder,” is the story of August or “Auggie” Pullman, a boy who was born with facial differences, who enters fifth grade in a mainstream elementary school for the first time. In the movie, “Auggie” makes a statement that if practiced by more people, would truly make this world a better place. He said, “Be kind to everyone because everyone is fighting a battle.”

I believe that truer words have never been spoken.

Can we all agree, that sometimes life is just hard? Life on earth is often filled with trials and hardships, for they are one thing that we all have in common, and occasionally, we experience times that are so difficult, that they can appear as if there is no hope, thus leaving us with the illusion of hopelessness. In those times, when we have seemingly done everything we can imagine, when we are exhausted, desperate and perhaps even depressed, all we can do is P.U.S.H.

P.U.S.H. is an acronym for the simple instruction to pray until something happens. Whenever we feel hopeless, powerless and the situation or circumstance seems beyond our control, we must recognize that we are never closer to a resolution, solution or breakthrough, than when we P.U.S.H.

In the Old Testament of the Bible we read about the historical King Ahab who was a really bad king. The Bible tells us that he, “did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him.” He and Queen Jezebel served and worshiped the pagan god Baal and even made that pagan worship the official state religion of Israel. All of this pervasive evil would bring about the punishment of God, which would result in a severe drought in which there was no rain for more than three years, leading to a famine in the land. All of this set the stage for an epic showdown, that would reveal who was the real God and demonstrate how powerful a weapon prayer really is.

In 1 Kings 18:19, the prophet Elijah courageously says to Ahab, “Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” The first lesson we learn from this encounter is that, powerful prayer is persistent. Elijah was greatly outnumbered and yet he persisted, because his confidence in the power of God was so great. So great, in fact, that he gave up home field advantage, selecting enemy territory as the place of this showdown. From a human perspective, the situation looked bleak and that Elijah was all alone. Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation, in which you’ve grown tired of believing or praying and you just don’t know what to do. Whatever you do, don’t give up, instead persist in prayer.

Second, we learn that powerful prayer is pointed or specific. In preparing for this epic showdown, Elijah took specific actions after the pagan god Baal had failed to come through. Those specific actions demonstrated the confidence that Elijah had in the true God, purposefully putting himself at a disadvantage. He took these specific actions, because he knew that Almighty God is more than able. What is that you need to begin or continuing praying a specific and pointed prayer for? Don’t grow weary in doing so and don’t pray in generalities, rather pray specifically.

Lastly, the experience of Elijah teaches us that powerful prayer is patient. Elijah believed with all his heart in the power of prayer offered to the one true God and he was willing to wait upon Him to answer. In an instant gratification world, it is challenging to not have our prayers answered immediately or in the way we want them answered. However, just because we don’t get the answer we want or that we think we deserve, doesn’t mean that God doesn’t answer or that He’s not working. As country singer Garth Brooks once sang, “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

What if, the answer, comeback, breakthrough, cure or the light you so desperately need and want is just a matter of praying persistently, pointedly and patiently? What if God is just waiting to see whether you will P.U.S.H.? Prayer is a powerful weapon and it’s the most important thing you can do, especially when you’re desperate, worn out, depressed, anxious, empty or feeling hopeless.

May be today is the day, that you need acknowledge and confess what the people on top of the mountain in 1 Kings 18 did, “The Lord — he is God!”

Seek him. Surrender to him. Pray to him.

Chad Grondin, pastor of West Waynesboro Church of Christ, is a columnist for The News Virginian. His column is published the third Friday of the month.

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