“Praying through,” a term coined by the early Pentecostals, to some meant staying on your knees until you were assured that you had received an answer from God. To others it meant continually coming back to the Lord until you had the answer in hand. (This was also called “persevering in prayer.”)
As a young boy in early camp meetings, I heard people testify, “I’m going to lay hold of the horns of the altar and I won’t let go until God answers.” Yet, I don’t believe this is the truest meaning of “praying through.”
You can be shut in with the Lord, delighting in His presence; you can spend quality hours, even days, with Him, glorying in sweet communion. You can have all your needs met, your heart totally satisfied, but what happens when you leave that hallowed place of intimate fellowship?
You may rise up from your knees only to go back to a crushing situation that has not changed. You can see the devil waiting there for you, ready to throw the same problems and emptiness at you. I ask you: What good is it to receive the glory on the mountain if it won’t see you through the battle?
Let me explain what I believe about “praying through.” It simply means that the strength, power and encouragement you receive from the Lord while shut in with Him must see you through the trials ahead. The victory you attain in the secret closet has to give you victory on the battlefield.
Think about it: Was yours a “completed prayer”? You see, “praying through” means waiting for the total completion of your prayer. Many Christians see only half-answered prayers because they don’t allow what they received from the Lord in prayer to carry them through their trial. Indeed, many sincere prayers have been wasted, aborted, lost — because they were not “carried through” in this way.
Dearly beloved, prayer is not finished — it is not a “completed prayer” — until it sees you through to the other side of your trial. We have not “prayed it through” until we have “lived it through” our trials by the strength we received in God’s presence.