Monday, September 10, 2001
One of the great privileges of my life was serving in the leadership of the Northern New Jersey Billy Graham Crusade in the Meadowlands. For many of us who had been trying to reach people in this very hard corner of America, it was thrilling to see that arena nearly full on that opening Wednesday night. The arena seats 18,000 people, and filling it in Jesus' name was a victory of historic proportions. By Thursday, it was totally full--but I was strangely restless. By faith, we had set up 8,000 chairs and jumbo-tron video screen in the parking lot, just in case there was overflow. It looked like we wouldn't need it - as the press so graciously reminded us. Even though we were seeing unprecedented attendances and spiritual harvests, I felt led to pull together several of our Crusade leaders after the second night. After thanking God for all He had done, I asked them to pray with me a prayer that I had never prayed before. "Lord, if anyone other than You is holding a lid on this thing, if there's even more You want to do - blow the lid off!"
The next night the arena filled pretty quickly. I was on the platform, seated next to Dr. Graham, when they handed him a note. He showed it to me. It said, "There are 13,000 in overflow!" Dr. Graham said, "I think you should go see it." Well, I did. And what a sight! Eight thousand chairs full, 5,000 people standing, sitting on car hoods, on the ground, even on the porta-johns...and Billy Graham preaching the Gospel on the big screen! It looked like a cross between the feeding of the 5,000 and a drive-in movie. And the rate of response that night was higher in the parking lot than it even was indoors! So much for that lid!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Blowing the Lid Off."
You might be saying, "Well, that's a wonderful page from your spiritual scrapbook, Ron." No. It's actually a wonderful lesson in a way God may want you to be praying right now. Our word for today from the Word of God is from Ephesians 3:20, where God is being praised as "Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to the power that is at work within us." A few verses earlier Paul has said, "I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name."
Paul says, "The God to whom we pray is one awesome God. And He can do so much more than we can imagine!" Which leads us to the kind of prayer that I learned to pray that night in the arena - the "blow the lid off" prayer. It's for those situations where the Holy Spirit seems to be saying, "I have more for you, much more." I'm convinced that we are often under-living because we are under-praying. We are praying under the mighty thing that God really wants to do.
So for your family, for your ministry, for that unreachable person, for that relationship, for that huge need, for that mission impossible - as the Spirit leads, pray something like this, "Father, if anyone other than you is holding a lid on what's happening here, blow the lid off in Jesus' Name." That kind of God-sized faith may unlock a God-sized answer that will not only blow the lid off - it will blow you away!
Let's believe God for the kind of breakout, the kind of breakthrough, the kind of miracle that only He can do!