Unexpected Return on Investment

I had a situation come up recently that was going to require some focused, sustained prayer — the kind I am not terribly good at.  I am more of a SWAT team guy.  I can roll out on a crisis in seconds and be quite dangerous, but the artillery kind of intercession where you bombard one target for months — well, that is a stretch.

But it was mine to do, so I assessed my resources to figure out how I could actually carry it out and not just immerse myself in guilt over lack of execution.  I decided to dedicate my drive time, morning and evening to thumping on this issue.

So I did.  I found that I maintained about a 90% active engagement rate.  It was easier in the mornings than the evenings, but all told, this sprinter turned in a decent performance at the marathon.

Then I got surprised.  Twice in one week, there was very little grace for prayer on the drive home.  I managed to get out a paragraph or two, but then I was off in the vegetative mode which is what I used to do on the way home.  I was disappointed that I had not been able to lean into the topic more heavily.

But near the end of each drive, I had a huge revelation from the Lord of the next step in a totally unrelated problem I had been chewing on for weeks. It was amazing both times and it came “out of the blue.”

Now I am a firm believer in principles, and another word for a principle is cause and effect relationship.  When you see a ball of some sort flying through the air, that is an effect.  Behind the effect is either a foot, or hand, or head.

So for me to get revelation once, at the corner of Harbor and La Palma is just trivia.  For it to happen repeatedly on that stretch, is an effect.  I went looking for the cause.

By process of elimination, it had to be the land.  While I was doing my intercession for a person every day, I had accidentally, incidentally cleaned up the land somewhat.  And apparently that patch has a bit of anointing on it, and as soon as I put a dent in the toxic waste, the treasure in the land manifested as revelation.

This is the joy of experiencing God working through you when you are being obedient.  Often He has an agenda much more variegated than the simple one put before you.

Copyright March 2011 by Arthur Burk

From home

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11 Responses to Unexpected Return on Investment

  1. Tracy says:

    I loved this post. I could identify immediately. When my dad was dying, I would regularly drive a certain stretch of road daily on my way to visit him. It is singularly the most beautiful stretch of road you can imagine since it emerges from between two lush vineyards to a full view of Table Bay and the whole of Table Mountain. Ordinarily, I would be interceding for my dad, petitioning the Lord for his pain to back off and for him to have a better day than the one before. I would be asking of the Father what His purpose for me was in this whole horrible situation and also asking Him for peace to settle in my heart. All these requests were granted and so abundantly. In the morning of the day he died, God framed a rainbow across that beautiful view while I was on my way to see my Dad. What a loving thing to do!! Since then, I have often been prompted to pray for others on that stretch and have received words of knowledge and encouragement for others in that place. The stretch takes me no longer than 5 minutes to drive through, but wow, what a redeemed stretch of road that has been for me!! Thanks Arthur, for another great encouraging post – such lovely confirmation!

  2. Drienie says:

    Isn’t God great! I just love the unexpected surprises when we choose to obey Him.

    Thank you for everything that you share with us, Arthur, your teachings have changed my life significantly.


  3. Colleen says:

    Thank you again for the candid ‘in the trenches’ kind of insight. Amazing how we are all in this royal service together, each in our own fields and simultaneously being train by the Commander of our Salvation. Appreciate all the comments here too. Glad to have found this community.

  4. Linda A Oostmeyer says:

    This was very revelatory for me as I, too, am what I would term a “crisis intercessor” and no problem getting 3 AM assignments and finding myself able to be fully charged, engaging and dauntless until the burden lifts in hours or at most, a day…but, a longer term assignment from God…. (and I just got one this week of a different nature…more investigative intercessory, I would term it) where I sense I am to commit 3 months to it…..well, that’s way out of my league so, Arthur, I found your experience to be very enlightening and encouraging, as well as helpful for strategy. Blessings.

  5. Irina Rivera says:

    When you say that the land was cleansed, did you pray for that intentionally or was that an effect of the prayers of intercession which weren’t related to that land, but they were said while you were driving on the land?

  6. Ferne says:

    Thanks for the insight and encouragement. Timely.

    There is also the little thing about allowing yourself to switch from L to R brain, releasing Sp. to touch sp. , connecting with amazing stuff that goes on with environment – land, buildings, roads, trees, air! – releasing revelation/heaven . God has laid out such awesome stuff!

    As I work my way through my 70’s with all the vicissitudes that that adds, I am less and less tied up with the program. I’m grateful for the years of disciplined efforts that undergird this release, but not dependent on it. Awe but for the grace of God and His righteousness, my “drop-in-the-bucket” understanding and approach would avail little. I have greatly appreciated much that you’ve added to me over the years.

    Again, thank you.


  7. Roslyn Koelle says:


    I know that’s not much of a comment, especially in light of the commonly erudite writings found here but honestly, in light of all that our Father is doing these days, that’s all I can manage.

    This example rather increases our understanding of His Lordship over all, doesn’t it?

    Thank you for being you, Arthur. May your tribe increase.

  8. Kerrie says:

    This may be totally off base, but I have found that in worship God has given me answers to things I didn’t even realize I was looking for. Maybe its this principle at work…

  9. Donna says:

    That is so great to hear. I love how He does that. Isn’t He wonderful?
    have a blessed day

  10. Jim Alseth says:

    I’m the exact opposite Arthur. I don’t like crisis much, probably because there was too much of it when I was young; but I am the long-term artillery kind of guy.

    Now that you’ve put words to it, I’ve seen this principle at work. And there are some other things I’ve been thumping away at in my city, for years, that I’m expecting to see fruit from in the future.

    Thanks for articulating the principle.

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