Your favorite team is on a run, scoring points at a rapid pace and pulling away from the opponent. Time enough remains in the game for them to get back in it, but your team has the decided advantage. They’re playing better, looking sharper, and generally outclassing the opponent. Then the opposing coach calls a timeout. He’s trying to fire his team and cool yours down. Your coach, on the other hand, is saying one thing.
“Press your advantage; this game isn’t over yet!”
He wants your team to keep pushing, stay sharp, don’t ease up. Finish strong and play to the final buzzer.
But easing up is so easy to do when things are going well. It’s so easy to look at the scoreboard and feel the urgency dissipate. Building on momentum takes focus – a focus on the end game and a focus on the moment.
It is not so different in our prayer lives. So often when a situation is dire or troubling we pray with fervor and consistency. We plead and we ask. Then we see God begin to move. Some small signs of change happen. A hint of hope appears. And we stop praying. We don’t press the advantage.
We treat that little bit of good as if it is all the good, as if God has done his part and we can be done asking. We act like the momentum will carry our request through to the end. We lose focus on the end game and the moment. And often we miss out.
Those little signs of good are not God saying the prayer is answered any more than gaining momentum is winning the game. They are God’s way of saying, “Keep going, press your advantage!” Rather than easing up when we feel hope we should grab hold of it and beg for more.
Of course our end game is not the same as in sports. We don’t have a clear cut “win” when we pray. We have hopes. We ask for what we think is best and know that what happens is God’s best. But pressing our advantage in prayer is still about winning.
We win be seeing even more of what God can do. If we stop praying after He does a little thing we fail to see what more He may have in store. Even as He continues to work we miss it because we’ve lost our focus.
We win by what we learn and what becomes of us through praying. The commitment to pray something through to the end is one that impacts our souls in untold ways. It is an act of faith. It is an act of watching and waiting. It is an act of conscientiously and consistently putting something in God’s hands. It puts us in our proper place and positions us best to see what God will do with our requests and in our hearts.
Press your advantage. Don’t let up when you see change happening. Pray harder that the little bit of good, the glimpse of hope, would snowball into a miracle. If it does you win. If it doesn’t you still win.