THE PRAYER OF RESTORATION
“Pressed by thirst, he called upon the Lord and said, ‘You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?’ And God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came out from it. And when he drank, his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore the name of it was called En-hakkore; it is at Lehi to this day.“
In his various battles against the Philistines, Samson was once betrayed by his own people to those seeking revenge for one of their many defeats. Delivered bound hand and foot, Samson was destined for certain death. But the Spirit of the Lord intervened, causing the bonds to fall just as he was about to be handed over to his enemies.
The Scripture reports:
“The ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men.” (Judges 15:14-15)
After such a great victory, however, a terrible trial awaited him. The effort he exerted to kill a thousand Philistines with only a donkey’s jawbone depleted his body of almost all its water. He became so thirsty that his life was in extreme danger. It was then that he understood that in the face of such distress, the ultimate solution was prayer, even though his prayer life was nonexistent. He expressed his distress by saying:
“You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?“
This prayer addressed to God is an invocation from the depths of Samson’s heart for the physical restoration of his situation. Emerging from the depths of his heart, it intervened in a situation where no other solution was possible. Samson was in confusion because he did not understand why God had given him a great victory only to let him die of thirst. It was the prayer of someone in total confusion, asking for water in a place where it was humanly impossible.
God’s response to this prayer was immediate. He provided water in a place where it was humanly impossible to find water. The Scripture says that God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came out from it. He made the impossible possible. Indeed, how can water come out of a rock? Samson drank, his spirit revived, and he came back to life. This spring was called En-hakkore, meaning the spring of the one who calls.
Like Samson, we are often faced with extreme situations of danger. Our spiritual, physical (illness, peril), material or financial, family or marital life, or our professional life may reach a point where everything could stop at any moment. Discouragement and confusion overwhelm us. In such moments, Samson’s prayer or restoration prayer becomes a necessity, a requirement for making the impossible possible. Samson’s prayer was the prayer of someone with extreme thirst.
This thirst is a situation in which our body, soul, and spirit are all stretched toward a deep and fervent desire for restoration. In our cases, for God to answer us, we must have a real thirst for a solution to our problem. God wants to see this thirst before performing the miracle.
Your thirst must manifest itself by fasting and praying while others eat and drink; staying awake to invoke God while others sleep; being in meditation and prayer while others entertain themselves. If God sees your thirst, He will grant you the water for which you invoke Him. He will transform your dryness into a fruitful river, your aridity into a marsh teeming with life, or He will tell you that the time has not yet come, or He will point out the sin blocking you so that you overcome this obstacle to obtain your answered prayer.
This text is an excerpt from the book “The 40 Different Kinds of Prayers” written by Prophet Emmanuel sawadogo.