I really respect and admire Graham Cooke. I have learned so much from his books, conferences and blog articles.
Because of his interactions with the Lord in prayer and daily life, I have to confess I’m jealous of Graham Cooke’s relationship with God. But I can LEARN from him since he does have such a cool way of interacting with the Lord and he freely shares those experiences!
I was taught that I should only learn from people who have results in the area I would like to have. So if I do what they do, I’ll have what they have!
See if you learn what I learned about “prayer” and “favor” from this experience Graham had a number of years ago.
Before going into full-time vocational ministry, Graham Cooke was a landscape specialist. Faced with little work and an angry potential customer who had already spent tens of thousands of dollars on his garden because it had an underground stream. Four drainage companies and all that money spent had produced no cure. A large section of an immaculate lawn was wet, boggy and an unsightly mess.
Graham approached the owner… thoroughly disillusioned, impatient and angry, the landowner showed him the scale of the problem. Tension was thick in the air. “Well,” he demanded. “What can you do that others can’t?”
“I’ll pray about it,” Graham said. “I bet no one has done that.” Streams of profanity ensued. It was the only job on the horizon; Graham took it.
In Graham’s own words:
“Cue for meaningful dialogue with a certain King. Silence. I’m not put off by God’s silent routine. I know he loves me. He accepts that I’m weird, I know that He is not normal. He is a talker, so silence is mostly an invitation to sit, ask questions and ponder.
Waiting on the Lord is a very restful activity. On this occasion He and I were trying to out-peace one another. I won because the Prince of Peace is a resident in me.
In the silence I heard: “If you cannot change it, make a feature out of it.”
The Holy Spirit loves puzzles. Water is the thing that can’t be changed, therefore water is the answer.
I built a water garden. Beautiful pond with lilies, an island, a bridge and a pergola. A bench, swinging seat, lots of flowers. Perfect. Added thousands to the property value. The homeowner threw a huge party, invited me, recounted the story of me praying and got me lots of work. FAVOR!”
The take away for me…
Even Graham Cooke faces SILENCE from God at times while praying! But what I appreciate is his ATTITUDE about the silence!! Graham sees it as an opportunity to “sit, ask questions, and ponder!?”
I love the way he tries to “out peace” the Lord. He’s not intimidated, hurt, or put off by God’s silence- he sees it as more of a loving challenge!
He KNOWS God wants to talk to him, so he sees it as an invitation for RELATIONSHIP!
As kind of a bonus take away is how bold Graham was about letting his potential customer know he didn’t have an answer, but his God DID- and he’d need to pray to get the knowledge he needed! Perhaps that boldness of faith invites God’s favor?!?