In our easy-peasy, set-it-and-forget-it culture, we have made prayer pretty easy. And essentially, it IS easy.
Prayer = talking to God. Conversation.
But maybe sometimes I have made it into a thing God did not intend it to be… honey-do lists of needs, wants, and wishes.
“Heal my boo-boo.”
“Help me find a good parking spot.”
“Make my spouse listen to me.”
All okay prayers perhaps. But what if God’s people really prayed?
Pressed in. Interceded. Waged war.
What if we did less talking, more listening, and learned to be still in His presence? Maybe give him time to do a little work.
In me. Around me. Through me.
What if we prayed things like:
“Help me to see people with your eyes?”
“Put someone in my path to help today.”
“Your will, not mine.”
I am guilty of uttering bold words and then fearfully and momentarily thinking, “Did I really just pray that?” In the moment, it sounded super spiritual and profound. But then He actually did it. And why should I be surprised? He listens. He hears. God honors big prayers offered in the face of hard things. Sometimes answered just the way we hoped. Sometimes not. But always answered in our best interest, because He sees what we cannot.
We pray all sorts of gallant, dangerous prayers, but often not expecting God to actually show up and deliver. Prayer can be hard and sometimes it hurts.
Remember Jesus’ example of prayer in the Garden. He labored. He wrestled. He literally sweat blood under the duress of intense prayer. Luke 22:44 says, “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
The Greek word for earnestly (ektenos) literally means “to stretch out the hand.” To pray “fully-stretched, without slack, extended.”
I want to
Prayer is so much more than a conversation (although it can be a good place to start). It is where battles are won. Prodigal souls are called home. And true intimacy with God can be found.
And in this new year, I want to pray adventurously. I want to pray things that scare me a little. More than “God bless my food” and a little more like “Make me your instrument.”
Now is the time to pray BIG. Because He can do it.
Happy New year, Friends!
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14 (NIV)