It hit me as Traders Point North Campus Pastor Aaron Hoover ended his New Year’s Eve sermon with a passionate plea delivered with boldness and assurance: “Pray big and see what God will do!” As I reflected on what weighed heaviest on my heart, I knew God could handle my request. One question remained, “Could I?”
In the past, obstacles have held me back from big prayers. Feelings of unworthiness would creep in along with the discouraging voices: “Don’t you have enough already? Aren’t you satisfied? Others have it much worse than you do, so why are you asking for anything?” If these thoughts didn’t derail me, fear of disappointment did, “If I ask God for something dramatic to happen in my or a loved one’s life, what if it doesn’t happen? Am I just setting myself up for failure? Why even go down that path?”
As Aaron continued to preach, my questions slowly dissipated as God started to work on my heart and my doubts. By the time I reached home, I was convicted and sat down to rewrite my wimpy prayers — to make them bigger and bolder.
Why not? The Bible is filled with big prayers — stories of people crying out to God for healing, deliverance, protection, or blessings. It is also packed with God’s promises — several sources have counted over 7,000! Throughout the Bible, prayers were answered and promises were fulfilled, but many took a long time, some even required a lifetime. One was the covenant God made with Abraham for his descendants and the Promised Land. Generations later, God delivered on that promise and did it in dramatic fashion — with plagues, provisions, and the parting of the Red Sea. After escaping slavery in Egypt, the Israelites would claim the Promised Land — but it took over 40 years when the trip should have taken mere weeks. The delay? It was the result of the people’s disobedience and rebellion. I wonder what would have happened had they traveled directly to their destination without wandering in the desert. Would the Israelites have even been ready or did they need extra time for God to do some work in their own hearts? Their continual rebellion and lack of trust in God’s power and plan provide the answer.
God’s promises and answered prayers continue today. God is always at work, but He may need to do some work in me before I’m ready to receive the blessings that await from those big prayers.
So it’s out with the old puny prayers and in with the new ginormous ones. Let’s pray big together this year – and see what God will do!