Back in my “early” years of full-time ministry (early being relative, because I’ve only been at this about 6 years), I met with a girl how brought up an interesting observation with how we pray out loud. “Have you noticed how much people say, ‘God, just do this’ or ‘Just be with us’. But don’t you think that God wants to do more that just those things?”
I hadn’t even noticed it a lot before, but then after that I haven’t been able to not notice how often we say “just” in our prayers. It’s become this filler word in our prayers, like “um” in a speech. I began to think more of what I wanted to pray, and if I wasn’t sure I would plainly tell God I wasn’t sure, but He knew what needed to be prayed for. I thought more, which actually made my prayer life more meaningful. I actually said what I meant and didn’t focus on trying to sound right, holy, or lengthy just because I thought I needed to. I actively talked to God rather than trying to impress God and others with my words.
Lately, however, I started noticing that I have been “just” praying. This fall I have been praying for status quo more than praying for more. It’s been like I’ve been nominally asking God of the universe (ya know, Creator of all things), “Hey… could you just keep everyone alive? And can things be just normal and average? Thanks. Amen.” It’s not even like we’ve been going through a hard time, I just plateaued and was wanting to stay there.
When Jesus prayed, and when He showed us how to pray, He prayed for God’s will over all. “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). If you think about it, Jesus prayed humbly but boldly. He ask His Dad if there was any other way to save humanity to have it happen – would you pray for God to save you if you were humanity’s only chance to have everlasting life? Selfishly, I would have. But Jesus wasn’t selfish – but He did boldly asked.
When was the last time you unselfishly but boldly asked God to do something? When was the last time you asked from something seemingly crazy – like that one person you think would never accept Jesus to accept Him or for Him to do a miracle in your life? If He doesn’t do it, it means that He has a better plan in store. And, like Laura Krokos explained to me, if your heart breaks to not see it happen, then HE is the one Who has to clean it up.
Do you need out of your boring, preserving prayers? I do! I want to see God do bigger and better things in my life. Am I willing to be uncomfortable to see those things happen? Well, deep inside in my spirit I know I am even if my flesh wants to fight it.
Want to put away just praying for the norm and join me for praying for a bold and extraordinary 2016?
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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