Permit me to attempt an improvement on a famous quote. It was D. L. Moody, legendary evangelist of the late nineteenth century, who said, “If God is your partner, make your plans big.” Here is my update: “If you believe God is listening, make your prayers big.”
I’m convinced God loves it when we pray big. You have noticed too, I’m sure, that if we’re not careful we can get stuck on bland. Two very common requests that show up in heaven are, “Dear God, please bless…” and “Dear God, please be with….” Wasn’t He planning to do that already? “Dear God, please bless our children today…” Dear God, please be with our pastor today…” He does. Even if we don’t ask, He does. That’s His nature.
But let me put forth an observation and then a for instance: I am convinced that God is honored when our prayers are audacious and specific. Bold and focused. Big and precise. I mean, if God answered the prayers your church prayed last week would you know it?
OK, let me try and illustrate: Sometimes during the morning prayer time we hear something like this: “Dear God, please bless the lost in our community…those who don’t know you… those who have no hope.” Noble prayer. But what if, instead, the prayer sounded like this, “Dear God, our hearts ache with Yours over those in our community who don’t know Jesus yet. Father, as we’re at work this week, or at the grocery store, the Post Office, show us how we can be there on Your errand. May there be something so attractive, so thoughtful, so patient, that those we meet will want to know why.
“Please nurture within us the ability to see every person we meet through Your eyes, as a candidate for immortal honors. Show us how to be gently courageous in letting Your love show. Shape servants’ hearts within us. We invite you to use every contact we make as an event with eternal consequences.”
Please be assured I’m not attempting to script the morning prayer at your church next week. My purpose is to illustrate what a bold and focused prayer might sound like. Our purpose is not to get God to run our errands, but to come in line with His purposes so we can be available to run His. His plans are bold and specific. I want to pray big and join Him.