I struggle with forgetfulness. You too? It’s like, the older I get, the more life experiences I have, and yet, the more I forget how things really work. For example, how many times have I found myself rushing, speeding, running late, and the end result has never changed: stress, stress, and more stress. Or how about this one? How often have I reacted or responded in anger in the heat of the moment, allowing my feelings to lead me (which unfortunately, usually never lead me to a place worth going), and it has resulted in nothing but more anger, more strife, more conflict?
Let’s just say a lot.
I heard a definition of insanity once that stuck with me: “Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.”
Today, this got me thinking. I found myself on the phone with a friend who was really needing some prayer, like the “God, please move this mountain range in front of me” kind of prayer. Ever been there? I think we all have. Desperate times aren’t reserved for only some. Desperate times hit us all, and when they do, I think it’s common to find us crying out to God in desperation, pleading the words of a prayer similar to the father we read about in Mark 9:22: “Jesus, if you can do anything….” And you and I fill in those dots with whatever our need might be, but I think we fail to recognize the lack of faith in our plea.
“If? If you can do anything for me.” Do we pray to and believe in the God of “if” or “maybe,” or do we pray to and believe in the God of the impossible? As I prayed with my friend over the phone today, we stormed the gates of heaven together with confidence. Why? Because our God is able. Because our God can. Because our God does. We prayed bold prayers, because we actually believe that Ephesians 3:20 is true.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,”
Did you catch that? He is able to do MORE than we could even imagine to ask Him for.
But do we ask?
Let me just pause on that question for a minute. How many of us never even get to the asking, much less the bold requests? When life hits hard, do we just keep hustling (doing the same thing but expecting a different result) or do we hit our knees? Better yet, when life is good, do we still remember to hit our knees because to be found on our knees in pursuit of Jesus is honestly the best place for us to be found?
I might go so far to say that many of us have simply stopped asking. Why? Probably for a lot of reasons, but perhaps because the asking requires faith in and of itself.
But what about the bold prayers? Do we believe who God says He is in His Word? He is the God who both allows the storms and calms them. He is the God who breaks but who also heals. He is the God who allows a child to wander but who always awaits eagerly for their return. He is the God who silences our foe, who redeems us from our pits, who binds up the brokenhearted, who speaks a better word over our pain, who draws near to us in our grief.
He is the God who still performs miracles.
So, when was the last time you asked Him to?
Have you asked Him to part the sea in front of you? Have you asked Him to resurrect the dead parts in your life? Have you asked Him to reconcile the broken relationships? Have you asked Him to bring freedom from addictions? Have you asked Him to help you to forgive? Have you asked Him to do what you have deemed impossible?
When you can’t see through the trees, when you can’t get over that mountain…
Bold prayers, my friends, fall on the ears of a receptive God. They are a sweet fragrance, a beautiful sound. Bold prayers display a faith that pleases God. I want to pray Ephesians 3:20 kind of prayers. Let’s start approaching the throne of grace with confidence, knowing that we will always find mercy to meet us in our time of need.
Because, that’s just who He says He is.