Pray Big Prayers

As you know we are in the midst of a prayer focus: “The Battle Plan for Prayer.”  In Luke 11:8 Jesus gives an illustration about the Father’s heart and the power of prayer. When we ask someone for help and initially they do not want to be inconvenienced at the time—they will ultimately give you as much as you need because of your shameless audacity to pursue what you need.

An odd reality in our faith journey is we need not to be polite with God. The Lord shows interest when we have confidence in our relationship to argue or ask for the impossible. Mark Batterson tells of a missionary whose church only had the shade of a single tree near the village.  Until the local witch doctor cursed the tree and it withered. The church community didn’t merely lose their shade but were now overshadowed by a curse.  This demonstration of power by the witch doctor would undermine the missionaries’ message of an all-powerful loving God.

So, the missionary called a prayer meeting and confronted the curse and called down a blessing on the tree. He literally laid hands on the tree and prayed that God would resurrect it. If God does not answer the prayer, his ministry is basically over. That was the risk of such a prayer. Besides, who are we to dare demonic forces to a duel or ask for something so un-scientific?

That is the risk of prayer. However, if we don’t ask, we’ll never know.  One thing we can be certain of is God will not answer 100 % of the prayers we do not pray. 

There is an old adage: Desperate Times call for desperate measures.  Every prayer is a calculated risk, but sometimes we must ante up our faith.  That’s what the missionary did, adding to his prayer the tagline: “It’s not my name at stake.” The fact is if we are not willing to risk our reputation, we’ll never establish God’s reputation—the God of the impossible.

The miracle the missionary saw was not only a tree that resurrected, but it became the only tree of its type to yield fruit twice a year. A double blessing! God is not offended by our prayers for the impossible. He is offended by anything less.”

The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked.  James 4:2 “You do not have because you do not ask.”

–By Rev. Dr. William Lewis