In a recent message, Pastor Craig Groeschel asked a brilliant question: “If God had answered all of your prayers last week, how would the world be different?” His point was that most of us pray small and selfish prayers so that even if they were all to be answered the way we wanted them to be, the world would hardly notice. Our lives might be a little better, but the rest of the planet would go on as usual. From my own experience and observation, I sadly have to agree with him. Take a look back over the past week and see how many prayers you prayed that would, if answered in the way you desired, have had a kingdom impact on the world.
How did we come to a place where our urgent prayers so often focus on our own needs and desires? We pray for safety; we pray for health; we pray for blessings on our career, family and finances. In what ways do any of those things further the mission to which we have been called? We have been blessed beyond imagination with passions and talents to be used in the service of Jesus, but instead we huddle beneath our self-centered and small minded thinking and thus deprive the world of the love and mercy of Christ. We are not called to safety or financial success; we are called to risk everything on behalf of the Savior who died so that we might live an abundant life for His glory.
We need to pray bold, life-changing, earth-shaking prayers. When all the power of our infinite God is available to us, why are we content to seek him only for small and often material gains? I once heard Steven Furtick say that if “the size of your vision isn’t intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God.” I think the same could be said of prayer. If you wouldn’t feel a little sheepish sharing your prayers with someone not of the faith, then you are praying too small; God is waiting to do great things, but we simply won’t ask. Joshua prayed and the sun stood still. Daniel prayed and he safely hung out with lions for a night. Jesus prayed and fed 5,000 people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. The same power that performed those miracles is alive in each of us through the Spirit of God. Why do we not ask God to change our world while fully expecting it to happen?
Does this mean that we shouldn’t ask for things in our own life? I don’t think so. God is interested in the smallest details of our lives; He loves you and longs to dance the dance of life with each of us. However, the closer we grow to God, the more our heart beats as His does and breaks over the same things as His. I believe our prayers will begin to naturally flow outward rather than inward. Our trivial, selfish prayers are replaced by grand visions of what could be if only more would seek and follow Jesus. When our prayers begin to focus on the mission of Christ, we will find the things that once were so important no longer captivate us. Selfish prayers are replaced by missional prayers. Our interests become aligned with those of God. If we will dare to pray bold prayers, God will do amazing things through us to reach our desperate and dying world. Put away the little prayers; pray boldly and see what God will do.
Question: What bold prayer will you pray today?