As we approach the end of August, I am surprised how fast summer has gone, while at the same time excited for new opportunities this fall. Whenever I am preparing for something new, I feel urged towards prayer. For the past few days, I have been praying some bold prayers!
Often when we pray, we minimize our prayer requests. Hesitancies fill our minds: Do I really believe God will hear this prayer? What if He doesn't answer? Is what I am asking for really what God's will is? Doubt can come into our spirits and derail us from the prayer God wants to hear. I admit, I also have those questions and even doubt, but the Holy Spirit has challenged me not to pray prayers that come from small dreams. Small dreams do not give us big things to pray for. Prayers based on small dreams have no need for God, because they are within our human reach.
I have also been challenged not to rationalize what is and isn’t possible with God. Rationalizing gets me into trouble because it defines the boundaries of my prayers. We pray rational prayers so that if God does not answer, we can cover it on our own. When we rationalize our prayers, God has already been edged out of our plans and dreams.
Jesus said in John 14:14 that we can ask anything in His name, and He will do it. The "anything" must be within the boundaries of God's character and will. But the main point of the passage is for our prayers to be bold, confident prayers. In The Necessity of Prayer, E.M. Bounds said, "No principle is more definitely enforced by Christ than that prevailing prayer must have in it the quality which waits and perseveres, the courage that never surrenders, the patience which never grows tired, the resolution that never wavers." Over the past few days, I have been making a bold prayer list, and I have enjoyed hearing the request of others who are taking up the charge to pray boldly.
What are your “big dream prayers” today, this week, this month, this year? Write them down in a place where you will read them often, pray for them, dream them, and ask God to do something you otherwise thought was impossible. If we ask Him, He will answer!
Lord, first, and foremost, we lay our plans, dreams, ideas, and thoughts before You. Put in our hearts big dreams that move Your kingdom forward and place us in a position where we are uncomfortable with normal living. Make this year at NU one that we never forget, because you moved and provided in ways that we otherwise thought were impossible. Amen.
Phil Rasmussen, VP of Church Relations and Campus Ministry