God has a habit of getting us to make bold requests of Him. James and John asked to be the ones who sit on the right and left of Jesus. Peter declares he would die for Jesus. The disciples often fought over which one of them was greater. They would come back from mission trips bragging about what they were able to do. When they were not able to heal the poor boy that would throw himself in the fire, they questioned Jesus for how to succeed. When Jesus was not welcome in a Samaritan village, James and John asked permission to call down fire to destroy it. Reading the Gospels makes you believe that Jesus actually encouraged this desire for great things. He seems to want us to ask audacious prayers.
While it seems more Christians are talking about this and believing God for great things, it seems that have missed the warning label. While Jesus did speak toward the disciples about several of these requests, he never seemed to discourage them from asking. What He often did was refine what they were asking. When they argued about who was greater, Jesus told them that to be great they had to be a servant. When they bragged about what they accomplished, Jesus turned their focus to who they were.
The Secret Warning for Audacious Prayers
The warning label should be this: you can’t be who you are now to go where you want to go. Jesus didn’t rebuke their energy; He used the momentum to get them to become who they needed to be to accomplish those audacious prayers. Peter thought he had what it took to die for Christ, but as soon as Jesus went a direction he wasn’t expecting, Peter turned and ran. When he denied Jesus, he really did doubt whether he really knew Jesus. However when Jesus reinstated Peter, He helped Peter understand how to accomplish this request.
When you ask God to do something impossible, He usually instructs you to do something uncomfortable. – Steven Furtick
When we get placed in situations where we are stretched beyond ourselves, we tend to revert back to old ways of coping. We may work harder, we may rely on strengths, we may pull back, we may create backup plans, we may even fall into sin. Whichever of these paths we chose, we are missing the bigger picture. God has to stretch us because if it didn’t stretch us, then our prayers were not very audacious.
Let’s Not Miss Why God Leads Us to Audacious Prayers
If we want to accomplish these audacious prayers, we need to really know Jesus. The only way we can become who we need to be is to continue growing in our knowledge of Jesus. If the disciples can spend three years every day with Jesus during His earthly ministry and still misunderstand what Jesus was trying to accomplish, then we better believe we also have some adjustments needed.
Let us not miss the purpose why God leads us to pray audacious prayers. He is leading us to a life of faith that is so depended on Him that we recognize that we need Him for every breath we take. He wants us to be so close to His side that people mistake us for Him. This is more than a one-time decision. We advance to one level, and then God starts to promote us to the next. We are moving from glory to glory because God wants to introduce us to more and more of Himself.
Lord, we need You. Help us to balance this desperate need with the awareness that You believe in us. Show us how to deepen our relationship with You. It is the only thing that will carry us through these deep waters You are taking us. May we give You time to direct our steps and give us rest. We love You. We trust that You knew what You were doing when You called us to these tasks. We are honored and want more of You.