February 18, 2014

Big Prayers

This has been somewhat of a transition year for me, for my husband, and for our church. I haven't known which end is up half the time, and I can't yet see the forrest for the trees in regard to what God is doing. All of this has led to a lot of fear and repentance and, as of this past week, fear and repentance again.
What I've noticed about myself is that I am a fixer. I have trouble sitting in uncertainty. Rather than sit in it, I want to do something to bring about change. A problem at church? Let me at it. A need? Let me meet it. A problem in my heart? I can fix it! I want to enact a strategy or plan an event or just do something already.

But what if it's beyond my fixing? What if it requires a capability that I don't have? What if God wants something for me or from me that's different than what I envision? Better yet, what if God wants something for others that's different than what I envision will "fix" their issue?

This is indeed the economy of God: I don't have enough capability in my account to purchase spiritual fruit for myself, for my husband, for others, or for our church. If I, then, want to see God bring our church collectively to unity, to a greater love, to a greater desire to sacrificially serve, what do I do? I ask the One who is capable of doing it.

The problem is that my prayers are too small. I want a quick fix, either by God's hand or through my own. This self-sufficiency and pitiful fear keeps my eyes in what I can see from where I'm standing. It leads me to small prayers, prayers that don't require faith. Praying big prayers, however, gives me the 10,000-foot view of what God might want to do in me or in others. And it always turns my eyes to the character and capability of God.

So I'm praying bigger prayers and believing my capable God can answer. I'm asking Him to change hearts, and to let mine be one. I'm asking Him to speak and to move and to ignite a passion under us. This is what I'm praying for myself, for my family, and for our church:

From Ephesians 3 (an example for the church)
Lord, strengthen us with might through Your Spirit in our inner man.
May Christ dwell in our hearts through faith.
I pray that we would be rooted and grounded in love.
Help us to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
Let us know this love that surpasses knowledge.
Fill us to the measure of all the fullness of God.

From Colossians 1 (an example for my husband)
Lord, fill him with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that he might walk worthy of You Lord, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of who You are.
Strengthen him with all might according to Your glorious power so that he might have endurance and patience and joy.

There are others, but you get the picture. At the top of the page where I've written these prayers, I've scrawled in bold letters: Will change come through strategies and to-do lists or by faith in God through prayer? 

For spiritual change to come, for fruit to spring forth, for fear to flee, for any effectiveness really, there is only one answer to the question. It is God alone who is capable.

And so let us pray.