Audacious Prayer or Simple Prayer?
I just finished reading an article in Charisma magazine entitled, "What Audacious Prayers Can Do". Just reading the title, I could allow myself to feel a bit condemned since I'm not even sure I know what "Audacious Prayer" is. So I'm pretty sure I don't do much of it.
The author proceeded to cite stories from the Bible where God did amazing things in amazing ways, and then attempted to prove that He only did those amazing things because a human dared to pray an "audacious prayer".
But when I read those same Bible stories, it seems to me that most of those people were just blessed to be included in the plan God had for them; and, though they all seemed to mess up several times along the way, they had just enough faith in His faithfulness to hang on until they reached the end of their story.
Their faith was not in audaciously telling God what to do. Their faith didn’t come from confessing when, where or how God would help them. They seemed to have just barely enough faith to think that if they could hang on, somehow, somewhere, some way their God would be faithful and help them. That doesn't seem to be all that "audacious". It actually looks a lot more like me and my journey; or you and yours.
Abraham and Sarah had real struggles with their faith and actually laughed at God's promise, more than once. Abraham lied out of fear, more than once. They forced their servant girl to bear a child and kept running out of the "promised land" because they were afraid. And yet, God saw something in their hearts that was not evident by looking at most of their actions; which were certainly not “audacious in faith”. They had just enough faith in His faithfulness to hang on until they reached the end of their story.
And that's what it’s really all about- getting to the end of our story. The main reason we love the stories in the Bible is because they are all over (Whew!). Their battles are over; their victories have all been won. Their fear, worry and anxiety are over and the good will of God has been done for them.
We didn't have to stand with David in the face of Goliath, or with Daniel in the face of lions, or with Moses stranded between the Red Sea and the armies of Pharaoh. We love these stories because they are over and we didn't have to go through them. But we are able to look back on these stories and gain some understanding of when, where and how God helped them.
But our stories are still being written. Our battles are still being fought. The when, where and how God is going to help us are still unknown to us. But our faith is not built by telling God what to do or audaciously confessing into existence things we can't possibly know. Our faith is built as we keep reminding ourselves of the 2 undeniable facts that we can know-
1) WHO is going to help us? Our faithful Father-
Heb. 11:11- "...because he (Abraham) considered Him faithful who had made the promise." NIV
2) WHY will God help us? Because He loves us more than any other created things.
Matt. 6:26- "...and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" NIV
You don't have to be "audacious" in prayer to please God. You don’t have to be able to “confess things into existence” to please God; we can’t do that, anyway. You just need to keep renewing your mind with these two plain truths. Our God is forever faithful to us and He will help us because He loves us with an everlasting love and considers us to be more valuable than any other created thing!
And remember, we have a family secret; a secret that only works for the family of God-
Rom. 8:28- "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him..." NIV
Read Part 1 of This Series Here
A Simple Word About Simple Prayer
Prayer can sometimes seem very complicated. And if we are not careful in who we listen to, we may find ourselves feeling overwhelmed about how to pray. But in Ephesians 3, the two most simple, and most powerful, aspects of prayer come clear.
Paul said we should pray for ourselves, and for each other, in at least these two simple ways:
1) That the Spirit will strengthen our "inner man" by making us more and more aware that Christ is indeed living in us and through us every moment of every day.
2) And that we would be rooted and grounded (unshakable) in the ever increasing knowledge of how wide, how long, how high and how deep His great love is for us, now; not some day when we become more "holy", but He loves us fully, right now!
"I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God." Eph 3:17-19- NLT
We are deeply and fully loved by God right now. And may we all grow together in the ever increasing knowledge of that great love and the good works it produces through us!
Mark Drake is an internationally known author, teacher and leader. He focuses on equipping leaders around the world in New Covenant Grace.