Bold prayers are difficult for me.
When I was a kid it seemed easier to pray, "Dear Lord, I want a horse in my backyard when I wake up Saturday morning." My words sounded more like a command than a request. I was presumptuous and my delivery wasn't an appropriate way to speak to The Lord. But as a child, I knew that every prayer was heard, just not always answered in the way you think.
So at what point did I start guarding my requests? When did I become hesitant and cautious in my prayers? Was it when I grew up? Well, I'm not sure because I'm forty-four years old and still feel like a child some days. I look around to ask an adult a question, then discover I *AM*the adult and I haven't got one clue. It's depressing.
What I do is a lot of "Thank You" prayers. "Thank you" prayers are obviously important because they remind us how much we have for which to be grateful. Maybe thank you prayers are more prevalent when you have children because it's an easy prayer to teach them. The comfort of routine helps you practice every night at dinner as you say the blessing and then later, asking God before bedtime to keep you safe. We teach children to be grateful first, ask later.
But as an adult, my prayers are a little dry. They don't seem to much punch. One of my most frequent prayers goes something like this:
Dear Lord...thank you for this day. (That's a nod to my Dad because he started most of his prayers this way and Psalm 118:24 is his favorite verse.) Let me begin again:
*Dear Lord. Thank you for this day. Thank you for the roof over our heads, the food in our belly and the clothes on our back. Thank you for our health. Thank you for our protection and for watching over our family every day. Thank you for hearing our prayers and all the many blessings you give us. The ones for which we say thank you and for all the thousands of other blessings that we forget to mention. Help us to always appreciate your daily gifts and be aware that all good things come from You.*
So after my Thank You prayer, I usually pause to see where my heart wants to go and then say things like: *Please show me how to bless this person...Help me walk on the path you want me to follow and run the race set before me...Make me aware of something I need to work on to be a better (mother, wife, sister, coworker, etc.)...Please give me strength at work today with this big project....Please be with X, Y, and Z as they face difficulties 1, 2 and 3. I list these very specifically like health issues, death, job loss, broken marriages, etc...)* and then I end with: *Hear my prayer Lord, in Jesus' name, Amen.*
This prayer hits the highlights but no where in any of it was anything BOLD. Nothing. The prayer covered all the bases like being grateful and praying for others but no where in there is did I ask Him to do something SUPERNATURAL. Something beyond comprehension. Something wilder than our wildest dreams. I haven't said, "GOD you are the Almighty! You are bigger than any problem I have. I ask you boldly and confidently to wipe the slate clean. Give me a fresh start, break the chains of bondage and everything that is holding me back from my destiny with YOU. Dear Lord, You know my heart's desire and the dreams you want me to fulfill. As I reach my destination within your beautiful plan, to you be the GLORY! Your timing is perfect and I know that all things meant for harm will be turned to good because of You.
See, at twelve years old, it's easy to pray for a horse but asking God to wipe your slate clean at 44 is a bit of a reach. In 44 years, I've messed up a lot of things so my most frequent prayer should probably be asking for forgiveness. #AmIright? #Amen
But the older I get the more I realize that I cannot do anything without Him. I find myself talking with Him in the car, whispering to Him at my desk, praying while I'm stirring a dish on the stove, His blessing before a important meeting, before we travel, before one of my kid's big day at school. I find myself praying split second prayers all day long. But what I don't do is take the time to pray ONE BOLD PRAYER everyday.
I'm going to start believing for bigger things and greater things and allowing God to show me how large life can be when I'm willing to move out of mediocrity and into a big walk of faith.
And by the way, you know that horse in my back yard? I didn't get that, but I did get two whole weeks at Camp Clip Clop and it's still one of my most favorite childhood memories.
Seeds to Share:
Ephesians 3:12 - In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
1 John 5:14 - And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: