I remember hearing someone say in a sermon (actually, it might have been a testimony), “If I had realized all along that my prayers would be answered, I would have prayed better prayers.”
He was being facetious, a little. But there is also some truth to what he said.
We have a tendency to pray safe prayers, small prayers, never presuming to ask for too much. And we’re careful to include the qualifier, “If it be thy will,” just in case nothing happens.
Of course, praying within the boundaries of God’s will is a fundamental element of prayer; we know this. [1 John 5:14]
Our problem, however, is that we often pray for less than God’s will, with something less than an attitude of faith.
We pray for a cabin in the corner of Glory Land, while God is offering us a mansion of our very own.
We ask for the ability to accept defeat, so to speak, while God has promised us victory.
We’re asking for the courage to cope when he is ready to give us the power to overcome.
God has promised us great things. We often respond by asking for small things.
What if we were to zero in on one or two requests that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt are surely part of God’s perfect will for our lives — and what if made these areas a target of our biggest and boldest prayers of faith? Things such as: Holiness. Victory. Joy. Courage. Motivation. Patience. Purpose. Power. Self-Control. And so on.
These are the birth-right of every believer. If they’re lacking in any of our lives, there is arguably only one reason:
You do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:2)
So let’s be sure to ask.
This is our challenge: Pray within the boundaries of God’s perfect will — and keep in mind those are huge boundaries.
And then pray big and bold prayers.
And pray like you know your prayers will be answered.