I hope your Sabbath rest charged your batteries fully for the week ahead. If you’re feeling like you need another weekend, I suggest looking at the way you approach Sabbath. In it, God has promised us rest. Promised. Take him up on that.
The bible is plumb full of promises. I wonder if one of the things we’ll cover when we face Jesus is the degree that we believed God enough to engage these promises. I can imagine it will be along the lines of, “So, tell me, have you read my book? What did you think? How did you apply it to your life and the lives of others?” I don’t know. Maybe it won’t go like that at all. Certainly, we found in our lesson last week that we are to be prepared, right? It does matter how we spend our time while here on earth.
My verse of the year is this:
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.
This verse is the wrap up of Paul’s prayer that starts in verse 14. In a nutshell, he prays that we may truly know and be filled with the true scope of Jesus. I love the language, “[that you] may have strength to comprehend…what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Then he goes on with verse 20 – God, “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” What do you suppose that could mean for you and me? Certainly, I believe our prayer should focus on heavenly treasure. Yes, that often could, and should, include the use of earthly things. In the big picture, however, when we are filled with the presence of Jesus, things of this world are of little value. Yes, I believe it is OK to pray for money but not apart from true financial accountability and prudent, responsible management. Wouldn’t it be great to pray that God provides abundantly so that you pay off your mortgage early so that you can give more back to kingdom work? I think that would be a great prayer and one he may very well answer.
What about other things? Do you have a hidden sin that you just can’t seem to shake? How about getting serious about that? Doesn’t Jesus promise to set us free of the bondage of sin? (see John 8:36 and Romans 6:18) Why not set that sin (or sins) on the altar and sacrifice it completely to God through the works Jesus has done for you? Can’t seem to get yourself to part with that sin? Then ask God to make you physically sick to your stomach every time you desire it. You do understand that sin is bad, don’t you? Then get rid of it. Today. God is certainly able to do that for us. We may have to go to great lengths and follow Jesus through some difficult terrain to do it, but don’t question for a minute that he won’t gladly take you through that journey.
What else can we ask or think? How about family and friends? Do you need companionship and accountability? Ask God. Do you desire to have those you love come to love Jesus? Ask him. Really, I don’t think there is anything better to pray for than someone’s salvation. Will God answer that prayer? We must remember that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy (Romans 9:15), so don’t get twisted up if it doesn’t happen. If God does choose as you ask, it may come right away or maybe long after you have been called home. How about praying for revival? Imagine what it would look like if your neighborhood experienced a revival! How about your town or city? How about your state? Country? World? Can God do this? Of course, he can! Gather your friends together and start praying for revival! Get serious about it!
Yeah, get serious about it. Let’s think about that for a moment. Are you likely to buy a child something they off-handedly suggest one day? Probably not. What if that child asked for something that was truly good for them, that would make them grow and mature, something that they did a lot of research on, something that they were willing to invest their own blood, sweat, and tears, something that would ultimately benefit others? What if a child would ask you for something like that? Would you help that kid? I bet you would! It seems reasonable to me, and our God is reasonable (Isaiah 1:18), that He would be inclined to grant that prayer. Right?
This should help us prioritize our prayer. Is it kingdom-minded or is it selfish? Am I willing to invest myself in it or do I simply want a gift? We need to also think big. God can do far more abundantly thank we ask or think, right? Isn’t it time we start asking big things – REALLY BIG THINGS? I think so.
Make a plan. Today. Start with on REALLY BIG prayer. Write it down. Pray for it every morning and every night. Refine it. Tweak it. Mold that prayer request to fit kingdom purposes. Bring in supporting scripture into your prayer. Pray secondary prayers so that you may become invested in it. Involve other people. Push the envelope and challenge God.
What do you say? Will today be the day? Pass it on. Please Like and Share this post on Facebook.
Father, I pray that everyone who reads your Word will be inspired and challenged to pray big prayers. Give them a glimpse of your plan for them so that they may begin to pray for it. Give them the desires of their hearts and let them earnestly seek you. Your eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth to give strong support to those whose hearts are blameless toward you. We claim this promise and ask you to give us fruit that comes with fervent, kingdom prayer. Today is the day, Lord. Let us begin today! Amen.
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers