Alfred Lord Tennyson, a British Poet Laureate during the nineteenth century, wrote, "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of." Our lives prove how truthful this statement is.
Oh how I would love to have a record of every answered prayer, wouldn't you? So many are answered each day and I do not recognize them or sadly, do not thank the One Who provided the answer.
Our Sunday School lesson last Sunday was on Acts 12 and the church that prayed for Peter's release, then didn't believe their prayer was answered when he arrived at the door. I have to admit, I have prayed, then been surprised at the answer, too. Maybe I've been surprised because I thought I was asking for something too hard for God. Something that seemed so far out there and so beyond His ability to give, that when He answered, I either did not recognize the answer, or was so surprised I had to process it for a while, know what I mean?
I believe God wants to do so much more in our lives than we are willing to ask Him to do. I've gotten comfortable with "safe prayers", and maybe I've missed some supernatural things that He wants me to ask for. Safe prayers are those comfortable prayers that we feel confident God will do, whether we ask Him or not. Safe prayers do nothing to build my faith and expand my world view, but oh, when I ask for big things, for what we call "impossible things", for things that to an unbelieving world make no sense at all, I believe God says, "That's what I've been waiting to hear you say." God is not offended or intimidated by our "impossible things" prayers. In fact, He takes great delight in taking "impossible" to "possible". The greatest hindrance to unsafe prayers is unbelief.
I love the honesty and transparency of the father in Mark 9. This man had a son who had an affliction similar to epilepsy; a hopeless disease of that time. He had brought his son to the disciples, hoping they would heal him, but v18 simply says, "They could not." After questioning this man about his son's disease, Jesus looked him in the eye and said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." And I believe v24 is the heart cry of most of the people I know: "Lord, I believe You. Help me with my unbelief."
I'm sure you know the rest of the story; Jesus healed this man's son and don't you know he was so thankful that he did not resort to a safe prayer? In v29 Jesus tells us that this kind of miracle can only come by prayer and fasting. (we'll tackle the fasting thing in another post. hint; fasting doesn't always include not eating!! amen, right??) This Dad knew he had a tendency toward unbelief and He needed Jesus' help. I, too, can have a spirit of unbelief. And this is the neat thing about praying big, unsafe prayers; the more unsafe the prayer, the bigger the answer and the bigger the answer, the bigger my belief. I don't think this Dad suffered much with unbelief after witnessing Jesus heal his son, do you?
My SS class gave me a gift card to LifeWay, (one of my favorite places to shop) and of course, I wanted to use part of it for books. I am now in the process of reading Stormie's book, "Lead Me, Holy Spirit: Longing to Hear the Voice of God." If you long to know the Person of the Holy Spirit in a more intimate way, you will enjoy this book. As you can see, it still looks pretty good; I haven't worn it out yet!!
Blessings, Blessings, Blessings to my blog members and to all who read this blog!!