I discovered an unread book at home recently - It Happens After Prayer by H.B. Charles, Jr. I don't remember getting the book or purchasing the book. I have no idea where it came from. God's timing is always perfect. It was just what I needed. So this post is both an encouragement for you to pick up the book and read it and an encouragement for you to pray... and to pray God-sized prayers.
If I am honest, I don't often pray truly God-sized prayers. I mean, I do pray for healing, for restoration of marriages, for people to know Him and those sorts of things - and those are indeed BIG prayers. But they are really normal, big prayers. I'm talking about the kind of prayers that can only happen if God brings it about. I mean prayers that are completely beyond me. Prayers that are completely beyond us. Prayers, again for things that could only come about if God brought it about.
I was reminded, reading It Happens After Prayer, of Nehemiah's prayer for his home city - Jerusalem. Jerusalem had been utterly destroyed by the Babylonians. Nehemiah was serving the Babylonian ruler at the time because of Israel's defeat. Nehemiah heard, one day, how bad the city and God's people there were doing and Nehemiah was broken. So he began immediately to pray. His prayer was something only God could do. He prayed that the king would grant him, a servant of the king, great favor - favor to gather some men and go to Jerusalem (an enemy city) and rebuild its walls. He would also need all of the king's resources to accomplish that great task.
The job of rebuilding the walls was itself a God-sized task, but to do it with the blessing and resources of the enemy king was even more monumental. Nehemiah could have been killed by the king for even asking. Nehemiah was asking for something that only God could pull off. This is the kind of prayer I don't often pray... the impossible. But now I am.
We talked this morning in our staff meeting about Nehemiah's prayer and our prayer - to reach 625 people this year... to max out our staff, volunteers and facilities. This is beyond us. We can't do this on our own. We need to do what seems to be the impossible - reaching more people than ever, doubling and even tripling areas of the church like Missional Communities.
So we pray. Like Nehemiah.
We pray because we believe that this is God's will - reaching people, seeing them grow in their love and walk with Jesus, that we be good stewards of the resources He has given to us. We pray, this God-sized prayer because we know that only He can make it happen - that means only He can receive the glory.
So what are you not praying for? Have your prayers been too small?
Charles writes, "Well, what is it that you need to God to do in your life? Whatever it is, I have great news for you: God is able!
God is able to put your marriage back together.
God is able to bring your wandering child back home.
God is able to heal your sick and hurting body.
God is able to straighten out your finances.
God is able to save your loved ones.
God is able to break the sinful habit you struggle with.
God is able to fulfill every holy desire you have and accomplish every deed prompted by your faith."
It Happens After Prayer has been right on time for me. Buy a copy. Read it. Join me and let's pray together God-sized prayers for one another, for our church, our city and the beyond!