Many people make New Years resolutions at the start of a new year and I know many Christians who chose one word that will be their focus for that year. For me, “My One Word” for 2016 is “Believe.” The word comes from Romans 4, where Abraham believed God and he also grew in faith. I so want to grow in faith and pray faith-filled prayers! The verse that challenges my prayer life the most is Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
I have made some small gains in believing God this year. I have had conflicts with people and I have prayed and believed that God would work them out, and He has. My daughter interviewed for a major college scholarship and I stretched my faith to believe that she would receive it, and she did. These small victories (or major victories!) have grown my mustard seed-sized faith.
But I confess I still find myself praying fractured prayers. When I pray, I give God many options, so that He can pick and choose. It is hard for me to nail down exactly what I will believe God for and to just pray that one. I wanted to give you an example of my fractured prayer like because perhaps my struggle in prayer is not just mine, but a common one.
I have a medical condition that is painful and distracting. In prayer, instead of asking for one thing, I have found myself giving God 3 options:
Option A) Heal me miraculously and quickly. I’m 44 years old. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I have to endure this for 44 more years. So Option A, quick and miraculous healing, is certainly my first choice.
Option B) Give me medical options. The idea of surgery does not excite me, but neither does constant pain for the rest of my life. So if God does not choose Option A, I dearly hope that Option B will be there.
Option C) Jesus’ quick return. My eyes tear up just thinking about this option because in my misery, I have longed for Jesus’ return. That would be the easiest solution for my problems. I would not have to have faith for God to heal me or have surgery. As John the Revelator said, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Yes, I love Option C. (But I think that my sixteen year old daughter who has never been kissed would disagree.)
Honestly, I feel quite guilty about my fractured prayers. Why can’t I choose one option and pin all of my hope and prayers on that one? It’s because I struggle to believe that God will really heal me. I’m just not sure what He does for people in my situation and with my growing faith. He is God, after all. It’s so hard to believe God for that miracle and it is much easier to give God options in prayer.
Instead of having faith for God to do one big thing, if we give God options, we don’t have to have faith for anything.
Perhaps you can relate to me in some area of your life. Perhaps you have an area in your life that you need a miracle. Maybe your marriage is on the brink of collapse. Perhaps your loved one has depression. Maybe you can’t pay the electric bill. Maybe your child is hanging out with the wrong crowd. Or maybe you need a miracle for your own ailing body.
Do you find yourself giving God options in prayer instead of believing Him for your miracle?
We aren’t sure how to pray and we struggle to have faith to believe, so we fill our prayers with options and uncertainty. Truthfully, it is hard to believe God for great things. But yet God calls us to do just that. For nothing is impossible for God.
Girlfriend, let’s choose to believe God for the miraculous and not just to take the easy way out by giving Him options. Nail down what you want to believe God for, and stick to it.
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Mark 11:24