Before they begin their projects, I pray over them, asking the Holy Spirit to rain down creativity, new ideas and the necessary skill that they need to complete their task. Sometimes we forget, and end up going through the this prayer process later, mid-project, when things seem stuck. It’s the secret to creativity, I believe. Does God expect us to be that dependent on Him when we do things? Maybe not. But it works. My kids know that God is behind their creations, and without His involvement, things can seem less significant.
We all have gigantic blind spots. This was one of mine. I pray a lot, with faith. I’m delighted and praise God as I see wonderful answers come into other people’s lives. I want the best for people, and pray accordingly, with big faith that God wants the best for them. I wait with people, urging them that closed doors means that God has something better for them. I pray as they wait, expecting big things for them.
Our troubles concerning our prayer needs have mounted. I’ve wondered, What’s going on?
I’ll tell you what I know has gone on. I’ve doubted our worthiness for answered prayer. I’ve examined, under a microscope, what we could be doing wrong, and what we may have done wrong. I’ve considered every way to make this thing happen, striving to do what God seems to be failing to do. I’ve listened to problem-solving friends who have offered every variety of advice possible, some including inferences that we are, in fact, responsible for our situation. I’ve wrestled with disappointment, depression and discouragement. I’ve checked and rechecked my motives. It’s been exhausting.
I’m always reading books on prayer, hearing the same things, implementing changes as I’ve felt led to do so. Scripture says so much about prayer, and I’ve reread and meditated on those verses; “You do not have because you do not ask God.” (James 3:2), or “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.” (James 5:13) God clearly wants us to ask, so I’ve asked. What was missing? Waiting didn’t seem an option. We needed help now.
It had never occurred to me that central air-conditioning could be a need. It had never occurred to her that it wasn’t.
Shortly after remembering this, I had an argument with one of my kids about the school bus last week. She insisted that she couldn’t take the bus next year. Her ride situation was changing, and we had to do something to prevent her taking the bus. I assured her that she could take the bus, that kids throughout history have done so, by the millions, and survived. She was sure that she could not be one of these survivors. Her confidence in her situation may have been a bit overdone, but I knew that she would get with the program, as she always does. But I also knew that she would only settle and take less if it came to that. She aimed high because that was how she does things. The whole situation made me think.
I was seeing a theme. I wondered, Who do these people think they are? I just didn’t have that natural assurance that I was deserving of such things, as they did. The Holy Spirit whispered to me; “That’s the point. You don’t think you’re worthy. Your prayers reflect this.”
Our blessings aren’t earned, or they’d be called wages.
I revisited my prayers for our long-standing need. I hadn’t been quite sure that God wasn’t going to strip us of all we loved and owned before answering our prayer. I didn’t trust Him to love me so much that He would come through. I changed my prayers. I hadn’t been praying like a daughter of a King, The King. Now, I’m praying with confidence, with high expectations, with true, bone-deep hope. He has sustained us as we’ve waited, as He has taught me how much He hears my prayers and cares, as I’ve learned a new thing about Him and His never-ending love. Mark 11:24 says,
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Now I wait with anticipation, wondering what wonderful answer He has for us. I understand that God cares about the little things, and He cares about the big things. My prayers are much bigger. I have the same big faith for our personal needs that I have always had as I’ve prayed for other people. I know that God is already on it, working it out. He’s that way with all of us, because of Who He is, and because of who we are, in Him.