Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bold Prayer or Not?

Do I think boldness really matters in my prayer life? Of course it does, why bother to pray for if you are not going to pray for bold things? Dave Earley says, “The more precise the prayer, the more faith it takes. If you want specific answers to prayer, you need to make specific request. If you offer only general request, how will you know if they are answered?”[1] This is a common problem in the Christian life, we are often afraid to ask for the things that we truly need and stick to only general request. Why do we stick to only general request? Fear, is the biggest culprit, it makes a stick to general request assuming God will answer those; because if we asked for specific request and never saw the response to our petitions our faith will grow even weaker in God.
            The very first thing I think of when I think of a biblical example where boldness made a difference in prayer has to be Joshua. Think of the boldness that was required for this man to pray to God to stop the sun for moving, so that he can continue in battle. Joshua didn’t just pray for victory he prays for the Lord to do something only he could do make the earth stop rotating around the sun. Joshua had to be taught this boldness; he learned it from his mentor Moses. Moses on more than one occasion stood in the gap for the children of Israel, causing God to turn his wrath away from them.
            Three applications that become can be taken away from Earley’s book are in no particular order fasting, praying more boldly (or more specifically), and to pray a larger variety of prayers. I have seen the effects of fasting personally in my life, back in August 2012, I was struggling with health problems and a group of brothers from Bible study unbeknownst to me individually fasted for me; and on the last day I fasted for myself. In regards to fasting Earley makes a great statement that we have to constantly keep at the forefront of our minds, “God is not an ATM into which we put our prayer and/or fasting and automatically get back what we want. God is God.”[2] also need to be more intentional and specific in the way that I pray. It’s often more convenient to pray a generic prayer; so that I can cross the task off my list. By praying more specific prayers, it will draw me closer to the Lord and increase my faith. Last but not least I need to pray a greater variety of prayers. Earley says
Not only did David pray, but he prayed a variety of prayers. David prayed simple prayers and complex ones. He prayed tears. He asked questions. He made both resolutions in prayed big prayers of faith. He also used balance. A pray prayers of adoration, confession, Thanksgiving, and supplication. God is a person. He has personality. We are people. We have personality. Prayer is expressing the many facets of our personality and our situation to the many aspects of God’s personality. One type of prayer will not do. We need to pray with all kinds of prayers (Ephesians 6:18).[3]

            There is always more that we can learn, but I hope this helps us all to grow and depend on Christ all the more.

[1] Dave Earley, Prayer: The Timeless Secret of High-Impact Leaders. (Chattanooga: Living Ink Books, 2008)117.

[2] Ibid., 103.
[3] Ibid., 128.

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