Many of us have seen the posts, written the posts, or shared the posts on our social networks—a bold, dangerous prayer asking God for renewal, asking for restoration, asking for change, asking for God’s will, asking for growth, asking for patience. Outward cries to a powerful God in front of a faceless collective audience.
Days later, we’ve seen the follow-up posts—recantations of everything that is wrong, or cryptic musings tainted with hopelessness and despair.
When I read these two types of posts within days or weeks of each other, I wonder what the writer expected. Were they paying attention to what they were asking for?
Since I was a teen, I’ve asked God for big things—to make me more like Him; to take away this, that or the other vice; to cleanse my heart; change my heart; renew my mind.
It was only in my late 20s that I became aware of what I was asking God to do—to mess with me in my already-messed-up life. As He worked to unravel my tangled relationships, behaviors, and sins, it looked more and more to me like things were getting worse. I learned, over time and through harsh consequences, that once prayed, God didn’t leave me untouched. And if I would be still, remaining focused on His mercy and grace, I would come through with a better understanding of Him and a little more faith to stand on.
What if, after the bold prayers are prayed, and what seems like greater conflict arises, we were to look for what God was clearing away, uprooting, or renewing? What if we understood and accepted that the prayers for patience would be met with opportunities to practice patience? Prayers for change would be met with something different than what was expected? Prayers for renewal would be met with the cutting away of some things and the growing of other things?
Pray bold prayers without hesitation. Then live the life you’re asking God for with awareness, confidence and faith. The mess that appears to be getting worse, may be becoming clear.
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