8/18/10

No More Wimpy Prayers!

John Piper talked about “wimpy women” at True Woman ’08 – and he encouraged us not to be wimpy, but rather, theologically sound and strong in the Lord. So I came home and learned how to be bold for Christ and live out my roles in biblical womanhood. So many areas of my life changed. But I still was a wimp in one crucial area.

The truth is, my prayers were wimpy and ineffective. I didn’t come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16); most of the time, I limped in apologetically. Oh, I could string together pretty words – writers and speakers tend to do that. But boldness before God? I didn’t know how to be bold. My idea of boldness in prayer was more like a loud whimper, hoping God would hear, but not sure why He’d bother.

It’s not that I doubted God’s love. I doubted my right to be in the throne room. But that all changed as I attended Life Action’s Revival Week and listened to a message by David Butts, a simple but forthright man who chairs America’s National Prayer Committee and serves as president of Harvest Prayer Ministries. I first became acquainted with David as I read his book, Asleep in the Land of Nod. I knew he was a man of profound wisdom.

As he spoke on prayer, I heard God say, “Listen, learn, and obey.” David said, “Most Christians pray wimpy prayers. There’s no faith; there’s no confidence. There’s nothing that causes it to rise to heaven. There’s no power.”

David said the model for practical, bold praying is found in Acts 4:23-31, the early church. First, they paid attention to who they were talking to; they acknowledged that God is God—the sovereign Creator and Lord. When we pray with concern and anxiety, we are focusing on our needs, not Him! David made the picture all the more absurd: “We enter the throne room, and have the attention of the Father,” he said, “and we mutter a wimpy prayer?”

Second, the early church prayed the Word of God back to God. Prayer is not about us. “It’s how God has chosen to accomplish His will on earth,” David said. We pray according to God’s will (1 John 5:14-15), not saying, “God, I have an idea of how you can fix this.” Even Jesus had to pray according to the Father’s will.

Third—and this is the part that grabbed me—the early church prayed BIG prayers. Our little prayers, our hospital lists and daily needs are important to God, but they will not change the world. “Pray the big prayers that shake heaven,” David said. “Within five weeks of their prayer meeting, the teachings of Jesus filled Jerusalem and they turned the world upside down.”

I wondered whether I’d ever be able to pray big prayers. David invited us to envision the throne room of heaven, with angels crying out “Holy, holy, holy” and “Glory to God.” Perhaps we stand nearby, joining them in praises. “The Lord reigns!” we might cry out (Psalm 93:1-5), admitting our submission to and reverence for the Holy One.

Then David asked us to imagine that there is a path leading to the very throne, and we walk that path and stand before our Father, and then boldly present our prayers. [I envisioned "The Emerald Throne Room Scene in Heaven," an artistic rendition by Pat Marvenko Smith.] I realized that the reason I ask such puny prayers of God has nothing to do with His ability to answer, but rather, my weak faith to believe that He wants to answer. After all, I reasoned, who am I?

And then the Lord flooded my heart with all that I am and all that I have in Christ. It’s not a matter of my puny faith, but rather, my all-sufficient Savior.

So, I’ve begun a new journey in prayer, believing God for bigger things—resting in my position with God in Jesus and claiming God's Word. I don’t know what will happen next, but the adventure in prayer is refreshing my spirit!

6 comments:

Marja said...

ouch... great post Dawn. I struggle with my own prayers sometimes... your words are encouraging!

Dawn Wilson said...

"Father God, help Marja and I to refresh our prayer life as we focus on You. Give us the desire to pray bigger prayers as Your children." Amen!

crazydaisy said...

So powerful! Thank you, Dawn! I love reading your posts

Dawn Wilson said...

Thanks CD ... I love writing them!

Dawn Wilson said...

Thanks CD ... I love writing them!

Miss.Wendy said...

Amazing and So Much the More Truer Now thank you Boldness.

LORD YOU'RE HOLY
https://youtu.be/_X3GO7Ov7b0
Chorus:
Lord You're holy, Lord You're holy and we lift You up and magnify Your Name (twice)

Verse 1:
I look around and I see, all the works Your hands have made, the awesomeness of You, and how Your love will never fade, mere words cannot express what I feel inside, I can't describe Your glory divine, but as a token of my love, this is what I'll do, I lift my hands and cry, Lord

Chorus:
Lord You're holy, Lord You're holy and we lift You up and magnify Your Name (twice)

Verse 2:
There's not enough words that I can say, to tell You how much, I appreciate, all the wonderful things, You've given me, Your love and kindness, Your tender mercies,

Choir: It's my desire, to praise You
Lead: I want to praise You Lord
Choir: And to tell You how much, I love You

Lead: Cause You're worthy of all, all the glory

Choir: You're worthy of all, the praise

Lead:
And You're worthy of all the praise, I don't know why You would love me, why You would show me, so much mercy, why You would suffer, and die for me, way back, way back, on Calvary, but I

Choir: But I, I thank You
Lead: I thank You, somebody help me thank Him
Choir: I thank You
Lead: Jesus, I thank You Lord
Choir: I thank You
Lead: My heart cries thank You, and I give You all... the praise...


Choir & Lead:
Wonderful, Glorious, Holy and Righteous, Victorious, Conqueror, Triumphant and Mighty, Healer, Deliver, Shield and Defense, Strong Tower and My Best Friend, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Soon Coming King, Alpha, Omega, Lord of Everything

Choir: Holy, Holy, Holy is Your Name
Sopranos: Wonderful, Glorious, Holy and Righteous

Altos: Victorious, Conqueror, Triumphant and Mighty

Tenors: Healer, Deliver, Shield and Defense

All: Strong Tower and My Best Friend, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Soon Coming King, Alpha, Omega, Lord of Everything

Choir: Holy, Holy, Holy is Your Name...

Choir:
Wonderful, Glorious, Holy and Righteous, Victorious, Conqueror, Triumphant and Mighty, Healer, Deliver, Shield and Defense, Strong Tower and My Best Friend, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Soon Coming King, Alpha, Omega, Lord of Everything
Holy, Holy, Holy is Your Name...

Choir: Holy
Lead: My God is Holy
Choir: Holy
Lead: The Angels cry Holy
Choir: Holy is Your Name... Holy
Lead: My heart cries Holy
Choir: Holy
Lead: So Holy, Holy, Holy is Your Name...
Choir: Holy is Your Name...