Archive for February 18th, 2013

Praying God-sized prayers

from JO’s sermon tonight:

how you pray will determine what kind of life you live. if you only pray small, ordinary, get-by prayers, most likely you’ll live a small, ordinary, get-by life. but when you have a boldness to ask God for big things, you ask Him to open doors that would normally not open, you ask Him to take you further than anyone in your family, when you pray God-sized prayers, you will see the greatness of God’s power.  all through the scripture we see this principle:  Elisha prayed that it wouldn’t rain;  for 3.5 years there was no rain.  Joshua prayed for more daylight;  God stopped the sun.  one prophet prayed for protection;  the enemy standing right in front of him didn’t recognize him, God made him invisible.  the common denominator is they asked for the unthinkable. when was the last time you asked God to do something impossible, out of the ordinary?  one reason we don’t see God do great things is we only ask for small things.  most people pray for protection, wisdom, that’s all good, but it’s limiting what God can do.  there should be something you’re praying about, asking for, that seems far out, you can’t accomplish it in your own strength. dare to ask.

your dreams may look impossible, you don’t have the funding, connections;  God is saying, “I dare you ask Me to bring it to pass, to show you a flood of My favor.”  a lot of times we pray, “God, my child’s off course, if You’ll just turn him around,” and that’s good, but that’s an ordinary prayer.  ordinary prayers get ordinary results;  God meets us at the level of our faith;  if you ask small, you’re going to receive small. a God-sized prayer is, “God, I’m askin’ You to not only turn my child around, but use him in a great way, let him make a difference with his life.” an ordinary prayer is, “God, help me to get by this month, pay my rent,” there’s nothin’ wrong with that;  a God-sized prayer is, “God, I’m asking You to increase me in such a way that I can not only pay my house off but help pay somebody else’s house off.”  how many of your prayers are not being answered simply because you’re not asking?  “Well, God’s God, if He wants to bless me He’ll bless me,” no:

James 4:2 (KJV)

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

if you’re not asking big, you’re short-changing yourself.  you will never reach the fullness of your potential if you only pray small prayers. I’m not talkin’ about just making a wish list and prayin’ every whim, I’m talkin’ about asking God for what He’s already promised you:

Deuteronomy 15:6 (ESV)

… you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.

Deuteronomy 28:12 (ESV)

12 … And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

Psalm 91:16 (NIV)

16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation

Joshua 24:15 (ESV)

15 … But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord

there are hundreds of promises that you have every right to pray and ask God to bring to pass.  plus, there are specific dreams, desires that God’s placed in your heart;  they didn’t just randomly show up, the Creator of the universe put them in you, they are a part of your divine destiny.  in Psalms it talks about:

Psalm 37:4 (AMP)

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

the hidden dreams that you haven’t told anybody about;  one way you know they’re from God is they’re so big you cannot accomplish them on your own.  God does this on purpose so that it will take faith.  faith is what pleases God, allows Him to do the impossible.  so God will put somethin’ big, where you don’t have all the talent, education, connections, confidence.  God will even allow certain  obstacles that we can’t overcome on our own;  we can either think, “too bad, didn’t work out for me, I don’t have the connections, couldn’t get the financing, the medical report doesn’t look good,” we can talk ourselves out of it, or we can say, “God, I can’t do this in my own strength, but I know You are all-powerful, there’s no limit to You, so God I’m asking You to make a way even though I don’t see a way”  God gave David the promise that one of his descendants would always be on the throne, he would have this lasting dynasty;  he could have said, “God, I’m just a shepherd boy, I was out tending my father’s sheep, I don’t have formal training, education, experience,” no, David understood this principle, even though it looked far out, he didn’t dismiss it.  he said:

1 Chronicles 17:23 (NLT)

23 “And now, O Lord, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. May it be a promise that will last forever.

imagine the nerve David had to ask for something so big

1 Chronicles 17:25 (NLT)

25 “O my God, I have been bold enough to pray to you because you have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him—a dynasty of kings!

in other words, “God, I’m asking you to do something amazing, not because I have all the talent, education, connections, but because You have promised it.”  what God has promised you, the dream He has placed in your heart, may look impossible, but if you’ll just dare say, “God, You promised it, now I’m bold enough to ask You for it.”  when you do, don’t be surprised if thoughts come saying, “it’s never gonna happen, you don’t have the talent, you come from the wrong family, you made too many mistakes.”  the enemy gets stirred up when you start asking God for big things;  he’ll leave you alone as long as you pray small, ordinary prayers, but when you start praying God-sized prayers, you start asking God to take you where you’ve never been before, that’s when those thoughts will bombard your mind, saying, “who do you think you are?”  just smile and tell them;  a child of the most high God.  radical faith gets radical results.  when you pray God-sized prayers, God’ll show up in a big way;  He’ll give you the desires of your heart.  are there dreams that you’ve talked yourself out of, problems you’re convinced you’ll never overcome?  why don’t you take the limits off of God?  what if the only reason it’s not happening is because you’re not asking?  Jesus said:

Luke 12:32 (KJV)

32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

God wants to give you the desires of your heart, but you have to have the faith of a little child and be willing to ask.  it gives Him pleasure to give you the kingdom;  it brings a smile to His face.  if my children never asked, acted like they were bothering me, they were intimidated, that would make me feel badly;  I’d say, “come on, step up to the plate, I’m your father, I want to be good to you.”  some of you today need to step up to the plate;  quit asking small, acting like you’re bothering God, praying weak, barely get by prayers.  your Father owns it all.  He created the whole universe, and if you’re gonna see the fullness of what He has in store, you gotta learn to ask big.  I’m not going to let my lack of asking keep me from reaching my highest potential.

Psalm 31:19 (NLT)

19 Your goodness is so great! You have stored up great blessings for those who honor you. You have done so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.

because you honor God, there are blessings that have your name on them stored up;  houses, businesses, books, movies, children, ideas, they have your name on them, God wants to release them, He’s just waiting for you to ask.  will you have a boldness to ask for things that even seem impossible?  it’s good to ask for our needs, but I’m encouraging you today, ask for your dreams, goals, the secret petitions of your heart.  when you know how to pray these God-sized prayers, your children, relatives don’t have a chance;  God will move heaven and Earth to bring that promise to pass.  you may have somebody in your life that you’re about to write off;  they’re makin’ bad decisions, looks like they’ll never straighten up, keep praying, keep asking God, not only to bring them back, but to do something great with their life.  when somebody is living radically the wrong kind of life, and God touches them, they will live radically the right kind of life;  God will use them to do amazing things.  we have the promise, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord

Psalm 112:2 (DARBY)

His seed shall be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

not addicted, defeated, mediocre, no, mighty, powerful, history makers.  don’t pray small prayers over your children;  it doesn’t matter what they are or aren’t doing right now, pray bold prayers:  “God, I’m asking that my child be mighty in the land, let them be history-makers, leave a legacy of faith that will be seen for generations to come.”  dare to ask big.  You have not because you ask not.  God is saying, “ask Me for big things, I created the universe, don’t ask Me for a $2 raise, to just keep your children out of trouble, to just help you make it through life, ask Me to turn drug addicts around, for children who will become history makers, to part Red Seas, to bring water out of a rock, to show you floods of My favor.  I dare you to ask, to stretch your faith, take the limits off of Me, pray God-sized prayers.”  when you face situations in your everyday life that seem impossible, God says, “I dare you to pray, ask Me for that car to start.”  you think, “oh, God’s got bigger things to deal with,” let me tell you, you are God’s biggest deal, you are the apple of His eye.

too often, we limit God, we have a small view of who He is, we think God is up there somewhere far away, running the universe, “I can’t bother Him with this small problem, I can only pray if I have some kind of major catastrophe.”  God knows the # of hairs on your head, He knows your words before you speak them, you are not inconveniencing God by asking Him to help you in your everyday life.  God wants to be good to you, to show you His favor in a new way.  He’s saying today, “I dare you to ask.”  when you pray God-sized prayers, God will show up in a big way.  some of you are not seeing God do great things because you’re only asking for small things.  God is saying, “ask Me to open doors that seem impossible, to give you the secret petitions of your heart.”  you’ve gotta have this boldness like David, and say, “God, you promised it, I see it in the scripture, now I’m gonna be bold enough to ask.”  there are blessings stored up for you right now, with your name on them;  if you’ll learn how to pray God-sized prayers, you will see your children become mighty in the land, the right people will show up at the right time, God will give you the desires of your heart.  you will see the fullness of what God has in store, overcoming every obstacle, defeating every enemy, and becoming everything God’s created you to be.

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