“If only we know what was happening when we pray, we would never cease to pray.”Louie Giglio
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”Matthew 7:7-8
It’s crazy to think that it’s already July. Half the year is gone, while half the year has yet to be experienced. So many things can happen in 6 months. So many things can happen in 6 weeks. Even crazier, so many things can happen in 6 days… and even 6 hours. What do you want to happen in the next 6 months?
If you didn’t know, it’s summer!! For those who are students, this might look like a reprieve from the constant hours of school and the suffocating amount of homework. For others, it could look like taking a summer class to catch up or get ahead, while for others it could look like a summer job or internship to gain experience. For those in the professional world, summer can look roughly the same, with working 9-5, but potentially a week (or two) off for vacation. For others, hours might be cut back with more time to spend outside and with family and friends. For some, summer can look like burgers on the back deck after a long day of being in the sun with wavy potato chips, corn on the cob, and citronella candles burning to keep away the pesky mosquitos. For many, summer is one of the best seasons of the year. I’m a HUGE fan of summer (although if you know me, you know it’s not my favorite favorite, fall is, I just love any season I’m in but will forever be fall’s #1 fan) because I love the warmth of the sun on my body. I love going to the beach and going fishing out on the ocean and just feeling alive. I love that I don’t have to give school my attention. Summer is a season of rest for me. And it could easily be for you, too, regardless of your stage of life. But summer might not be a time of rest for you. Summer could be a time of stress and worry and anxiety because it’s what people classify as “bikini season” and maybe you aren’t about that or are insecure about your body. It can also cause stress and anxiety and worry about the upcoming school year and all the school year entails – whether it be housing, finances, studying, or being away from home. Summer could also be a time of stress and worry and anxiety for you because people are having weddings and you just experienced a bad break up and seeing others madly in love brings out your own pain. Or maybe summer is your favorite, but you know that it’s only temporary and once it starts to get cold and gloomy, your seasonal depression comes back and you’re stuck in a slump – and you dread that. Regardless of how yours looks, where you live, or what you do during it, we’re all in this season of summer.
Somewhere along the line, summer became this time of transition. A time of transition between school and work. A time of transition of moving from one state to another. A time of transition of getting married and starting life with someone you love. A time of transition in your fitness and health journey. Obviously, other times throughout the year can be transition times, but I largely find that a lot of my transitions, and big decisions, happen over summer. And this can, and has in the past, led to some anxiety about the unknowns and the ‘what ifs’ of the future. But that’s not the end of the story. The anxieties and the unknown of the future and the lonesome and tiresome and challenging transitions are not the end.
Something I’ve been learning lately is that our God is a BIG God. And I already knew that and I’m sure you did too. So I don’t say that just to say that. I mean it – he’s a BIG God with BIG powers and BIG plans for your life. He’s 100% capable of doing big things with your life. But sometimes those things require big prayers. Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” To delve deeper into this, it says in order have something given to you, you must first ask. In order to find, you must seek. In order to have the door opened, you must knock. That kind of sounds like a duh. If you go to a friends house, you’ve got to knock to let them know you’re there! Well duh! But if your friend is going to Thailand and you want a souvenir, you’ve got to ask for it, they might not just bring a souvenir for you. The same goes with God. If you want something from God, you’ve got to ask for it. If you want something, you’ve got to seek Him to reveal something to you. Sure, God knows what you need and when you need it, and He will of course give you what you need, but He wants you to ask Him for things. When you ask Him for things, you’re showing Him that you trust Him with the thing you’re asking for. The bigger prayers you ask Him, the bigger the trust you’re showing Him.
Think about it like this. If you have a 0.5 pound box of tissues that you need moved versus a 500 pound box of bricks that you need moved, the person you might ask to carry each one will differ. A child could easily move the box of tissues, but there’s absolutely no way that child could move the 500 pound box. You need someone who has the capability to move the 500 pound box to actually move the 500 pound box. The strongest man in the world can lift a lot of heavy things and a lot of things that aren’t considered heavy. But not everyone can lift what the strongest man on earth can lift. When we ask this super strong man to move the 500 pound box, we’re telling him that we trust in his ability to move the box. That makes sense because you wouldn’t ask the child to move the 500 pound box because it’s clear the child won’t be able to! Our God is like the strongest man on earth (but WAAAAAAAY better). There is NOTHING that our God cannot do. He can provide peace from anxiety. He can provide financials. He can provide that special someone for you. He can provide you with the right living situation. He can provide you with the self confidence to believe in yourself. He can provide you with the right home, the right job, the right anything. But you have to believe that.
The difference between an active faith and a dead faith is whether or not you act on that faith. You can say all day long that you believe God will come through and provide for your needs and answer your prayers, but if you don’t actually act on that belief, what good is that doing? If you believe God can answer your biggest of prayers, but you continue to only give him the mediocre, average sized prayers, what good is that doing? If you believe that fruits and vegetables are good for your health, but you refuse to eat them, what good does that do for your body? When you refuse to come to God with your biggest prayers, you’re basically telling God you don’t trust him with the biggest aspects of your life. And when you do that, you miss out on a lot of things the Lord could have in store for you. Oof – that stings a little. I’ve definitely been guilty of not asking and not trusting Him before. But as of late, the Lord has been showing me and teaching me that if I want to see big results and big answered prayers, I have to pray big prayers.
I struggle with wondering if these big prayers will be answered sometimes, truth be told. But I have seen time and time again that the Lord answers the big prayers I send up to Him. The Lord has even answered big prayers I’ve only uttered to Him and never truly spent time writing in my prayer journal. He always comes through. The lack of faith is always on me, never on Him. He has never given me a reason to not trust that He will answer my prayers. It’s always me, letting my human fears get the best of me, that struggles with trusting Him. But as long as the Lord continues to come through and answer my big prayers with big answers, I’ll continue to remind myself that He will come through and to go ahead and ask him for big things. How will I ever receive big answers if I don’t pray the prayers? There is no prayer too small and there is no prayer too large that the Lord cannot answer. He will always come through, He will never stop coming through, and He will always answer your prayer. Disclaimer – it’s not always when and how I want the prayers answered, but it’s always what I need, just when I need it, no sooner, no later. It’s almost like He has this intricate plan for my life. Oh wait… He does.
I don’t want to glaze over the fact that the Lord will always do what is best for you regardless. And there are plenty of times in my life and in your life that the Lord will give you the answer to prayers you didn’t even know you had. And that’s because He’s sovereign and He’s good and He’s perfect in His timing and He sees things you don’t see. But if you want a door to be opened for a new job, a new home, a spouse, financial freedom, or anything else, you have to ask. Remember Matthew 7:7-8. So go ahead, girl, pray big prayers. But don’t forget to pray with the faith and the trust that the Lord WILL come through. And be patient and wait and see that the Lord is good and that He will take care of you. Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still”. So pray your big prayers and be still. Let Him do what He does best. Don’t pray big prayers and continue to be anxious. Pray everyday if you want to. Pray once and let it go if that’s what you need to do. Either way, pray big prayers and let Him do what He wants to do with your life. He’s waiting for you to trust him with the biggest aspect of your life. Trust Him. Girl, pray big prayers.