Date: Tuesday, May 27
Scripture: Genesis 15:1-11
Verse: Then he brought Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you think you can count them. He continued, “This is how many children you will have.” (Genesis 15:5)
In his most recent book called The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson writes, “Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers” (Batterson 15), and I think he is on to something. Many of us pray timid prayers. We hedge our bet, in case God doesn’t come through. We pray “achievable” prayers, things we can do with or without God. Sometimes I have even found myself praying for the strength or focus to do something, rather than asking God to do the even greater thing.
I love Abram’s prayer here. He brings to God the thing he desires most, because in its current state it is the thing that pains him most. Abram prays for a son, an heir. God has blessed him in so many ways, and he acknowledges that, but he still longs for that family God has promised him. If I were to die today, he says, my heir would be some guy who works for me, not my own flesh and blood. So God repeats to Abram the promise we read about yesterday, this time with an object lesson attached. Not only will have one heir, God promises, you will one day have as many as there are stars in the sky.
Abram’s prayer was bold. He was able to lay out before God his deepest sadness, and his greatest desire. God honors his prayer, repeating the promise, and eventually (as we will read later in the week) coming through for Abram. Too often my prayers mask my deepest desire, and ask God for things my weak faith thinks can actually happen. I need instead to pray bolder prayers and leave the details up to God.
Prayer: Teach me, O God, to lay before you my deepest fears, worries, and disappointments, and share with you my deepest desires, no matter how unachievable they may seem. Amen.
Action: Pray a bold prayer ever day through the rest of the week.
Respond: What do you think of Batterson’s assertion that bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers?
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Batterson, Mark. The Circle Maker: Praying Circles around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.