From the time I am writing this, it was exactly one week ago that I asked my girlfriend to marry me. It was an evening that we will never forget. Even though she didn’t know when it was going to happen, we had talked about marriage plenty before I popped the question. In other words, I knew the answer to the question before I even asked it.
And yet I was still a little nervous.
It wasn’t that I was afraid of what she was going to say — I was pretty confident she would say yes. Instead, my nervousness derived from the realization that the question I was about to ask her is one of the biggest questions I will ever ask anyone. Ever. Period.
Those four little words, “Will you marry me?” sum up so much.
They say, “I love you, and will choose to love you and no one else this way for the rest of my life.” They say, “I will selflessly provide for you, protect you, and serve you the way Christ did for the Church.” They say, “Regardless of our feelings, our health, and our circumstances, my devotion to you will be unconditional.”
So it wasn’t that I was afraid of the answer, but rather that the question itself packed so much possibility, responsibility and permanence. It wasn’t the content of the question, it was the size of the question that made me nervous.
I fear that, so often, this is what keeps us from praying bold, valiant, lionhearted prayers to a God who can answer them with ease. A God who is gracious and generous with his kindness and blessings. A God who has power and wisdom that will always be beyond anything our imaginations can fathom.
But, should the size of the request be something that is too big for our God? Should the hopes and dreams that we have be curbed by our reluctance to ask God because our request seems too big, too unlikely, or too audacious?
This is the same God that has the power to create an entire universe from nothing and preserve it in being. The same God that has kept every promise he has ever made to every one of us. The same God that sent his own son to live a life we could not live and die a death we should have died, so that he could adopt us as children in his family. For eternity.
So let’s pray prayers that demonstrate the awesome power and love of our God. He assures us that our prayers are heard (Micah 7:7), that our prayers make a difference (James 5:16), that he will do more than we can fathom or expect (Ephesians 3:20–21), and to do this because he commanded us to do so (Ephesians 6:18).
We pray big prayers because any request, no matter how large and impossible it seems, will be child’s play for a God of infinite power, love and generosity.
What is that one, lionhearted prayer you have been reluctant to come to God with? Now is the time.