Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Christian Confessions: I don't know how to pray big.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give to those who ask him!”  ~  Luke 11:11-13

Being a person who likes to pretend she's in charge of her own destiny means that I sometimes suffer unexpected consequences for my pride.  My tendency to want to rely on myself results in an inability to trust God.

Let's face it.  Flawed and arrogant as I am, even I realize that there are certain things I have to leave up to Him.  Those are the things that I pray about.

But, because I am so used to trying to do it all myself, I never manage to pray big.  I ask God for minor things, for lucky breaks, for concessions, I try to bargain.  Poor as I am on my own, I always have this urge to try to offer God something in return for my request being granted.

I was thinking of this when I was teaching the story of Daniel in the lions' den to my preschool kids the other day.  I thought to myself, "Though it seemed impossible, Daniel prayed to God to save him.  I'd be the one praying to God to make it not hurt too much when the lions crunched on my bones."

Even though I recognize this is a problem with my faith, I continue to struggle with trusting God with the big stuff.  For instance, I recently found out that a close friend of mine is expecting.  However, there are some complications which are putting her pregnancy at risk.

At the same time, my husband and I have been trying to conceive for some time now.  And month after month that goes by without success becomes more and more disheartening.

Yet my faith is so pathetically small that I found myself praying this the other morning:

"God, it's okay if we never have another baby.  Even if it means I can never get pregnant again, please let her baby be okay.  I would rather her baby be healthy, even if I can't have anymore."

That is a totally stupid thing to pray.  There isn't a limited supply on healthy babies.  They're not going to run out of stock.  And God is certainly capable of answering both prayers.  I'm putting limitations on Him who cannot be limited.

Besides, God is my loving, heavenly Father.  What Father would tell his children, "I will only bless one of you with a healthy child.  Who's it gonna be?"

I feel like when I finally see God face to face He's going to ask me, "Why wouldn't you just ask me for the things you needed?  I would have given them to you."

The answer is, because I don't feel like I deserve it.  But that's stupid, too.  Because I don't deserve ANY of it.  If I am willing to believe God will grant me small blessings I don't deserve, why don't I believe I can have the big blessings, too?

So, right now, my major prayer is for faith to pray for the major things.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My prayers aren't that different from yours. Usually I'm pleading that I, not anyone I love, be punished for the miserable sin(s) I've committed.

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