We’ve often heard it said that God delights when we pray big, audacious prayers. There is truth to this. He loves to bless us and show himself mighty and powerful. I’ve received many miracles and answers to big, bold prayers. With those blessings there’s also been a cost.
The dreams and desires I have are really not mine—they’ve been planted in me by my Creator. And believe me, these are very big dreams—far bigger than I, and much greater than I personally would have chosen for myself.
Increasing your income, impact, and influence all sound like perfectly harmless things to pray for and expect in your life. It’s completely acceptable to ask God to increase you. That’s his will—he does not take idle hands lightly. Complacency and settling for mediocrity because that’s where you’re comfortable is not the life God created you to live. He’s got big things in store for you…which is why it delights him when you pray big, bold, audacious prayers.
When I began my big, bold prayer journey I had a lot to learn. Through the changing seasons of my life (heartbreak, lack, abundance, stagnation, joy, loneliness, companionship, etc.), I have grown closer to my Creator. I know about who he is and what his name means now more than ever before. And I know that I will continue to know him in even greater ways throughout my life.
There is a lesson I learned and had to accept about praying and believing big. The revelation of this brought me to a crossroads. With this new level of understanding, I could choose to go on or to change my mind and change my prayers.
The lesson is this:
“Big, bold prayers require big, bold courage. When you pray for God to increase your faith—something he delights in answering (because faith pleases him), be prepared to be stretched to the very end of yourself. When you think you can’t bear it one more second, more resistance, adversity, confusion, and pressure come against you. Faith is developed through a resisting force.”
Are you going to listen to everyone who says your dreams are not based in reality? Are you going to be moved by what you see and feel? Or are you going to walk by faith and not by sight?
The bigger the prayer, the bigger the dream, the bigger the giant you have to slay. The more you have to work, the more you have to risk, the more discomfort you feel and experience. If you have a dream to reach the masses and to influence many lives, that’s wonderful! Realize the responsibility that comes with that.
I think many people are so quick to want to be in power, have fame and fortune, and to be in a top leadership role. While there is nothing wrong with those desires, just realize that there is a high cost to those things.
If you want to be in a position of power and influence, you need to be strong enough to resist the corruption and temptation that go with it. If you want fame and fortune, be prepared for a massive life change. Your privacy goes out the door. And to protect the little privacy you do get, you have to pay big bucks for it.
I don’t write this to discourage you or to scare you. This isn’t to make you fear success or to encourage playing small. It’s just the reality you will face, so be prepared.
When you pray big, you’ll face big adversity. The more you gain, the more you have to manage. This is why God said, “those who are faithful with little will be faithful with much.” He also encourages us to “not despise the day of small things.”
I used to get so impatient with the “day of small things.” As I have increased and grown, I have actually seen the gift and treasure in the small things. The small things are your training season. It’s your preparation to handle the big things. It’s your chance to prove to yourself that you are equipped to bear a greater load.
Life does not get easier and more comfortable as your faith develops and increases. It actually gets harder. As Mark Batterson wrote in his book, The Circle Maker:
“God will keep putting you in situations that stretch your faith, and as your faith stretches, so do your dreams. If you pass the test, you graduate to bigger and bigger dreams. And it won’t get easier. It’ll get harder.”
The choice is up to you. Do you want to run that million-dollar business? Do you want to grow your church? Do you want to obtain that promotion? Then be willing to pray harder than you’ve ever prayed and to work harder than you’ve ever worked.
Faith without works is dead. Faith requires action. You have to take a step in faith and walk by faith, even when you see NOTHING happening. God is faithful; the question is, will you be?