I don’t always believe in what I pray for. Sometimes I lack faith.
I’m blessed to serve a God who loves “impossible” prayers. You know…the prayers that seem so risky, so scary, and so big, just to say out loud, or even just to think about. I’m guilty of being the person who is willing to say the impossible prayers, but who doubts God’s ability to answer them.
I was pretty convicted reading through Mark 6:1-6. Jesus went to visit his hometown after performing countless miracles and healings, and the community there was pretty cold, to say the least. They acknowledged his wisdom and the miracles he had performed. However, they questioned the source of the wisdom and miracles, not out of admiration, but out of disdain. In their eyes, Jesus was just a common everyday average-Joe. They jabbed at his family- status and class-status as a carpenter. How was it possible that someone so low on the social totem pole could be doing divine work? They were offended by him. They lacked faith that his work was fueled by the Lord.
Because of their lack of faith, Jesus healed a few sick people, and then moved on. Yes, there was work to be done there, lives to change, and miracles to be performed. But because of their lack of faith, he left.
Could he have performed the miracles? Absolutely. This isn’t an Elf situation where Jesus needs people to believe in him in order to perform miracles (I couldn’t pass up referencing one of my favorite Christmas movies!). Jesus doesn’t need my prayers. I need my prayers. Regardless of my disbelief or doubts, God’s will be done. Amen!
And I’ve seen this happen in my life, over and over again…
When I first moved to Michigan 7 months ago, I prayed for the life I am living now – the community, the friends, the job, the fun, etc. But at the time, I deeply felt that God had let me down by calling me to live here. I prayed and remained hopeful, but I questioned God had a unique plan for me to be here. I doubted things would ever get better. My faith was wavering, but He was faithful all along. I truly am loving life right now!
I have prayed for friends to come to know Jesus, even though deep down I doubted that they would ever have that desire. Now these friends lead me and inspire me in my walk with God.
I prayed for Jesus to heal my relationship with Justin when we were at an all-time low while dating. Our relationship was more worldly then Christ-like, and our relationship was falling apart. I doubted God’s ability to restore us, but prayed anyways. Yet here we are married, stronger and more joyful than ever.
I have prayed countless times to overcome my anxiety and to not let it hold me back from pursuing new challenges and opportunities. To be honest, this is a daily struggle. But even despite crippling anxiety I…Graduated through a rigorous PT school curriculum – check! Moved out of my comfort zone to a new state to start a new chapter in life – check! Continue to cross the finish lines of marathons – check! Switched to two different career settings at once – check! All of these things scared me to death initially, but God helped me get the jobs done!
I could go on! I’m no better than those people from Jesus’s hometown. I’ve doubted his ability to hear and answer my prayers time after time. What God has planned will always prevail, regardless of my mistakes and shortcomings.
Nonetheless, this passage convicted me of the importance of truly believing in the sovereignty of God. I am called to believe and to have faith. What if God has chosen not to move in my life due to my lack of faith? What work might be done in me or in others around me, just by simply believing that God CAN? How might God’s Kingdom be expanded even more, simply by just having genuine faith in my Savior? I don’t have the answers, but I know where I need to start.
From this day forward, I’m striving not just to say the impossible prayers. But to believe in them, too. To believe that God CAN and WILL. I am choosing to believe in what I pray for. That God can change lives. Restore relationships. Heal illnesses. Move within me. Move in others. Guide me on the unpredictable path He has planned for me.
I just need to believe.
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20