Friday, August 30, 2013

Praying Big

Our sermon recently was about blind Bartimaeus calling out to Jesus through the crowd, asking for mercy, and saying "I want to see." Our pastor talked about the importance of asking God for things, praying big requests, and explained how God is glorified in this.

First, why do we pray? From John Piper's Desiring God:
Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that he will provide the help we need. Prayer humbles us as needy, and exalts God as wealthy.
What do we pray for? So often we pray for "small" things: keep us safe driving to the family reunion. Give us energy for studying. Heal my stuffy nose. Our pastor challenged us this morning -- what do you really want from God?? This is God who sent his son to die for you and gives you eternal life. Pray for big things. From a John Piper sermon:
The harder it seems for him to fulfill his promise, the better he looks when you trust him. Suppose that you are at the deep end of a pool by the diving board. You are four years old and can't swim, and your daddy is at the other end of the pool. Suddenly a big, mean dog crawls under the fence and shows his teeth and growls at you and starts coming toward you to bite you. You crawl up on the diving board and walk toward the end to get away from him. The dog puts his front paws up on the diving board. Just then, your daddy sees what's happening and calls out, "Jump in the water. I'll get you." 
Now, you have never jumped from one meter high and you can't swim and your daddy is not underneath you and this water is way over your head. How do you make your daddy look good in that moment? You jump. And almost as soon as you hit the water, you feel his hands under your arms and he treads water holding you safely while someone chases the dog away. Then he takes you to the side of the pool. 
We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do -especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God.
We glorify God by trusting him. In Desiring God, John Piper writes:
We do not glorify God by providing his needs, but by praying that he would provide ours-and trusting him to answer.
Reflecting lately on both asking and trusting.

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