Yesterday we finished up a sermon series at church called Ri-dik-yu-lus, which I loved. The central message was, “if you want want normal people have, do what normal people do. If you want what few people have, choose to do what few people do.” Pastor Steve talked about normal vs. ridiculous prayers yesterday.
The thing that stood out to me the most was this: the way you pray reflects what you believe about God. He used an illustration of a “normal” family facing an issue in their lives. They talk to their friends, do everything in their power to solve the problem, come to the end of their rope and decide “well, all we can do now is pray”. How often is that true of us? I think God wants us to pray while we act. Not sit around waiting for him to answer and not do anything, but “push and pray” as Steven Furtick says. He tells of the day when his wife was in labor with one of their children and things got a little dicey at the end. The doctor and nurses went on high alert because the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck and she needed to push that baby out! He talks about how he was glad that the medical team didn’t just gather around the bed and pray for everything to turn out right. They took action! Push and pray!
Normal people pray normal prayers, safe prayers. Don’t go out on a limb. What if God doesn’t answer the way we want him to– let’s not make God look bad or get our hopes up, only to be disappointed. Here’s the thing. When you pray and God doesn’t do what we ask in the way we want him to do it, it doesn’t have to rattle our faith. We can choose to believe that God is sovereign, he is a good God, and he is in control.
My final insight from the sermon was this question: if God were to answer all your prayers from this past week with a yes, just stamp them all yes, how would the world look different? In other words, are you praying ridiculous prayers or normal prayers? Just for those closest to you or for more than that? A related question might be, if God were to answer all your prayers with a yes, would you have asked for more? This isn’t presumptuous– it’s bold! Pray with boldness and for boldness. Pray for miracles to happen. You won’t manipulate God. But don’t underestimate him either!