Pastor Craig Groeschel was giving a talk at a youth camp. There was one boy who was clearly just not into it. As Craig talked, he sat there disinterested, hands in his pockets, slumped over, even looking angry.
Afterwards, the young man revealed some struggles in his life. Craig asked if he could pray for him. “You can pray,” he replied, “but it’s not going to do any good.”
In that moment, Craig felt God nudging him to pray a very bold and specific prayer: “God, I ask you in the name of your Son Jesus to reveal yourself to him now.”
Craig opened his eyes and the boy started shaking. “I think God is on me! I think God is on me!” he was yelling.
They both fell to their knees and prayed together. In that moment, God had revealed himself powerfully to that young man.
And everything changed.
When we read Paul’s words to “pray continually” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, our default assumption is that it’s about duration—about how much we pray.
But what if praying continually wasn’t just about how MUCH we prayed but WHAT we prayed. What if it was about praying through doubts, disappointments, broken dreams, desperate situations, and for a great big God to show up and show his stuff in a way we never expected?
What if it was about listening for his prompts and doing what he wanted when he wanted?
One of the repeated refrains about God is that he is the “maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 115:15, 121:2 etc). In other words, our big God does big things. You can’t put him in a box. You can’t tell him what to do. And you can’t fully know his mind. But our big God does big things; he shoes up and shows his stuff in ways we don’t expect.
You and I both know that you can’t answer your own prayers. Only a big, awesome God can help.
So pray big.
By Matthew Ruttan
–I’m on vacation until August 26. New devotionals appear this week. “Up!” highlights will occur next week. And then the devotional will go on pause until August 26.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
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