Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. Ephesians 3:20
This past Sunday, I challenged our church family to pray boldly. The question I asked each person to wrestle with is this: What is the boldest prayer you could pray this year?
That wasn’t just a cute way to get people excited about prayer. I was being serious. What if hundreds of people in our church committed to praying boldly this year? Do we really believe our fighter verse which tells us that God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for even in our boldest prayer?
My wife asked me last night what my bold prayer was this year. I shared something I want God to change in my own heart, a divine healing for a family member, and a church related request. She was surprised that I was praying more than one! I realized that maybe I had been too restrictive in my challenge. I should have asked what bold prayers you could pray this year.
Bold prayers are not just appropriate for God, bold prayers honor God.
One time a Roman centurion approached Jesus and humbly asked him to heal his servant who was paralyzed (Matthew 8:6). Jesus, always full of compassion, agreed to come to the centurion’s home to heal the servant. This is where the story takes an interesting twist. Jesus agrees to visit the centurion’s home, even though entering a Gentile home would make him unclean. The centurion confesses he is not worthy to have Jesus in his home. Then he affirms that, like Jesus, he too was a man who had great authority. All he had to do was say the word and soldiers would do whatever he commanded. He acknowledges that Jesus can simply say the word and his servant would be healed.
How does Jesus respond to this bold declaration? He marvels at this man’s faith! In fact, Jesus says he has not encountered that kind of faith among his own people of Israel (Matthew 8:10). Then Jesus tells the centurion that his request has been granted and at that very moment the servant was healed.
The centurion made a bold request of Jesus. And he did it in the context of great humility and faith. Notice that Jesus did not get angry at him for making such an audacious request. He doesn’t question the man’s cultural background. He doesn’t bring up this man’s past sins.
Jesus celebrates this man’s boldness. And he answers his request.
If you have committed to praying boldly, consider writing those requests down somewhere— maybe in a prayer journal or on an index card.
Let’s pray bold prayers because bold prayers honor God.