A few years ago one of my co-laborers, Bob Stevenson, brought a block of wood with the words “Pray Big” on it to our staff gathering. It was the start of the year and he challenged us to write down big prayers, asking God for big things for the upcoming year.
Recently I was leading prayer at our staff gathering and I remembered the phrase “Pray Big” and shared it again with our staff. We talked about Paul’s words to the Ephesians, “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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (3:20-21). What a Scripture and great reason to pray big prayers! We serve a God who wants us to ask and is ready to answer and respond above anything we could ever imagine.
In my experience, one thing that keeps us from praying big is our focus on our own limitations. We are so conditioned by living in the natural realm. Every prayer goes through a mental grid formed by our resources, our talents, or the limitations that we have. It’s so easy to be focused on the earthly realm and to be confined in our thinking. But as I look at the Scriptures, I am moved and challenged by the prayers of Jesus and great men and women of the Bible. They prayed and God responded to their requests. God moved on their behalf and answered their bold prayers of faith.
Can you imagine the boldness and faith of Elijah as he had the wicked King Ahab and Jezebel, 850 prophets all against him and a confused Israel? (1 Kings 18) They were all watching his showdown and he was able to call down the fire of God. He knew that the Lord would respond to his prayers. It’s easy to read those stories and think that was just in the Bible and that Elijah was some kind of super prophet. But we see in James 5 that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; Elijah was not altogether unlike us. He stood in the counsel of the Lord and was able to be God’s voice in that time.
We may not be in the exact same situation as Elijah, but we are in a time where we need the power of God to come down. The cities of America and in our world are desperate for God to reveal himself. The Lord needs us to stand up like Elijah and pray boldly.
With this in mind, I am stirred to pray big prayers in this new year. Two things help me as I think of praying big and overcoming my current limitations:
First, I need to remind myself of the victory of God and what He has done and will accomplish.
“And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23
Second, I need to know my position in Christ.
“And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6
Colossians 3 says we have to set our minds and heart on the things above. While we may currently live in the earthly realm, our true home is with Christ in eternity and we ultimately live in that kingdom as well. So it is by faith we need to imagine that we are seated in the heavenly places. This is the means by which we can pray big. We pray in faith and with authority from the heavenly places knowing that God has conquered every power that stands in opposition to him.
Is there something in your life where you need a major breakthrough? Meditate on these Scriptures and start praying and believing that God will provide in your situation. And please join us in praying for the cities. Pray that the power of God would come down and encounter the people that so desperately need him.