Believing in God for Big Things by Jaime Hampton
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.Psalm 145:3 (NIV)
If you’re a beach person (or were when you were a kid, like me), you know how it works: you stand in the water, talking with other people and floating up and down on top of the swells as they roll in. It feels like you’re standing still until you look back and realize you’ve drifted sideways far from the place you started. If you’re lucky, someone you were with came with a distinctive umbrella or blanket that’s easy to spot. If you’re not, you may have to walk the beach, scanning it for a familiar face.
Lately I’ve come to the realization that my view of God, and therefore my prayers to Him, have drifted like I remember doing all those years ago in the water. I haven’t felt a change, I’ve just been going about my business as usual. But a question posed by our pastor recently made me realize just how far the waves of life have pulled me: How big is your God?
Of course God’s size doesn’t change depending on how we view Him, but our pastor’s point was really whether we are expecting God to do the kinds of things we read about in scripture, or censoring or limiting our prayers.
Believing in God for Big Things
I have to admit, there was a time not even all that long ago when I was asking big and seeing God move in big ways. I’m not saying God was a genie in a bottle who answered every single prayer just like I asked; God is still God after all! But I know my view of Him was bigger and my prayers were bolder and more risky, and I absolutely saw God move in those areas I invited Him into.
Recently, I’ve still been praying for my kids and my family and friends and life circumstances, but not as much for the world at large. I also feel like my prayers have been “safer,” if you know what I mean? Maybe because my kids are older I feel like the stakes are higher and I’ve fallen into the trap of wanting to protect their faith in God, just in case He chooses to work differently from the way I want Him to do things. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been busy with life like Heather shared in a recent post and simply haven’t been praying as often or as deeply?
We’ve been praying for our oldest child as he has begun the process of applying to colleges for fall 2024. There are several very different paths his life could take depending on where he gets accepted, so we’ve been praying hard and often that the right doors would be opened and closed based on God’s absolute best for his life.
This past week there were two big direct answers to prayer about the application process that seemed too specific to be coincidences…and I was shocked. Not just joyfully praising God – genuinely surprised that God answered those prayers so specifically. This was a huge red flag to me that my view of God has gotten too small. There was a time when it would have been no surprise, just fuel for more bold, specific prayers!
So I wanted to leave you (and me) a list of three things we can do to see God for who He is: Infinitely BIG!
3 Steps for Believing in God for Big Things
1.) Get back into scripture.
If your view of God is small, it’s highly likely you’re not reading the Bible enough, or maybe your reading has become stale and it’s time to shake things up with a bible study group, new commentary or Bible study. When I realized how small my view of God had gotten, I knew I needed to get back into the Word, so I dug out a study I’d gotten a few months ago but never started. And I started.
2.) Take some time to reflect.
Why are your prayers so small? Have you been disappointed after praying a big prayer God didn’t answer in the way you wanted? Or maybe you’ve been praying for a really long time for something big and haven’t gotten an answer at all. Or maybe like me you’re a little afraid to ask big for fear of someone else getting disappointed if God doesn’t cooperate with your plans. Whatever the reason, go to God with it (He already knows anyway…) and ask Him to help you become bolder in your prayers, and even to guide those prayers into His will for you.
3.) Step outside of your comfort zone.
Don’t be afraid to take risks in your prayers. Shed the idea that you somehow need to only pray for things you’re pretty sure God will do anyway. And remember that you (and I’m talking to myself too) are not responsible for protecting God’s reputation when it comes to praying and God answering – even if that answer is no. While there is a time for discretion in our prayers and being sensitive to the feelings of others when we are praying corporately, if you feel led to pray a bold prayer with a friend or child, sincerely and humbly and expectantly ask.
Join the Conversation
So how big is your God? How can you broaden your view of our Infinite God today? Let us know in the comments!