Christian Living

Do You Say Bold Prayers or Safe Prayers?

God Often Wants to Delight Us, If Only We’ll Ask

Too many people say safe prayers, such as, “God, please guide . . .” These are safe because no matter what happens, our confidence in God remains unchallenged. These timid prayers accomplish little. Instead we should make bold prayers.

Pray with Bold Expectation

A few weeks ago, a friend asked for prayer about finding a new job. My prayer was bold and specific, filled with expectation.

When I finished, my friend looked at me wide-eyed. “Do you always pray like that?”

“I like to swing for the fences,” I replied.

He smiled and gave me a nod of comprehension. A few weeks later, God answered my bold, specific request for my friend. He received a job offer. Thank you, Jesus!

To “swing for the fences” is an allusion to baseball. In generic terms, this phrase means to go all out, to give it our all. I think that’s what prayer should be like, to put our faith on the line each time we pray.

To swing for the fences when we pray does exactly this.

Prayer Outcomes

Sometimes when we go all out in prayer, we see amazing answers. In our baseball metaphor, we hit a home run.

Other times our prayer doesn’t get the answer we anticipate (we fail to get on base), or God says “no” (we strike out). These outcomes stretch our faith, but they also give us the opportunity to grow.

May our prayers be bold, and regardless of the outcome, may they bring us closer to God and deepen our faith.

Don’t pray prayers where we can’t lose, where our faith remains unchallenged regardless of the outcome. Instead, may we say risky prayers that stretch our faith, that leave no room for failure.

May we say confident, bold prayers, swinging for the fence every time.

Bold Prayers Helps Our Faith Grow

Yes, we will sometime strike out when we pray. Striking out is discouraging. We’re disappointed—not in God but in ourselves. At least that’s my perspective.

Why did God not answer the way we expected? Did our heart not align with his? Perhaps.

Did we not see things the way God saw them? Maybe.

Are there things we don’t understand? Likely.

But these are all chances for our faith to grow.

But other times we get a home run (or at least a base hit) when we pray. These are times for our faith to grow too. We see God’s generous answers to our bold requests, leaving us completely amazed and in awe of him and who he is.

When we pray, regardless of the outcome, it’s a chance for our faith to grow. May we pray with bold confidence, and may our faith grow each time we do.

Don’t make wimpy requests of God. Say bold prayers instead.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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