Friday, November 4, 2011

How do we pray boldly?

During this journey of preparing for Austria and building our financial support team, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to pray boldly.  I believe that God answers prayer, and I believe that we should pray boldly and specifically if we want to see Him work. Scripture tells us to go before the thrown of God confidently (Hebrews 4:16) and to pray continually (I Thessalonians 5:16). Scripture even says we can move mountains through prayer.

"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him." - Mark 11:23

This all seems plain and simple, right?

While I know all of these things to be true, I also know this: God doesn't always answer prayers, at least not in a way that we can see or understand.   I've experienced times where I've prayed boldly for someone to be healed and they weren't. I've prayed for missionaries to get to the field quickly and it took them years. We've all experienced this in one way or another.

So what I have been wrestling with is this... How do we pray boldly, while also humbling submitted to what God wants? How do I pray and hope for something, while knowing in my heart that God may not answer my prayer the way I want to or according to my timeline? How do I do this without getting discouraged or disappointed?

Right now, Nate and I have boldly been praying that we reach an important and lofty goal: 60% funding by January 15th. Reaching this goal will enable us to attend pre-departure training at WorldVenture in January, which will set us up well to leave for Austria this summer. Not meeting this goal will slow our timeline down. I want to pray for this confidently and boldly, but I've been struggling with fear that we won't reach the goal. I want to prepare myself for that possibility, while at the same time still hoping and praying that we make it.

I don't have answers to all of this. I know that the Lord is sovereign over all of it - of the funding, the timeline, the training and everything else in between. So what do I do?

I keep praying.

My prayer is that He brings me peace and shapes my heart, so I can pray boldly and rest in His will for our lives.

 How do you reconcile praying boldly and submitting to the Lord's will?

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