What’s the last time you prayed a really big prayer?

I’m not talking about, saying grace or a passing prayer for your kid to feel better so you both can get some sleep. I’m not even talking about the prayer for that friend on Facebook you find out is getting a divorce. Those aren’t bad prayers or wrong prayers, just not what the question is getting at.

What’s the last time you prayed a really big prayer?

You know, the ones that are all-consuming. You wake up praying and it stays in your gut throughout the day. The prayer that knows God has to step in because you can’t handle it on your own. A big prayer that’s waiting on a big answer.

“A big prayer knows God has to step in because you can’t handle it on your own.”

It may not have been hard for you to figure out what that big prayer was. You might even be in the middle of one now. But maybe you remembered that big prayer with a sense of pain – like a memory you’ve tried to forget. The time you laid it all out there for God and He didn’t pull through for you (at least not how you expected). But what if our expectations aren’t the point of our prayers?

Prayers aren’t a last-ditch effort, or even a lifeline that we’re due. Prayer is our chance to connect with God and allow our perspectives to be tinted by His as we grow in our relationship.

Consider for a moment the person you hold dearest in your life. Now, consider what it might be like trying to maintain that same relationship with them with only a handful of text messages a day. How do you really think your relationship would progress? You can probably imagine things would look even more dire if half those messages were only asking for help. We know this wouldn’t work because that isn’t how we form and maintain meaningful relationship.

Text messages and requests for help aren’t bad, but they can’t be foundational. God desires relationship with us first and foremost, that can’t happen if we aren’t willing to take the time to truly know God. We have to remember who He is, learn to embrace His purpose for us and partner in His plan to bring restoration to a broken world. It’s in that relationship that we find the assurance to pray big prayers because we realize God is bigger than our biggest problem.

“But it’s all unexpected, isn’t it? …the truth that the Creator of the universe invites us into deep, caring, loving relationship.””

Meaningful relationships can’t be formed on the basis of need fulfillment. Relationships are formed over time and welcome people to walk with them in the darkest of hours. That’s what God desires with us – to walk alongside, to offer comfort and peace. But God takes that relationship to another level. God will always find a way to offer redemption. To bring light from dark and hope from desperation. And sometimes even answer in the least expected way.

But it’s all unexpected, isn’t it? Whether it’s finding hope in desperation, peace in chaos or healing in sickness. It’s all a miracle. None more incredible than the truth that the Creator of the universe invites us into deep, caring, loving relationship. It’s a matter of how we choose to view it and the type of relationship we choose to pursue. As we realize the miracle of this relationship our big prayers become invitations, rather than expectations and God’s responses become opportunities to see Him work once again.

Continue The Conversation
  1. What was the big prayer that came to your mind?
  2. How did God answer that prayer?
  3. How do you think God’s answers to your big prayers have affected your relationship with Him?
  4. What is one way you can more intentionally engage in your relationship with God as you learn to let Him answer all of your prayers and use all of your situations?