What incredible dream do you carry in your heart? Here’s my challenge to you. Think big, pray deep.
Each year, our little community’s Ministerial Alliance plans a Concert in the Park. The wild card with concerts in the park, as you can already guess, is the weather. This summer in Western Illinois has already been hot and humid with unpredictable rain showers. The weekend of the Concert in the Park, the forecast shifted back and forth – one hour predicting thunderstorms for Sunday afternoon, the next hour erasing all chances of rain.
By the time of the concert, the weather was perfect – cool, breezy enough to keep the gnats away, and cloudy enough to ward off the heat and glare of the sun.
Yes, we prayed for good weather.
What? Pray about the weather?
Because there are five reasons why praying for the weather to cooperate is not such a good idea.
Let’s look at those reasons.
It is what it is.
The forces of nature are far bigger and more widespread than little ole’ Roseville, Illinois. If it’s going to rain, it’s going to rain. God can’t – or won’t change massive weather patterns for your one little event. Deal with it.
I don’t believe that anymore.
First, the Bible gives plenty of accounts when God did intervene with nature. Jesus stopped several storms on the Sea of Galilee. God divided the Red Sea and parted the waters of the Jordan River. He even reversed the Earth’s rotation, making the sun go backwards in the sky. Those events where God intervenes in the course of nature are called miracles.
God can overrule the patterns of nature He himself has established. Think big, pray deep.
That was in Biblical times.
God doesn’t do that stuff today.
Really? What is to prevent God from doing it today?
A church planned a major children’s outreach in Egypt. High winds dominated the weather hours before the events. The church prayed. At the start of the events, the winds stopped abruptly and the church was able to reach 400 children with the gospel message.
My friend, Andy Avery who is a gifted singer, destroyed his vocal cords with drug use. The doctors said he would never sing again. Sunday’s concert proved the doctors were so very wrong!
Two years ago, I was satisfied to have God guide the surgeons to repair my torn retina and save what little vision I had. God had other ideas and gave me better vision than I’ve ever had before. Don’t tell me God isn’t capable or willing to intervene in earth’s established patterns! Think big, pray deep.
Other people might be praying for rain.
After all, it’s growing season and this is farming country. We need the rain.
Don’t you think that the God who can stop the rain for our concert can also provide rain for them? Weather cycles are funny things. I’ve seen radars of massive storms heading right for our little town. They reach the Mississippi River thirty miles west of us and just fizzle. Sometimes Roseville receives no rain and Monmouth, a town twelve miles from us gets drenched with two inches. God can maneuver rain clouds into any position He wants.
God is capable of ANYTHING and He is active in our world today. Think big, pray deep.
Why bother God with such a selfish prayer?
First, if the answer impacts God’s Kingdom work, it is not selfish. I would not call a Gospel concert a selfish motive. I saw tears at that concerts, people come forward for prayer, and I heard Andy proclaim the gospel. Yes, we shouldn’t ask God for things merely for our convenience. We need to keep His Kingdom motives in mind and ask – how will God’s answer of my prayer bless His Kingdom work and bring him glory?
The purpose of Jesus’ miracles was to prove who he was and to bring people to a deeper faith in him. But you know what? Sometimes Jesus did heal out of sheer compassion (see Matthew 14:14). God loves you with a lavish love. He wants you to bring all your needs to Him. He cares about you. Let Him know then let it go. Think big, pray deep.
What if God doesn’t answer my prayer?
He’s still God. He has that prerogative and we need to respectfully allow Him to make the choice. Be assured of this. He still loves you even if for His reasons, He must say no.
When a parent told you no, did you stop believing they were your parent? Did you doubt their love for you? Okay, maybe yes on the second question. But as we matured, we realized Mom and Dad showed us their love by saying no. There were times as a parent I really wished I could give my child what they asked for, but I knew it was not good for them or good for the overall well-being of the family for them to get what they wanted.
Here is a more important question to ask.
Will you continue to believe, trust, and obey God if He does choose to say no?
If God did allow the rain to fall on our concert, He might be able to do even greater things through our choice to have the concert inside the church building. That certainly happened last year when we experienced excessive heat. People lingered and talked in the cool of the building, far longer than if they had stayed at the park.
One thing is certain. We won’t have if we don’t ask.
“You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:2,3
How do we ask with right motives? Tell God what you want to see happen. Tell him you want to see His work go forward and His name glorified. Your request will show the level of your faith in what you believe God can do. Then respectfully tell Him you will trust His better, perfect judgement, you will go along with whatever He determines to be best, and you will obey Him no matter what.
Let me ask you again. What impossible situation do you face? What beyond your reach dream would you like to see happen? Share it with us. Let’s pray together. Together, let’s think big, pray deep.