A stupid prayer

This article is cross-posted at releasetheape.com on July 18, 2013.

I prayed a stupid prayer a year ago.

As I was looking for a new role in campus ministry, I asked for something that would require me to exercise my faith muscles. And when we were starting our church, I asked God to build something that wouldn’t be credited to the talents of the people in the room. I wanted God to do something that could only be explained by his presence with us, that would be impossible to do without God.

That’s what I prayed.

And praying that, back then, was exciting. For the APE’s out there, when God calls you to something crazy — and I did say when — it’s absolutely electrifying. The thrill of the dream fills our lungs, and makes us want to shout. The risk of the adventure starts getting our blood pumping. We lose sleep with giddiness, because we’re in love with the possibilities. It’s fun — really fun — at the start.

And that’s what it felt like to me when it was all about the dream. Planting a church. Taking a new national role with a campus ministry. It was all exciting. New. Dreamy.

Now, a year later, he’s answering that prayer. And I wonder why I prayed it.

Everything feels impossible. Truly. I have no idea how I’m going to juggle the possibility of adding a third child, the start of a new national role, and still lead this church plant. All of these things hum with a vibrant energy that just wants to grow — and keep growing — and seeks to be released.

And yet, I find myself trying to manage it all, to keep them small and manageable. Some would say that’s wisdom. I can tell you that, for me, it’s laced with fear.

So yes, in a way, it was a stupid prayer to pray. Unwise, even.

Now, there’s certainly more risk involved. And uncertainty dominates: I really have no idea how this is going to unfold. I’ve had times when I’ve questioned my call.

Still, I’m glad I prayed that prayer. Ironically, it’s causing me to pray more. I have no idea where I’m going, but I desire His presence that much more. Because everything will fall completely, irrevocably flat without his help and leading.

Even more, I’m leaning more heavily on my friends and partners, to help me through it. And through this conference I’m attending — through the community of faith — my calls have only been confirmed more strongly through specific, prophetic words. Now I have God-stories. And my faith muscle is definitely being worked. It’s aching, but hopefully, growing.

And in the end, I now have more faith that the rest of the prayer will be answered — that God would build something that could only be explained because He was with us.

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One Comment

  1. […] is InterVarsity’s Director of Evangelism and he’s a blogger. He recently posted on “A Stupid Prayer” that he prayed at the beginning of a new church plant. He prayed for “God to build something […]


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