One of the most amazing things about God is that He invites us to pray to Him anytime, anywhere, about anything. The Bible stresses this over and over, whether what we’re praying for is big or small, something that would seem inconsequential to someone else, or something that could be life-changing.
But what about those times when it feels like we’re being too bold to pray for what we want? Those times when we ask ourselves why we should think we deserve to ask for something so big?
Have you ever been in that spot? You want to pray – you know what you want to pray for and why – but you also know that God is so amazing and you’re so … not … that you feel unworthy to ask for anything. Especially something so big.
I’ve been in that spot plenty of times, but none so much as when I began experiencing hearing loss almost 20 years ago.
It was sudden. It was scary. And even though I knew others were praying for my issues to improve or go away, I couldn’t bring myself to ask God to heal me. It felt too bold and I felt too undeserving.
God eventually led me to a verse tucked away in the book of Daniel:
We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. (Daniel 9:18b NIV)
And, as the New Living Translation says:
We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. (Daniel 9:18b NLT)
Wow. That verse brought it all home for me in a fresh way.
We never “deserve” anything from God. Anything we ever get from Him is because of His goodness – they’re examples of His love for us and His mercy toward us.
Maybe you need a fresh reminder of that, too.
It’s taken almost 20 years for me to write about that experience. I didn’t know if others would be interested and I wanted anything I wrote to be for the right reasons.
I finally shared part of the story in Refresh Bible Study magazine from Lighthouse Bible Studies. The issue’s theme is “Scripture-based prayers,” so seemed the perfect channel for sharing about Daniel 9:18b.
You can read my article, “When our prayers feel too bold.”
You can also download the entire magazine, which is full of devotions, short Bible studies and personal experience stories about Scripture-based prayers. Several of my writer friends have articles in this issue, including Barbara Latta, Katherine Pasour, Jeannie Waters and more. I hope you read something that strikes a chord for where you are right now.
I also hope you’ll leave a comment to encourage someone else who might be having trouble being bold in their prayers, even though God invites us to be.
What have you learned about praying for situations that feel too big or too bold?
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8 thoughts on “When if feels too bold to pray for what we want”
Loved them both Ms. Leigh. I too think God invites us to “do life” with Him through prayer.
Yes, He does, Mr. J.D., and what a privilege that is! To know that God Himself invites us to say or ask anything in conversation with Him is too much to really wrap my mind around. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. 🙂
Leigh, I have experienced the same qualms about praying for something I want or need–it just seems selfish when there are so many others in need of prayer. Although I recognize that our loving Father wants us to come to Him with all our needs, I still struggle with it sometimes. But I am getting better in my closer walk with Him. It isn’t that I feel I deserve His love and mercy, but I have learned that He gives love and mercy anyway. Thanks so much for this encouraging and hopeful message. (Thanks for the mention in your post–so very kind of you!)
Katherine, I feel exactly the same way! There are so many hopes and needs in the world that are bigger than mine that it does sometimes make me feel selfish to ask. But you’re right — God still gives us love and mercy in spite of those things. We are so blessed!
Leigh, thanks for sharing your story. I know this will help others who struggle the same way, and thanks for mentioning your fellow writers and the link to the Refresh magazine. I feel privileged to me in the company of yourself and the other amazing contributors.
Thank you for your encouragement, Barbara. It can be scary to share our stories sometimes (no matter what they might be) but so much good can come from them if we’re sharing the way God wants us to. That’s my prayer, and I know it is yours too — that some bit of what I write or say might help someone else. I appreciate you, my friend!
Great post, Leigh. I especially your inclusion of the passage from Daniel. It’s so wonderful that God is our source for answers to our problems, hopes, and dreams.
I once heard a piece of a sermon in which the speaker challenged listeners to go a day without asking God for something. (I still wonder at his logic.) I didn’t last very long.
There is no one else to go to, no other source for provision and wisdom.
Thanks and God bless!
Thanks for stopping by, Nancy. Isn’t it amazing how no matter how many times we read the Bible there are always new verses that stand out when we need them? A day without asking God for something — wow. Maybe his point was to show how dependent we are on God even when we don’t realize it? I don’t think I would last long, either. Be blessed!
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