The Prayer Challenge

When we moved to Houston, Leah and I prayed for God to strengthen our faith and to teach us how to wait on Him. Some days we question why we ever did that. In a classic case of “Be careful what you wish for…”, God has been answering our prayer. When we moved, I thought getting a job would be easy, but two months into the search, I’m still looking. Still waiting.

It’s frustrating sometimes because I want the security of a job, of having a steady supply of money with which to support us and start building a future. I want to start saving for a house, to provide a good life for our children, and to begin their inheritance.

The problem is, in short, that in praying for a job, I’m really praying for God to take our future out of His hands and put it in mine, because I trust myself more.

Praying for faith and patience is exactly what we needed to do. We need more of God and less of ourselves. He knows what is best for us, what will draw us closer to Him, and what will drive us from Him.

I think we have a tendency to view life as a restaurant in which God is our waiter. We get to order whatever we want off the menu, then pay for it by going to church, singing a few worship songs, paying tithes, and generally living good lives. If we want a dessert, we may have to pay a little extra in the form of serving the poor.

I want to start treating it more like a child at his parents’ dinner table. As Ezekiel 2:8 ends, “open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

Do I have the kind of faith that will accept what God gives me, even if it’s something I don’t like? Do I want God enough to accept things I don’t want if He gives them to me? No, not yet, but I want to, and I’ve prayed to.

In Evan Almighty, God is talking to Evan’s wife and says, “When people pray for patience, do you think God gives them patience or does He give them opportunities to become patient?” Growth often hurts. Just as in working out, growth in faith requires testing your faith beyond its current limits. There will be setbacks, but there will also be more faith in the end.

I want to challenge you to pray for something that will cause you to grow. If you need patience, be prepared for things that will try your patience. If you need faith, be ready to step out in faith. If you need boldness, know that some situations will want to beat you into a corner. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

For those willing to accept this challenge, I invite you to post on here what you’re praying for so the rest of us can pray for you. God’s not going to pile on so much that He breaks you, but He’ll pile on so much that you can’t take it without His help.

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