How should we ask God to do the impossible?
A relationship with God inspires prayer for big specific miracles.
1. As God’s children.
With confident hope (as God’s children), humility (respect of God), faith (believing), “Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.’” – Matthew 6:9
“How much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” – Matthew 7:9-11
“Father God, you are a loving God who gives good gifts to your children, and so as your child I pray…”
This confident hope is also seen in, (Moses, David context: not allowing worst moment to define)
Moses would talk with God face to face, Exodus 33:11. “’If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.’ Moses prayed. God responded, ‘I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.’” Exodus 33:15-17
God meets Moses, reveals himself and his name. Exodus 34 Please travel with us.
Bible examples of people praying the impossible, including the mention of God’s revealed character as a means of expressing that God granting this request would be consistent with who God is.
Who is God? What has God revealed through words and actions about His character?
Psalm 9 “You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked…You are a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble…have mercy on me, see how my enemies torment me…save me.”
David, in Psalm 18:1-50, believed that God would protect him from those trying to kill him because God had protected him from a lion, a bear, and Goliath, in 1 Samuel 17:32-51.
2. As Jesus taught.
Praying in alignment with God’s will, words, plan. in alignment with who God is, what God cares about, and what God is doing (kingdom/will) (love God, love neighbors)
“Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven,’” – Matthew 6:10
Alignment – going the same direction, arrangement in a straight line, a state of agreement
We’re going the same way to the same place. God is not your genie of the lamp. We’re following.
God’s Kingdom and God’s will both involve miracles.
Matthew 6:33 Romans 14:17-19 the Kingdom of God
Matthew 22:37-39 prayer topics that make it possible for people to love God and love their neighbors
John 17:23 Jesus’ purpose of leading people to believe the Good News revealed through Him
1 John 1:9 Mark 11:25-26 give and receive forgiveness
Matthew 6:16 with fasting
Matthew 9:35 people who help others take next steps in following Jesus
James 5:16 healing
James 1:5-7 wisdom
1 Kings 17:20-22 resurrection from the dead
What about it when it doesn’t happen?
1. Remember Jesus understands and prays.
Jesus understands us, including our struggles in learning how to pray for miracles.
“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” – Hebrews 4:14-16
2. Allow the Holy Spirit to check your motives.
“You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure.” – James 4:2-3 needs context of James 4:1-10 “God gives grace to the humble. Come close to God and God will come close to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” This is not a condemnation in James 4. There can be an uplifting relationship with God that includes allowing a check of your motives.
3. Pray with persistence.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8
“Don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly!” – Luke 18:7-8 “keep praying” persistent widow – Jesus
4. Keep faith regardless of the outcome.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.’” – Daniel 3:16-18
What should we do?
1. Memorize Scripture about this truth.
2. Write what you believe to be true about asking God to do the impossible.
3. List what impossible prayer topics you have.
4. Write your prayer for the impossible. Be specific.
5. Celebrate and share the answers.
Let’s pause now and think about the verses we have memorized over the past two weeks. What is the truth you believe now?
Now, think about your list of “impossible” prayer topics. What would a big miracle look like? Be specific so that you can know that it was a miracle from God if it happens.
Now, let’s pray for those miracles.
With Christ in the School of Prayer – Andrew Murray
Asking God for favor with the king so that he could make ready for the restoration promised by God. Nehemiah 1
Rain, no rain, fire from heaven, in 1 Kings 17, 18, Elijah. “When all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, ‘The Lord – he is God!’” – 1 Kings 18:39
“Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.” – James 5:17-18
“Let the sun stand still over Gibeon,” – Joshua 10:12
Jabez’ prayer 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Hezekiah addresses God as sovereign Creator, asking for protection from the attack of the Assyrians.
Hezekiah, 2 Kings 19:14-19, 34-34
“God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give Ear Lord and hear Open your eyes Lord and see listen to the words Sennacherib has set to ridicule the living God.”
Similar Jehoshaphat 2 Chronicles 20