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Prayer, Plain and Simple

“Ask me and I will give the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your possession.” (Psalm 2:8)

“Nothing will be impossible for you…” (Matthew 17:21).

How big is too big? How much is too much? Yesterday I asked; today I’m compelled to consider, is there a limit to what I can ask of God?

Evidently; the cap is, “the ends of the earth as your possession…”

Bold asking tempts me to add a caveat. But I best get over it my shyness; Jesus always pairs prayer with chutzpah. I may not feel comfortable with importunity, but it’s the rules of engagement in his Kingdom.

In Luke’s Gospel, chapters 11 and 18 Jesus frames up two stories, each affirming audacity in prayer. In one story a man inconveniently wakes his neighbor asking to borrow food. In the second, a shady judge delivers a favorable verdict for a woman who won’t take “no” for an answer.

Jesus dares us, “Go ahead, try to push Father’s limits; there are no limits! Do you want a restored relationship? He can do that. Do you need a breakthrough in provision? Absolutely! How about a brilliant idea for your business? Fire away! A wider territory? A whole city maybe? If you dare, ask for an entire nation. There are 192 nations, all for the asking. Take a shot. Rest assured: Father will bless you with as much as your faith can envision and your wisdom can steward. Ask, sans caveat, and trust Father to deliver your first best.”

I’m tempted to temper God’s promises. But Jesus vetoes my scruples. There is nothing in his challenge about mustering a right posture or words, or finding the perfect mindset. It’s simply, “ask,” without any modifier.

Reflection

Against the urge to down-play, I will, instead “super-size” my ask to a God-sized impossibility. I’ll double it, trusting, as he promises, that he’ll honor not punish my chutzpah.

Response

“Papa God, I wouldn’t dare this if you hadn’t dared me to believe. You’ve put me on this planet to learn to receive and to give your love and your power. Your tactic to develop to this in me is to insist that I approach you with a chutzpah-level of faith. So be it! You have asked for it but insisting – not asking – that I ask. Today I take my tiny desires and double them up to a level only you can deliver! You asked… I follow.”

The the day and beyond

And if asking God with chutzpah is humbling, I find it at least as challenging to share that audacity with others. “Who am I to assume such a thing?” I tell myself as I dare to tell  others. Yet chutzpah is true humility, exposing and then destroying the blasphemous self-deprecation that cloaks my insidious pride. The remedy: Relay your big ask to a friend, and ask them for agreement!

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