Happy June, loves! On this lovely Monday June morning, I’m sitting here with my laptop, thinking about the power of prayer and how it relates to our health and fitness journeys. This past year, God has answered so many prayers in my life, and He’s really changed the way I approach prayer. You see, I used to only pray for things that I thought I was supposed to pray for. I only prayed for the things I thought God wanted me to want, not the things I actually wanted. Now praying for things I know God wants is a very good thing. But the problem was that I wasn’t being real with God. I was putting up a facade in my prayers.
But God is my Heavenly Father. He looks on me with love and favor, and He knows everything that is in my heart. By not telling Him about the true desires of my heart, I was shutting Him out of many places inside, not allowing Him to work in me and on my behalf.
But last summer, I heard a pastor preach on these verses from Matthew. Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” -Matthew 7:7-8
Read those verses again. It’s a pretty astonishing statement isn’t it? Jesus doesn’t say ask and it might be given to you. He says ask and it will be given to you. The pastor said something that completely altered my thinking about prayer. He said, “I don’t want to get to Heaven and find out that I missed out on the greatest things God had for my life because I was too afraid to ask for them.”
Wow. A lot of the time, I’m afraid to ask God for what I truly desire because I’m afraid He won’t give it to me and then my faith will be challenged. But the thing is, I’m not putting my faith in the thing I’m asking for happening exactly like I ask for it. I’m putting my faith in my God who I trust to give me what I really need.
I felt God speaking to my heart, “Do you have enough courage to ask me for what you really want?” So I started to pray big and pray specifically. God started to show me that He delighted to answer specific prayers. And He answered some prayers that to me seemed way too specific and unimportant to deserve His attention. But that taught me so much about His character. Because nothing is beneath His notice. God is a God of detail. He delights in the smallest details of our lives! All you have to do is look at the painstaking details in the tiniest flower to know that this is the case.
He also has been answering some huge prayers. Prayers I thought were asking too much, and seemed impossible. And that taught me about God’s character. Nothing is too hard for Him. Jesus says, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23)
So today, I want to encourage you to start praying for what you really want, what your heart really desires. You don’t have to be afraid that you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. God wants us to bare our hearts to Him, and we can trust Him that if He doesn’t give us what we want, it’s because He has something better He wants to give us. But how can we open our hands to receive the greater things we can’t even imagine, if we won’t open our hearts to ask for the things we can imagine?
Getting super practical, here is an amazing way to start learning to pray this way. Get a journal to record your prayers. On every page, draw a line down the middle, dividing the page into 2 columns. Write your big, bold prayers and your specific, small prayers in the left column. Date every prayer. Leave the right column blank. This is the column where you will come back and record God’s answers to your prayers. Date every answer.
You will be amazed to read back through your journal and see how God delights to answer prayer! Just keeping a clear record like this has made me realize that He listens to and answers every prayer I pray. He doesn’t always answer it exactly as I thought He would, but it blows me away how many times He exceeds my requests! And sometimes His answer is no or not yet. But that is because there is something greater He’s preparing for me or that He’s doing in my heart.
What is it you’re afraid to pray for? Is there something you feel is too silly or too trivial to ask for? Bring it to Jesus. Is there something you feel is asking too much? Bring it to Jesus. Bring your specific weight loss goals to Jesus. They are not beneath His notice. Just bring it all to Jesus, and wait to be blown away by what He’ll teach you about Himself, how much He loves you, and how intimately He is involved in your life!