What kind of prayers do you pray? Do you go all out and pray those big prayers with boldness? Or, do you pray within the limits of what you think you are capable of? If so, you are limiting the God who is limitless!
What kind of kid were you? Were you a dreamer, or were you confined by the limits of your mind? My oldest son had the opportunity at age 7 to have a Make a Wish. The hospital that we received treatment had set us up with representatives from Make a Wish, and we had a meeting with them, my son, myself and my husband. It was quite memorable. They approached my son and explained this idea in terms that he would understand at his age. “I remember the woman saying whatever you can possibly think of that you would want, think bigger. Think as big as you can!” My husband and I looked at each other with a knowing side eye.
Clearly this woman does not know our son. He does not need any encouragement to dream big. We knew this conversation was about to get good, and it did not disappoint. Evan’s first wish was a limo driver for life. How did a 7-year-old who had a mother who drove him everywhere he needed to go think to wish for this, you ask? We were not sure either. I guess a limo was a huge step up from the Chevy Traverse I was ubering him around in, but the look on the woman’s face was priceless. She had to find a way to break the news to him that it was not a wish her organization was capable of granting.
She opened herself up again for a second attempt. He made a counteroffer that included an installation of an indoor outdoor pool in our yard. He went on to explain how cool it would be to get in the pool from the inside and swim under the wall, and then be instantly enjoying his outdoor pool as well. It was hard for my husband and I to keep a poker face as we watched intently on how she would gracefully let him down a second time. She was clearly experienced at dealing with children and set the stage for one more attempt at a wish that we could all agree on and would also make him happy.
He was unfazed by his previous two rejected wishes and continued to dream big, just as he was originally instructed. I could tell in his voice that this request was indeed a third option, but would still satisfy. With all the confidence in the world, he decided to settle on an RV/motor home. We had a camper at the time, but it was a pull behind, and he could not ride in it, or most importantly, could not use the restroom while we were travelling. At this point, the woman realized that she was clearly underestimating this little person, and she gently referred to the written rules of Make A Wish, which only forbids a few things. They will not pay off mortgages, purchase vehicles, or purchase motor homes. My thought was that this clause was inserted for a reason. Evan wasn’t the biggest dreamer they had ever seen.
Now We’re Getting Somewhere
She suggested that maybe he wished for something like a trip to Disney World. He thought for a moment. It was definitely on his bucket list, but he was willing to follow her train of thought, and the two of them settled on a family vacation to a Beaches resort with a limo ride to the airport, since the promise of a limo driver for life was off the table.
As I reflect on this story, I think of my own 7-year-old self. I do not think I would have been brave and confident enough to ask for something so big. I would have had many self limiting thoughts. Furthermore, I would not have wanted to put anyone out, even though they were offering. I would probably have wished for a bicycle and had the woman tell me to wish bigger.
Don’t Hold Back
As an adult, I find myself still holding back in so many ways. I am reluctant to wish big, to dream big and, most importantly, to pray big. I realized very recently that I pray small, sad little prayers. Not only that, but I have been through some hardships and I tend to assume the worst. So, I want to be prepared for hardship, pain, loss, and disappointment. If I pray tiny prayers, then I do not put myself in the position to be let down by God. It occurred to me that with this self-limiting mindset, I am often falling short of what God is willing to do. Ephesians 3:20 says,
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
Mark Batterson author of “Circle Maker” said “I would rather pray really big and get half of it than pray really tiny and get all of it.” So ask yourself, are you confident in the Lord? Pray big!! Pray boldly!! You may ask for a limo driver for life and end up with an unforgettable family vacation on the beach. That is definitely better than a bike!
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