July 14, 2024

Joel Osteen — Praying God-Sized Prayers

 

I want to talk to you today about praying God-sized prayers. How you pray will determine what kind of life you live. Ordinary, get-by prayers, most likely you will live a small, ordinary, get-by life. But when you have the boldness to ask God for big things, you ask him to open doors that would normally not open. You ask him to take you further than anyone in your family. When you pray God-sized prayers, you will see the greatness of God’s power.

Now, all through the scripture, we see this principle. Elisha prayed that it wouldn’t rain. For 3 1/2 years there was no rain. Joshua prayed for more daylight. God stopped the sun. One prophet prayed for protection. The enemy standing right in front of him didn’t recognize him. God made him invisible. The common denominator is they asked for the unthinkable.

When was the last time you asked God to do something impossible, something out of the ordinary? One reason we don’t see God do great things is we only most people pray over their food, pray for protection, pray for wisdom. That’s all good, but it’s limiting what God can do. There should be something you’re praying about, something that you’re asking for that seems far out. You can’t accomplish it in your own strength. The phrase I hear in my your dreams may look impossible. You don’t have the funding, the connections. God is saying, “I dare you to ask me to bring it to pass. I dare you to ask me to show you a flood of my favor”.

Joel Osteen - Watch Sermon: A Flood is Coming!

A lot of times, we pray, “God, my child’s off course. If you’ll just turn him around,” and that’s good, but that’s an ordinary prayer. Ordinary prayers get ordinary results. God meets us at the level of our faith. If you ask small, you’re going to receive small. A God-sized prayer is, “God, I’m asking you to not only turn my child around, but use him in a great way. Let him make a difference in his life”.

An ordinary prayer is, “God, help me to get by this month. God, help me to pay my rent”. There’s nothing wrong with that, but a God-sized prayer is, “God, I’m asking you to increase me in such a way that I cannot only pay my house off, but help pay somebody else’s house off”. An ordinary prayer is, “God, just take me as far as my parents. God, help me at least not to lose any ground”. But a God-sized prayer is, “God, help me to take our family to a new level. Let me set a new standard. When people look back 100 years from now, God, let them say, ‘it was that man, that woman, that made a real difference”.

But I wonder, how many of your prayers are not being answered simply because “Well, Joel, God’s God. If he wants to bless me, he’ll bless me”. It says in James 4:2, “You have not because you ask not”. If you’re not asking big, you are shortchanging yourself. You will never reach the destiny, if you only pray small prayers. Now I’m not talking about just making a wish list and praying every whim. I’m talking about asking God for what he’s already promised you.

The scriptures says when you walk in God’s ways, you will lend and not borrow. With long life, God will satisfy you. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. There are hundreds of promises that you have every right to pray and ask God to bring to pass. Plus there are specific dreams, desires that God’s placed in your heart. They didn’t just randomly show up. The creator of the universe put them in you. They are a part of your divine destiny. In psalms, it talks about the secret petitions of our heart. The hidden dreams that you one way you know they’re from God is they’re so big, you cannot accomplish them on your own. God does this on purpose so that it will take faith.

Faith is what pleases God. Faith is what allows him to do the impossible. So God will put something all the talent, the education, the connections, the confidence. God will even allow certain obstacles that we can’t overcome on our own. We can do one or two things. We can think, “Well, too bad. Didn’t work out for me. I don’t have the connections. I couldn’t get the financing,” or, “The medical report doesn’t look good”. We can talk ourselves out of it, or we can say, “God, I can’t do this in my own strength, but I know you are all powerful. There’s no limit to you. So God, I’m asking you to make a way, even though I don’t see a way”.

This is what David did. 1 Chronicles 17, God gave him the promise that one of his descendants would always be on the throne. He would have this lasting dynasty. David could have said, “God, I’m just a shepherd boy. I was out tending my father’s sheep. I don’t have formal training, education, experience”. No, David understood this principle. Even though it looked far out, he didn’t dismiss it. He said in verse 23, “God, do as you have promised. Let one of my descendants always be on the throne. Had to ask for something so big”.

Verse 25 gives us the key. He said, “God, I have been bold enough to pray this prayer, because you have spoken it over me”. In other words, God, I’m asking you to do something amazing, not because I have all the talent, education, connections, but because you have promised it. Now what God has promised you, the dream he’s placed in your heart, may look impossible. But if you’ll just dare do like David and say, “God, you promised it. Now I’m bold enough to ask you for it”.

When you do, don’t be surprised if thoughts come saying, “It’s never going to happen. You come from the wrong family. You’ve made too many mistakes”. The enemy gets stirred up when you start asking God for big things. He’ll leave you alone as long as you pray small, ordinary prayers, but when you start praying God-sized prayers, you start asking God to take you where you’ve never been before, that’s when those thoughts will bombard your mind, saying, who do you think you are? Just smile and tell him, a child of the most-high God.

I read about this 7-year-old girl named Jamie. She lived on a farm with her family, and they had a cow that was about to give birth. Her father had already told the family that they weren’t going to keep any more cows. Every time one was born, they’d either sell it or give it away. But for some reason, little Jamie really wanted to keep this cow, a desire of her heart. She started pleading and pleading her father. “Daddy, please let me keep it. Daddy, please make an exception”.

 

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