Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Big Honkin' Prayers

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.  -Ephesians 3:30 (The Message)

Over my years in student ministry one thing I was never afraid to do was dream big.  When I first began working at New Garden Friends Meeting in 1978 I asked God to help me transform the youth group from baby-sitting teenagers into a true ministry, and that was a huge dream.  And God did not fail me.  When I arrived at Springfield Friends in 1986 I began praying that God would make that little church the center of youth ministry in our community- and a few years later God did just that.  And the list could go on through most every stop I made.  I had faith that God could and would "work within me" to accomplish things I could never do on my own.  And I prayed often that my ministry would touch people in ways I could not imagine.  For many years we dreamed big honkin' dreams and we prayed big honkin' prayers- and we believed God would answer them.  And amazing things happened.

Four years ago yesterday my life changed forever (For those of you who don't know what happened, I will get to that story in due time. Thanks for being patient with me.).  My ministry was gone.  As I sought to recover from the sin in my life and the disappointment of the people around me,  I lost all faith in myself but never doubted God.  There was no doubt that Jesus was with me in my darkest hours, and I leaned on Him.  I never worried about forgiveness and grace, because I knew that God would not forsake me.  But I did quit dreaming those big honkin' dreams.  I quit believing that God still wanted to use me.  I quit praying big honkin' prayers that asked Jesus to walk with me into situations that could not be handled alone.  The "dream stealers" of our world began to influence me more than the wild, radical love of Christ.  I went into "safety mode."  I prayed for God to protect me and my family.  I prayed for God to maintain the status quo in our lives.  No longer did pray bold, outrageous prayers- I just wanted to stay out of trouble.  And there was a void in my soul, because God wants us to pray big honkin' prayers

Think about some of the audacious prayers in scripture.  Joshua praying for the sun to stand still.  David praying for strength as he faced Goliath.  The prayer of JabezMoses keeping the faith as the Red Sea parted.  Peter praying for boldness, not safety, when facing the threats of the Romans in Acts 4:29- "Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.  Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”   Those are some big honkin' prayers.  And they all have one thing in common- they all involve people doing what is possible and trusting God to handle what seems impossible. 

Part of the reason I began thinking about starting a Jesus Revolution in 2011 is that I knew I needed to get back to praying big honkin' prayers and dreaming big honkin' dreams.  It started with a small enough thing- this blog.  Through what has happened here God began to restore in me the idea that I can still serve Him in ways big and small.  Now through Twitter,  God has "expanded my territory" in ways I could not have imagined.  He has given me a new, audacious, big honkin' dream to pray about.  And that dream is the Jesus Revolution.  That prayer is that is that God will use me to help remind a very confused Church what Jesus taught about love and grace.  I cannot do this alone.  Actually, I can't do it at all.  But God can do more through me than I can request in my wildest dreams.  And He can do the same through you...but only if we pray and dream BOLDLY!  None of this "if it be Your will" hedging of your bets.  Get that weak stuff outta' here.  Pray like the saints- with power and conviction!

So what is your big honkin' dream?  Are you praying that God will lead you forward with "great boldness?"  I'd love to hear what's on your heart so we can pray about it together.  God is ready for a Jesus Revolution.  Are we ready to pray for it?

Because of Jesus,


  1. I read this and Keith Green's song just started playing in my head..."There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God's own Son. Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One." His redemption was not a one-trip to the buffet deal. He is perpetually our Redeemer. AND, when we trust Him, He always gives us faaaaar better things and dreams than those we feel we lost.

    Carl, you are an inspiration. Thank you for your faithfulness.

  2. Thank you so much, Angie. It is encouragement from people like you that keeps the Dream Stealers away!

  3. our God is a BIG GOD who makes the impossible possible! we should be praying and believing for big honkin' dreams.. after all we serve a big honkin' God!

  4. AMEN, Patricia. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Anonymous3/22/2011

    Bravo! A call to prayer is always welcome, and a call to bold prayer is always needed! Thank you, Carl. Ken M.


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