There is a subtle but powerful lie the devil is telling us that
tremendously limits our impact for Christ.
This lie keeps us full of enough fear to prevent us from taking action,
thus preventing God from demonstrating His power in us and through us.
If I said, “I prayed and asked God to teach me patience,”
what would most people say in response?
“Oh you are really asking for it now!”
“You have no idea what you have done!”
“That was foolish!”
We all know that trials will likely be heading their way.
But why are we responding this way?
Why is there such opposition and negativity
towards praying such a prayer?
I recently prayed a similar bold prayer, and then began wondering
if I had done something unwise and foolish.
The negativity concerning such prayer requests just didn’t make sense to me.
As I reasoned with myself using scripture, I kept coming to the same conclusion.
“Is this particular kind of prayer request exempt from God’s help?” NO!
“Can perfect peace not be attained with this kind of request?” OF COURSE IT CAN!
“Have God’s promises of provision during trials suddenly vanished?” NO!
“Trials may come our way so we shouldn’t pray big, challenging prayers?” OF COURSE WE SHOULD!
I have been through some extremely painful, difficult trials.
The outcome of these trials resulted in beautiful things.
Because of these trials God is now my best Friend.
Through these trials God proved His power, mercy and faithfulness.
Through these trials I clearly saw God’s hand.
Through these trials I learned God is enough.
Without these trials and the fruit from them, I would be nothing.
I would be unusable.
I would be lost.
In fact, I would probably be dead.
So why would I refrain from praying a bold prayer just because it may bring trials?
On the other side of trials is hope, deepened faith,
deeper fellowship with God, abundant peace,
and a more usable servant for God’s work.
Why would I run from that?
The devil wants us to believe that if we ask God a bold prayer such as
teaching us patience then
1) We are on our own and
2) The process will be a horrible ordeal.
So we don’t ask.
We have been tricked to think such prayers are foolish, brazen or a mistake.
Based on the responses above, which I have heard countless times, we have even been discouraged
from praying such life-changing prayers.
The devil is very happy with the result.
We end up not praying prayers that will change lives, and
we stay safe and comfortable (or so we think) and God’s power does not get
demonstrated through us to benefit others.
I would like to invite you to look at the whole “don’t pray for patience” scenario from a different light.
Instead of saying it’s foolish to pray for patience, let’s flip that perspective.
If you know you need patience and that your lack of it is hurting those around you and hurting your
ministry, then wouldn’t you be a fool not to ask for patience?
We have a lie in our head, the devil’s lie, that if we ask God to teach us something difficult He’s going to
have this “out to get you” attitude, try to break and tear us down with failure and then say, “Be careful what you ask for!”
I do not believe that is how God reacts.
Allowing trials so we can continue to grow in Christ
reveals God’s wisdom, patience, longsuffering, provision,
mercy, and grace, just to name a few attributes.
It is God’s will that we examine ourselves to see the areas where we need to grow.
For us to be effective in serving others we must be willing to continue moving forward
in the sanctification process.
Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Let’s say you do ask for patience and God allows things in your life that test and stretch
your capacity to be patient.
A trial that we invite for ourselves (asking to learn patience for example) has the same promises from
scripture as any other trial that comes without our asking, but we act as if His promises no longer apply.
God says that we can have joy and perfect peace at all times.
God says that in every circumstance He will be with us and help us.
We always have God’s promises available to us.
God is pleased when His servants humbly come before Him and ask His help.
God loves it when a servant is teachable and wants to be shaped and molded for His glory.
This is what God has
always wanted from you.
As He allows things into your life to teach you what you asked for, He is going to rejoice
when you remember to turn to Him for wisdom and when you continue to fellowship
and trust and have faith in Him as He takes you through your trial.
On the other side of that journey, not only have you learned (or have begun to learn)
what you asked Him to teach you, but you also have increased your capacity to trust
and increased the depth of your fellowship with the Lord.
Fellow servant, you have three choices when you recognize a sin, an obstacle or
a need for growth or refinement.
Stay the way you are,
try to figure it out on your own,
or ask God to orchestrate a beautiful plan.
It is our responsibility to be participants and conduits for God’s work and power.
Here are two main reasons that a prayer like praying for patience might be prayed.
1) You recognize a sin or a weight that is marring your testimony and your relationship with God.
Your pray request may go something like this, “Lord, You are showing me my impatience is selfish.
It is hurting my family and the ministry You’ve given me. Please help me get victory in this
area for Your glory.”
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin
which doth so easily beset us, and let us run
with patience the race that is set before us.
2) You have a burden for a cause or people group that you want to serve regardless of the cost.
You are willing to go through further refining so that you are equipped to serve in the greatest capacity.
Your prayer request may go something like this, “Lord, I am willing to go through whatever
You need to take me through for me to be equipped to serve these people. Please teach me
what I need to learn so that I can serve them properly.”
The above reasons are godly, biblical reasons to ask God for patience, refinement, victory or growth.
Do not shy away from asking and do not be afraid.
To clarify, fear may be present, but don’t remain in that fear.
Don’t camp out and live in that fear and let it paralyze you. (Isaiah 41:10)
We should be encouraging each other to pray prayers like this, not discouraging one another.
These kinds of prayers change lives and bring God glory.
Here are a few tips when asking a bold prayer like a prayer for patience, or a prayer of
1) Ask with humility.
There should be no haughty spirit of pride in your heart.
Examine yourself to be sure you are not tempting God.
There is no room for pride in this prayer request.
Remember, on our own we will fail.
Only through Christ will we have the strength to
to be tried and refined.
2) Ask with a purpose.
The results you seek are two-fold.
To bring God glory and for you to become a vessel that
has increased its capacity to be used for Christ.
3) Remember that all of God’s precious promises still apply.
He will give you wisdom and strength constantly when you ask.
He will give you perfect peace as you trust Him.
He will go with you through every experience He allows.
Amazingly, you can even have joy as God teaches you.
4) Ask God, if it be His will, to teach you in a way that you can then teach others.
5) Although you are not asking for painful things,
realize that in order to grow God may take you through waters you have
never been through or have you revisit trials that have caused pain in the past.
Take comfort that God never takes action without purpose.
God is for you.
So if patience is what you need don’t be afraid to ask for it.
If you have a problem with anger don’t be afraid to ask God for help.
If you need to be more compassionate don’t be afraid to ask God to teach you compassion.
If you’re willing to go through anything so that a loved one gets saved, don’t be afraid to tell Him that.
(I admit, this request is scary, but work through the fear if you feel led to pray this)
If you are willing to experience whatever you need to go through to be the most usable servant, don’t be afraid to tell God.
The devil wants to paralyze us with fear so that we don’t take action.
He wants us to stay in a comfortable, stagnant state.
He does not want us to know the transforming power that God has available to us.
It is the devil that puts fear in us about the testing that asking brings.
For he is a liar, and the father of it.
The thief cometh not,
but for to kill, and to destroy:
Christ wants us serve Him and be willing to pay any cost.
He wants us to be lavished with abundant life, being vessels
of His power to those He’s given us to serve.
Christ gives us the power to overcome fear.
He gives us permission to ask for big things.
He makes every word of God available to us.
I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly.
When we ask God to search our hearts and to teach us hard things,
He is thrilled at the opportunity to show His strength, His power and His wisdom.
He is thrilled to unfold a beautiful plan to teach us what we need to know.
God rejoices to find a servant that is willing to be selfless.
He is thrilled when we are willing to put our lives in His hands.
Imagine the impact we could have on
our world if every Christian
was willing to pray for transformation,
no matter the cost.
Currently, in my life, God has asked me to do something, but I don’t feel prepared.
So several months ago I asked Him to do whatever He needs to do for me to be ready.
Well, He is doing what I asked, and He is using valleys to do so.
Wondering how my trial is going?
But my pain has purpose and God has my hand in His.
We walk through it together.
In the midst of the pain I ask Him to teach me how to get through
it in a way that I can then teach others in the same valley.
Him and I are working together.
I have not detected a “be careful what you ask for” or
an “I told you so” attitude from God in this journey.
For further assurance, God has reminded me that if I still don’t feel ready
when the time comes, I have no need to worry because in my weakness will be His strength.
He’s got it covered.
I am so grateful that He equips us for what He asks us to do.
He is so tender and gracious as He teaches us what we have asked to learn.
Co-laborer, be bold in your prayers.
Ask for what you need to be a usable vessel.
Pray for transformation for the purpose of His glory and reaching others.
It is His will that you become more like His Son.
You are asking for something that is good and right.
He is rooting for your victory!
I have two companions to this topic.
1) My post called Worth The Cost talks further about there being no cost too great while serving the Savior.
2) My song Enough is a joyful song that focuses on God’s provision during trials.
LISTEN to my newest playlist on YouTube.
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