Weekly Devotion
How Bold Should We Be When We Pray?
“You do not have, because you do not ask God.” -James 4:2
            Do you remember going to your parents and asking for the impossible? Maybe it was to get permission to join the Little League. Perhaps you asked for a new bicycle, or a chance to go to summer camp. Did they ever surprise you and said yes to your request? If there is true love between parents and children, that child knows he or she can ask them for the impossible. They may not always say yes to everything, but you know they hear your request and will do what they feel is best for you. That’s the sign of a parent!
            Have you ever gone to your Father in heaven and asked for the impossible? Many of God’s children think it is wrong to ask God for big things. They feel that they may be bothering him, or that they seem selfish in their requests. So they go about their daily lives that are filled with all sorts of huge problems without ever asking their heavenly Father for help.
            There are two very interesting stories in the Old Testament that show us people who prayed boldly for the impossible. The first was Joshua. Joshua was the general of the armies of Israel, and he had his work cut out for him. Many of the enemy armies had teamed up together to fight against the Israelites and a major battle was about to begin. Joshua’s men fought boldly, but they needed precious time to complete the victory. The day just seemed too short to finish the battle, so Joshua asked God for the impossible: “Lord,” he prayed, “we need more time. Please let the sun stand still so we can fight in daylight.” The Bible says, “So the sun stood still and the moon stopped until the nation avenged itself on its enemies” (Joshua 10:13.) Joshua certainly had to be bold to ask God to make the sun stand still. He asked the impossible! What a beautiful example of the power of prayer. The second prayer warrior was Elijah. He was a prophet who lived during the time of some very wicked kings and queens. One day he set out to prove to all the people that his God was the true God, so he planned a contest. He invited all the prophets of the idol Baal to meet him on top of a mountain. There both the prophets of Baal and Elijah would build altars to their gods. On the altar they would stack wood to burn up an animal sacrificed to god. The god who would set the sacrifice on fire was to be proclaimed the true god. The prophets of Baal prayed and begged their idol god to send a blazing fire down. But nothing happened. For hours they begged and pleaded to a false god who wasn’t even there. Finally, Elijah asked that his sacrifice be dowsed with buckets and buckets of water, so soaked that it could never be lit on fire. Then Elijah prayed that God would send fire down from heaven to burn up his sacrifice. And that is exactly what God did. Not only did it destroy the sacrifice, but even the stones used to build the altar were burnt to a powder. He asked the impossible!  
            We may never be in a situation where we would ask God to make the sun stand still, or to send fire down from heaven, but sometimes we also find ourselves faced with impossible problems. Health problems, money issues, family hurts, and shattered dreams may seem more than we can carry. But our loving Father has said we can take our impossible problems to him, and he will solve them.  He doesn’t want us to be shy about asking anything. James wrote, “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).
In Christ, Mike Allard, Principal @ St. John’s