I’m reading Draw The Circle, a devotional written by Mark Batterson, who wrote the companion book, The Circle Maker. I’m on Day 6, which is entitled, “Shameless Audacity.” It’s a thought-provoking chapter, to be sure, referencing the man who answers the persistent knocking at his door in the middle of the night in Luke 11:8 simply because of the person’s “shameless audacity.” Throughout the chapter, Mark talks about prevailing prayer, the type of prayer that is persistent and bold. He offers a number of sound-bytes to help you get the picture:
“God won’t answer 100% of the prayers we don’t pray.”
“When we are acting in faith, we aren’t risking our reputation; we are risking God’s reputation because He’s the one who made the promise in the first place.”
“Why do we mistakenly think that God is offended by our prayers for the impossible? The truth is that God is offended by anything less!”
“But God honored that bold prayer because that bold prayer honored Him.”
As I read through that chapter, I became convicted that I don’t pray bold prayers anymore.
It’s not because I lack the faith. I believe that God is the same God that I’ve seen save marriages. I’ve seen Him lovingly draw a lesbian from her lifestyle into His plan for marriage and motherhood. I’ve seen him heal a hole in a newborn’s heart. I’ve seen Him answer prayer time and time again. I’ve witnessed His glory. I haven’t forgotten. I still have the faith.
What I think has prevented me from praying “audacious” prayers is the fact that I don’t think he will answer them when they come from ME. I somehow have been convinced that, because of my daily sin and failings, God won’t turn His ear toward me, but instead would turn away because, frankly, I’m not worth listening to.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t really have any besetting sin and I’m not involved in any criminal or lascivious activity. I’m just like you. I get impatient in traffic. I get angry at my wife every now and then. I get frustrated when things don’t go exactly like I want them to. And because of all that, I feel like I’m not the example of a Jesus-follower that I should be. In turn, I wonder why God would even listen to my prayers.
If I have thoughts like these, I wonder how many of you have similar thoughts.
These are the kind of lies that keep the Body of Christ from being truly effective. Because Satan has twisted the truth into a lie from the pit of Hell, we are kept at bay, shrinking back into mediocrity. The truth is that we are unworthy. The truth is that we are sinful. Not one of us escapes that spotlight. But then he skillfully twists the truth, getting us to believe that God won’t listen or respond.
The truth is we are weak, unworthy, sinful and desperate, AND THAT IS WHY GOD ANSWERED AND STILL ANSWERS OUR CRIES! Can you hear me yelling?!?
There is no one worthy. No one righteous. (Ephesians 2:3,9; Romans 3:10)
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
We are now seated with Christ in the heavenlies. That is where our identity is found. (Colossians 3:1; Ephesians 2:6)
When we are weak, then we are strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
When we humbly come before God, He responds. (Psalm 51:17, Isaiah 57:15, Isaiah 66:2)
That’s the truth.
It’s time to pray.
With shameless audacity.