Last year, under the encouragement of my Spiritual Director I had asked God for a word to help me focus and grow in my relationship with Him.
The word He gave me was “MORE”.
I felt He wanted me to grow MORE in my relationship with Him, to feel MORE loved by Him, and to live MORE for Him. It was neat how many times that word came up throughout the year. It would come up in sermons, in books I was reading, songs on the radio, and much MORE.
(Yep, pun totally intended.)
I decided that I wanted a new word for this year, if God was willing to give me one. I thought of a few words but really struggled to know which one I should pick. I had been reading a book called “The Daniel Prayer” that had been recommended to me by a fellow blogger. In the book she had mentioned the story of Gideon.
In this story, God told Gideon that He was going to use Him to save Israel, but Gideon had some doubts. So, he asked God to give Him a sign. Gideon told God that he was going to put out a fleece and if the next day the fleece was wet while the rest of the ground was dry he would know God was telling him the truth.
And it was.
In fact, that morning he wrung out a whole bowlful of water from the fleece. But even after that Gideon still had some doubts. So, then he asked God to confirm it by the next day having the ground be wet and the fleece be dry.
And it was.
The author went on to challenge us to not be afraid to ask God to answer specific prayers. To “put out a fleece” so to speak.
Putting Out A Fleece
I decided to do just that and I prayed something like this:
“God, I am going to put out a fleece. I enjoyed growing in my relationship with you last year with the word “MORE” and so I really want to have a word to take with me into this year. I am going to see my sister and brother in law today. Can you please have a word come up in our conversation, so that I know without a doubt that this word is from you? Thank you. In Jesus name, Amen.”
And I left.
I had a lovely morning with my sister and brother in law. We enjoyed coffee and conversation for over three hours.
And nothing came up.
I almost panicked, thinking, “Why hasn’t God answered my prayer? The author of that book told me to pray specifically and I did? Did I do something wrong?”
But then I took a deep breath, and prayed, “God if it is your will that I would not receive a word from you this year, then that is okay. I only want what you want, and I am willing to accept whatever that is.”
Within a few minutes, my sister turned to me and mentioned the word “healing”. And I broke out in a huge grin. That was it. That was one of the words I had been mulling over. Out of all the words I had been pondering that was the only one that came up in our conversation.
But just like Gideon did after his first confirmation from God, the doubts started creeping into my head again.
I mean, the word healing wasn’t out of the ordinary for that point in our conversation so maybe it was just coincidence.
So, I asked God to give me a book to read to help with my healing if that was the word he really wanted me to have. And almost immediately I remembered the book “The Healing Path” by Dan Allender. I had come across the book a few years earlier, so I quickly looked it up on Amazon. The subtitle read “How the Hurts in Your Past Can Lead You to a MORE Abundant Life”.
And there was my word from last year: “MORE”.
God had confirmed my word for the new year.
A Lesson Learned
The lesson I learned through all this is that I don’t trust God enough.
Asking God to answer a specific prayer is like a trust fall. I have to let go, throw myself back, and simply trust that God is going to catch me. And He will.Tweet
But that is scary.
I like my perceived sense of control.
So, I hesitate to ask Him to answer specific prayers. I am reluctant to put him on the spot. I worry that I shouldn’t be testing him like that. And then even if I do ask Him, I give him an out, just in case there is no answer. And isn’t that just silly?
I mean I know God loves me. And He calls me his child.
If my child asks me a question, I don’t refuse to answer them. I may not give them an answer right away, and I may not give them the answer they want to hear. But I always answer them. And God does, too.
God always answers our prayers. Sometimes the answers aren’t what we want to hear though. Sometimes it is a “no”. Sometimes it is a “wait”. And sometimes we are just too busy, too consumed with what we want, or too distracted to pay attention to his still, small voice.
Friends, we are the beloved children of God!
He wants to talk with us. He wants to answer our prayers. He wants us to trust Him, throw ourselves back, and enjoy the sweet relief when He catches us in His loving arms.
If you found this encouraging then please share!