God-Sized Prayers

Ephesians 3:14-19
14 For this, cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Our humanity causes us to settle for second best in life.
·        Most of us live far beneath our potential.
·        Life happens, and we find ourselves submerged in situations we didn’t plan would happen.
Most of us live our lives this way, too far behind to catch up.
The sad part is, this is also true in our walk with God.
We live far, far beneath our spiritual potential.
God has promised us so much, yet we don’t seem to claim all He offers us.
·        It is evident in our faith.
·        It is evident in our witness.
·        It is evident in how we feel about ourselves.
But it is especially evident in our prayer life.
·        Recently I have been compelled to pray more.
·        To pray more often.
·        To pray longer.
And that is a good thing.
But I have noticed something in my prayer life…I pray for the same things over and over again, sometimes without results.
·        We should all pray more often.
·        We should all pray longer.
But I don’t want to teach a lesson about praying more often.
My Message thought for tonight is, “Praying God-Sized Prayers.”
·        I want to teach about praying more in the sense of praying bigger!
I want to teach about praying prayers that will break you out of the parade of predictability.
·        I don’t want to settle for second best in my walk with God.
·        I don’t want Life Church to settle for something less than what God desires.
·        I don’t want you to fall short of God’s plan for your life.
But I desire that every person reach their full potential in Christ Jesus!
·        To do so I could teach about faith.
·        I could teach about fasting.
·        But I feel led to teach about praying Big!
But before you leave this place tonight, I want the light to come on in your prayer life…I want something to click in your thinking.
I don’t know if I can cause that to happen or not, but with the Lord’s help, I am going to try.
Have you ever felt like you are in way over your head?
·        Like you have no control?
·        You don’t know what is going to happen next?
I have felt that way many times.
The first time I went Scuba diving, I felt that way.
·        I was in over my head.
·        I was in a new environment.
·        I was experiencing things I had never experienced before.
It was exciting and scary all at the same time.
·        Strange things were swimming right next to me.
·        Leopard Rays, Sting Rays, Barracuda’s, electric eels.
·        Jellyfish were stinging me.
And all the while my instructor was telling me to relax and breathe real slow and deep breaths.
Try that when you are breathing through a tube while the water in your mask covers your nose and strange and dangerous creatures are swarming all around as you are submerged forty feet below the surface.
·        I was in over my head.
·        I wasn’t in my comfort zone.
·        I felt like I could lose it very quickly.
In life, we feel that way sometimes.
·        Even Pastors feel that way.
o   How can I get the church to move in the direction I am feeling?
o   How do we proceed from here?
But, I have learned that it is ok to feel out of control because when I lose control, God takes control!
Can I get a witness?
The Apostle Paul felt exactly this way;
Eph 3:8-9
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Paul was writing this to the Ephesian Christians.
He said, “Here I am, the very least of all saints, and I am preaching and writing about things that are way over my head.”
·        Paul said, “I am called to preach the unsearchable riches of God to you.”
·        “My duty is to make plain what God has been doing behind the scenes from the beginning of the world.”
·        Paul described this as a mystery because he wasn’t sure if he could get everybody to understand that God had big plans for each of them the beginning of time.
Paul was in over his head!
·        He was worried about this.
·        He was worried that these Christians would not reach their full potential in Christ.
·        Paul didn’t want them to live average lives, He wanted them to get connected with God’s plan and purpose.
Our text records the struggle Paul had trying to grasp the fullness of God’s plan.
Here we are 2000  years later reading this letter that Paul wrote to them.
·        Things haven’t changed much in 2000 years.
·        The preacher is still preaching about things way over his head.
·        And people are still living way below their potential in Christ.
We are dealing with the same things they dealt with.
We get caught up in life and we settle for less than God desires for us.
And before we know it, life has passed us by.
This bothered Paul so much that he prayed this prayer;
Eph 3:16-19
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Paul’s prayer was that these saints be able to comprehend the fullness of God’s love and God’s plan for them.
·        Paul wanted them to understand the height, the depth, the width, and the length of God’s plan.
·        Paul wanted them to know everything there was to know about God.
Yet in the prayer, Paul admits that these things are unsearchable and unknowable.
I don’t know how that strikes you, but Paul is praying for something that is a logical impossibility.
I have to imagine that when the Ephesians read this they probably were flabbergasted.
Maybe Paul even wondered why he prayed such a prayer.
·        You can’t know the unknowable.
·        You can’t find the unsearchable.
·        You can’t attain the unthinkable.
These are impossibilities.
But Paul didn’t erase his words, he left this prayer in his letter for a reason.
·        Paul understood that He was praying to a God Whose abilities are immeasurable!
·        Paul understood that with God, nothing was impossible.
·        Paul was praying God-sized prayers over man-sized problems.
I believe it takes that same kind of prayer today.
We must stop reducing God to the size of our situation.
There is a lot of unused territory between the size of our God and the size of our prayers.
·        We need to start using up some of that territory.
·        We need to lay claim to some of that ground.
·        We need to start praying God-sized prayers.
Apparently, Paul dealt with the same issue in Corinth;
1 Cor 2:5-10
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Don’t let your faith stand in the wisdom of man…but let it stand in the power of God.
God wants to reveal His secrets to us through His Spirit!
·        If you have the Holy Ghost, you can know the unknowable.
·        You can search for the unsearchable.
·        You can reach the unreachable.
Start praying God-sized prayers! You have not because you ask not!
After admitting what he was asking for was unknowable, this is how Paul finished his prayer;
Ephesians 3:20-21
20 Now unto him, that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
In other words, “Lord, I know am asking for the impossible, but I also know you are able to do exceeding abundantly above everything I ask!
That is how we need to pray!
·        Some of you are barely making it.
·        Some of you are just squeaking by.
·        Some of you are just managing to hold on.
In your prayers, you are settling for answers that could just as well happen to somebody who isn’t praying.
I am not making light of anybody’s prayers, I am glad you are praying.
But as your pastor, I want to see you move into the deep things of God.
·        God wants you to know the height and the depth of His plan.
·        God wants to reveal some things to you.
·        God wants to go to work on your behalf.
God is just waiting for you to pray for some impossible prayers.
Why? So He can show you that all things are possible to them that believe.
·        God doesn’t want us to be able to explain our good fortune away by good luck or coincidence.
·        God will not share His Glory with another.
·         God wants the Glory.
This isn’t some pie in the sky prosperity doctrine of man….this is the bible!
·        You can reach the unreachable.
·        You can know the unknowable.
·        You can attain the unthinkable.
Yet there is a key to praying God-sized prayers!
Here is the key: Your God-sized prayers must be a part of His plan.
·        If you pray for 10 million dollars and don’t receive it….it probably wasn’t God’s plan for you.
·        I once prayed for God to grow hair back on my head….but that wasn’t part of God’s plan for my life.
The good news is God’s plan is not a mystery.
·        God’s will for your life is recorded in this Book!
·        God reveals His plan to us through His Word and His Spirit!
We know the will of God therefore we can pray the will of God!
·        We often pray, “If this is your will God, let it happen.”
·        Since we know the will of God about most things, we ought not to pray that way!
Joshua knew how to pray God-sized prayers.
While battling the five kings of the Amorites, Joshua was having great success, but darkness was coming. Joshua wanted to win the battle before nightfall lest he gives his enemies an opportunity to recover.
So Joshua prayer for the sun and the moon to stand still.
·        This was a God-sized prayer.
·        The Bible says that God hearkened unto the voice of Joshua and made the sun and moon stand still for a day.
Imagine the sun standing still for a day’s time…Joshua was able to defeat his enemies that day because he prayed a God-sized prayer.
The key to this prayer was that Joshua knew it was God’s plan for Israel to defeat the Amorites.
God had promised Joshua that He would lead Israel into Canaan and he would defeat every enemy in the land.
·        The problem was there were dozens of fortress cities with powerful armies throughout the land.
·        You remember the story, 10 of the 12 spies quit because of the giants they saw in Canaan.
But it didn’t faze Joshua….he knew God’s Plan.
So Joshua prayed a big prayer and got a big answer!
From this night forward we are going to increase our prayers! Look at your neighbor and tell them so!
·        I promise, this is going to make your prayer life powerful.
·        This is going to make your prayer life exciting.
Most of us have similar needs.
Most of us pray for the same things.
·        We pray for our children.
·        We pray for one another.
·        We pray for health.
·        We pray for safety.
·        We pray for provision.
·        We pray for Salvation.
·        We pray for the lost in our community.
·        We pray for right relationships.
·        We pray for deliverance from the enemy.
God has promised in His Word that He would answer each one of these needs.
God is just waiting for you to ask Him to do the impossible in every one of these situations.
If you are praying for your family to be saved, don’t ask God, “Lord if this is your will save them.”
·        It is God’s will for your family to be saved.
·        It is God’s will for your friends to be saved.
If you are praying for healing, don’t ask God “if it is your will, God!”
·        It is God’s will for you to be healed.
If you are praying for a job to provide for your family, you already know God wants you to provide….so pray a God-sized prayer.
·        Pray for a job that pays well.
·        Pray for a job that allows you to come to church on Sunday.
·        Pray for a job that allows you family time.
Pray a God-sized prayer!
When you pray your prayers, find God’s promise that deals with your situation in His Word, and pray His Word over your need.
On more than one occasion, Moses reminded God of promise to Israel when God was about to slay them for their disobedience…God would literally change His mind in the middle of destroying Israel because of Moses’ prayer.
The key to praying God-sized prayer is to know God’s Word and then pray God’s Word.
It is to know God’s Will and then speak God’s Will.
·        No matter how impossible it sounds, speak it!
·        No matter how crazy it sounds, pray it!
I wonder if there is anybody who feels like praying big tonight?
Let’s come around this altar and start praying some God-sized prayers.
Let’s start calling some things into existence.
Some loved ones.
·        God has given you power.
·        God has given you authority.
·        Let’s not settle for second best.
Lord, you said, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but you would deliver us out of them all. God, I am claiming your promise of healing for this cancer right now in Jesus’s Name.”
“God you called Zaccheus out of a Sycamore tree, I want you to do the same for my lost family.”
Make a case to God in prayer!

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