Every time I meet with my money guy, Ara, he makes me listen to an explanation of the risk level of my investments. It’s his job to determine if I’m feeling risk averse or if suddenly I’ve become a new person and want to roll the dice, invest with abandon. I always listen politely and then stay somewhere in moderate land, my happy place.
There was a time when I lived for risk, loved the feel of a crazy adrenaline rush. Something happened when I became a mother. The middle ground suddenly became appealing, and the boxes I hadn’t yet checked – like skydiving and owning a motorcycle – got pushed
to the side back away forever.
On Friday I had a quick call with my pastor about some churchy work to-dos, and before letting him get back to his day, I asked if I could make a quick prayer request. I got him caught up as quickly as possible on my daughter’s health and the road we suddenly found ourselves on once again. My prayer request to him, my personal prayer to God, was for wisdom, to know how to make the decisions that are best for my child. Not a bad prayer, right? After all, James 1:5 tells us “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
And it will be given to you. Will be.
Talk about risk-averse. Wisdom is a slam dunk prayer, the one that I make most often with the plus one of peace. A friend is struggling at work? I pray for wisdom for him to make the best decisions for his work future and peace with whatever is revealed. A pal isn’t sure how to proceed in a potential romantic relationship? Hey God, how about some wisdom for my pal to know the next steps and some peace if it doesn’t turn out the way he had hoped? A member of my church family is struggling with their ministry? God, a little wisdom for them? Oh yeah. And peace.
Without realizing it, I’ve been boxing God in. I’ve been telling the very Creator of the universe that I’m not quite confident that he’s got this – any of this – and so rather than tax him by praying boldly, I’d like to just cash in the wisdom promise again and again.
His Word actually asks us to do the opposite, to pray boldly, to approach Him sincerely, to be strong and courageous.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrew 4:16
In response to my prayer request, my pastor said he was going to do one better. He was going to pray a big prayer. He was going to ask God for healing.
“That would be absolutely INCREDIBLE,” I responded.
“Well thankfully, that’s the kind of God we have.”