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Isaiah 55:9 MSG “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
Recently a dear friend challenged me to reconsider how I pray. She said she’d gotten these ideas from hearing multiple missionaries tell of how they prayed and the stories of how God moved from these prayers. Knowing her deep love for Jesus from a heart committed to Him, I saw the wisdom in her ideas. So, I wrote them down and began to pray in that way and will continue to do this in prayer in the new year.
With 2023 beginning, I thought it the perfect time to share these ideas with you:
- Dream big.
- Pray boldly.
- Ask God for the unimaginable.
I admit praying like this hasn’t been easy for me. It has made me realize how much I was trying to put God in a box of my own making. I wasn’t guilty of bartering or begging for my carefully constructed plans. Yet I was sinful in not looking for where He could be working outside of my own plans. I was blind to the truth that arrogance had me by the throat in that way of thinking…
Until I started praying for the bigger, bolder, braver, and better of God’s plans.
Scripture has told me for years of the freedom found in this kind of trust-full praying but I didn’t know it personally until recently. This is what I’ve learned from this kind of praying. Freedom is far bigger and better than any plans I’ve ever had. And freedom is making me bolder and braver than ever before.
Bigger, better, braver, bolder means that I don’t have to: paste a smile on my face to hide the churning in my mind and heart; constantly keep checking to make sure everything is done just the way I’d planned it; keep thinking about what should come next to move closer to a desired trajectory; or any and all of the what’s, when’s, where’s, and how’s of always being in control.
If you’ve read any of my other writings, you might be asking by now – but haven’t you already talked about receiving His plan and releasing control? Well, yes, you’re absolutely right! Yet I still struggle deeply with the lie of arrogance/control/my way or the highway…and obviously, still have lots to learn…
Thus, bigger, bolder, braver, better praying is a necessary opportunity for growth for me. And hopefully, it will be a new pathway into the desires of my heart for 2023. The desires of looking for and seeing more beauty in every day and to serve and love my Jesus with my whole being. I want every minute of listening, learning, loving, leaving behind, and looking forward to the bigger, bolder, braver, and better of what my Good God has planned for this day and the not-yet.
I want 2023 to be full of the freedom of bigger, bolder, braver, better.
Psalm 119:32 AMPC I will [not merely walk, but] run the way of Your commandments, when You give me a heart that is willing.
And I wonder if you might want the same for your life for 2023…if so, then consider bigger, bolder, braver, better praying…
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Good Ground, Volume 1 now available on Amazon and other online book distributors.
Good Ground, Volume 2 coming in January from Northeastern Baptist Press.
Volume 2 is a brand-new Bible study God could use to change you and your family and friends in brand-new ways in the brand-new year. (Volume 2 doesn’t require the reading of Volume 1 but hopefully, reading it will make you want to read or re-read Volume 1.)
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Written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2022
2 thoughts on “Welcome 2023!”
Beth, I appreciate your bigger, bolder, braver , better comments. I, too, have been guilty of backing away from the bolder and braver prayer requests in order to “shield” God in the event He doesn’t do the impossible I might ask. I’m inwardly smiling because many birthdays have shown me He can handle my doubts also. So I’ve become braver, believing if I yield myself to Him daily, the time may come when I ask exactly what He wants to give or do. Until then…..”immeasurably more than all I can ask or imagine”
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Thank you for sharing wisdom and encouragement- grateful for you!