A year and a half ago Dennis and I listened to a sermon by Tim Keller from Psalm 2. As part of the sermon Tim read a stanza from a hymn by John Newton, which captured my attention in the moment and hasn’t left me since. Increasingly I found myself pondering its words, thinking about the challenge “large petitions with thee bring.” It was a glaring realization that I had moved into safe mode in my requests, asking God mostly for what wasn’t too difficult for Him to do, from my perspective of course. My fear of failure again was controlling my expectations of what God might not do if I asked. I still have small faith.
Soon I began to ask God, “What large petitions would You want me to bring before Your throne?” I immediately thought of two requests. One is and continues to be an oft-repeated prayer for God’s favor in changing the way Americans in particular and Christians worldwide celebrate Easter, which I think should be called Resurrection Sunday. I’m increasingly disappointed that western culture has influenced those of us who name the name of Christ to make our Easter decorations rabbits and chicks and eggs instead of the cross and the Lamb of God. I’m asking God for this large petition: ideas and creativity to produce something new every year that helps Christians focus on the victory that has been won for us.
My second large petition is one I’ve mentioned in a previous post, that God will provide for my daughter and her many friends who desire to be married. Some months later God gave me a third item to add to this bold list for the King.
None of these are answered yet in full, but I continue to come before the throne of the King of kings, knowing He has bid me come, that He is at work answering these large petitions in ways I cannot see and in ways I can appreciate only in part with my limited sight.
“For His grace and power are such, none can ever ask too much,” has reminded me every day since I first heard these lyrics that my King is full of grace, I can never ask too much, and that He can be trusted with what He gives and what He delays.
What large petitions would you bring before Him? Boldly ask Him and watch what He does! And let me know that we may all share in the joy of watching God at work! What a privilege.
*Image: Watch for this prayer created as a wall plaque, available in early November. This is one along with two other black & white vintage wall plaques available in the coming months.