I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’ve felt at a loss for what to say in prayer during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Oh, I have plenty of requests: keep my family healthy, provide a cure, halt the job losses, provide for our children’s homes, bless our supporters…I could go on and on and on.
But I also want to be sensitive to what God is teaching in this time: have I learned to be still? Have we as a culture suffered enough to return our gaze to Him? Must things get worse for us to experience revival?
When my mind starts spinning in circles, debating the validity of my own heart cries, I’ve found it’s helpful to return to Christ’s instructions regarding prayer.
Scripture tells us that one day, as Jesus was wrapping up a time of prayer, one of His disciples asked him to teach them to pray. He responded with what we’ve come to know as “The Lord’s Prayer.” This prayer prioritizes our Heavenly Father’s kingdom, but also offers us a platform to ask for our own needs…including forgiveness of sins.
Just following this model prayer, Jesus told a story. It went like this:
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. (As recorded in Luke 11:5-8, NIV)
Let me help you envision this narrative the way the disciples would have.
In Jesus’ day, nighttime was dark. I mean, there weren’t any street lamps; there was no glow from the city. When the sun went down, things got very dark quite quickly.
Homes were typically one-room dwellings. Picture the home from “Little House on the Prairie” with a loft for a sleeping quarters—only the animals slept downstairs!
Your neighbor has gotten the children nestled into bed and brought the livestock in for the night. He and the Mrs. then head upstairs, gingerly lying down so as to not awaken the kids, or else they may ask for another glass of water.
Now imagine the raucous created when you knocked on the door. Unable to navigate the ladder in the dark, the master of the house would have to light a lantern and carry it precariously with him down to the room below. Then he’d have to pluck his way around his goats or sheep and find some bread. Lastly, he’d have to make it to the door without it being eaten by any of the eager beasts which surrounded him!
It’s no wonder the man tried to send you, his pleading neighbor away.
But Jesus said, “…because of your shameless audacity, he will surely get up…”
It’s not exactly the meek and gentle spirit Christ usually recommends, but it’s apparently effective for getting some bread.
Jesus then goes on to say, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” In case you didn’t catch the meaning of His parable, He blatantly offers us the freedom to make requests of Him.
Wow. God invites us to plead with Him for what we need. That motivates me to ask with shameless audacity!
Back to my original question, though, about knowing exactly what I should be asking for? What if I ask with shameless audacity for God to provide health when He wishes to teach me through illness? What if I ask for financial provisions when He longs for me to depend upon Him more than I ever have?
Apparently, Jesus knew we’d wrestle with that because His teaching session on prayer wasn’t finished just yet. He went on to assure His disciples that our Heavenly Father knows how to give good gifts to His children.
In other words, as long as my heart posture is right before God and I’m not demanding my way, I’m permitted allowed encouraged to ask for help!
So this month, as you pray for The Boaz Project, lift these requests and your own with shameless audacity:
- Let’s plead with God for an end to this pandemic…in our own neighborhoods and around the globe.
- Thank God for a generous response from the Boaz community to the needs presented by Covid-19.
- Ask the Lord to give the children in our homes peace as they navigate another set of disturbing circumstances as a result of the Coronavirus. Help them to enjoy extended time with one another, making memories and studying well.
- Request the strength, wisdom, and perseverance needed for our house parents during quarantine. In addition to now being responsible to educate a large number of children, many are facing dramatically increased reporting to the government.
For updates on our children’s homes to cover in prayer during this pandemic, visit www.boazproject.org/urgentneed
Believing in miracles,