Prayer: A Pond or An Ocean
By Dot Bowen
God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding. Job 37:5 (NIV)
Do you ever wonder if there’s more to life than what you are experiencing at the moment? I believe there is a desire for more within all of us. I’m not talking about being discontent or dissatisfied with what you have. I’m talking about that aching in your heart to be the best you. To do all that is possible for the sake of others and for the glory of God. If you are like me, you want to be everything God has designed you to be and accomplish all that He desires for you to do.
When my parents were sick, I did everything in my power to help them. No matter how much I did, after their passing, I wished I could have done more. The desire to be your best is good, but the risk is feeling you never measure up. When the desire to be more and do more is out of balance, we live in a state of discontentment and are never able to enjoy the moment.
For some time now, I have ached with the desire for more. Not more material possessions. To know God more. I’ve asked God to show me the truth about who He really is and what He desires for me to do for His glory. It didn’t take me long to realize I have a small view of God. I see God’s power when I look at a sunset, the ocean waves, or a beautiful night filled with brilliant stars. However, my prayer life does not reflect that I am praying to a powerful God. It’s like asking a child to make her bed. She is able to make the bed, but will she? It’s the same when I ask God to answer my prayers. I know He is able to answer the desires of my heart when I pray, but will He? I am asking God to show me the truth about prayer and to give me the faith to trust Him for so much more. I am wrestling with the question we must all ask: Do I believe there is a limit to God’s power? I don’t really think most of us believe there is a limit to God’s power. The real struggle boils down to whether God loves me and will answer my prayers.
Imagine you are in a boat on a pond. After several hours of enjoying the pond, you discover more water right around the bend. As you near the water’s edge, you realize the pond is so much more than a pond; the pond is an extension of the ocean. When I read this illustration and related it to my prayer life, I cried. I don’t want to die and hear God say, I had so much more for you, but you never trusted me. The discontentment of my heart prompts me to know God more. My prayer life functions in proportion to my view of God. The issue is not that I view God as powerless. I know there is nothing God isn’t able to do. The issue is not His power, but His heart.
Before praying, I must be honest and ask myself, Do I believe God hears my prayers? Do I believe God will withhold what is best for me? As I take time to answer these questions, I prepare myself to bow before a powerful God and share my deepest desires. I begin to trust Him to do beyond what I could ever imagine and acknowledge that His power cannot be limited. When you know God’s heart—how much He loves you—you will not be content with the desires of your heart. You will want the desires of God’s heart.
Jim Elliot once said, “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.” What if God wants to give you more than you can imagine? What if He is waiting to show you His power? I believe God desires to reveal Himself to you in such a way that you are in awe of Him! I don’t want to live life settling for a pond when God wants to give me an ocean!
Further Reading Job 38; 1 Corinthians 2:9-11; Ephesians 3:14-18