This summer, I attended an out-of-town women’s writers conference. Four nights in a hotel room by myself and days filled spending time with a friend I don’t see often, learning about the craft of writing, and engaging with dynamic women and speakers from across the country.
It was pretty much my cup of tea.
Each morning, instead of sleeping in (which is so predictable), I’d get up extra-early. I’d make myself a POT of coffee. I’d pour over my notes from the day before, listening to the Today Show in the background. And I’d pinch myself over and over again. Because a treat like this, I’d never experienced since becoming a mom.
After downing the better part of a full pot of coffee by myself, I’d head to the hotel lobby where I’d visit the coffee shop. This time, not for coffee, but for a caffeine free hot tea. Because it was about 40 degrees in the conference rooms where our workshops took place, and I needed something to keep my hands warm.
Each morning, when it was my turn to order, I’d stare at this menu above the cashier’s head, perplexed and disoriented. Because as I read left to right, the prices were listed not from small to large, but the other way around.
I’d never seen that before. And every day, it confused me as I tried to decide which size to order. (I went Venti, by the way, if for no other reason than “big” was symbolic of the kind of deal this conference and this time were to me.)
For four days, I visited this coffee shop multiple times, and each day, I had a similar, disorienting experience.
Then on the last day, it finally hit me why this menu kept grabbing my attention.
This coffee shop wasn’t just asking us to buy a cup of coffee. This coffee shop was shooting for the moon, first asking us to buy the largest cup it sold.
It was a bold move.
In Ephesians Chapter 6, verse 18, Paul says this about prayer:
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Pray on “all occasions.” With “all kinds of prayers and requests,” it says.
And yet, so often we beat around the bush with God. So often, we’re the opposite of bold in our prayers.
Someone is ill. And we need a miracle. But we don’t ask for the miracle. Instead, we pray around it, asking that “God’s will be done.” There’s nothing wrong with a prayer that seeks God’s will.
But we should also pray for the miracle.
Someone has hurt us. And our hurt has turned to hate. But we’re ashamed of this place we’ve come to, and we’re wringing our hands over our role in it, so we don’t go to God. We stuff our feelings instead.
We should confess our hate and pray for reconciliation.
We’re struggling with contentment. And dissatisfaction with our life is consuming us. Yet we buy into the lie that God has more important things to do than listen to us complain so we don’t waste prayer time on this aspect of our heart condition. We dismiss it, and we live in a state of complacency instead.
We should pray for transformation.
Because God desires to be in relationship with us. Not the “first date” kind of relationship where we’re on our best behavior. But real relationship. The “what you see is what you get” kind of relationship. Relationship that’s authentic, transparent, honest, messy.
Relationship that’s bold.
God certainly wants us to come with our good, but He wants us to come with our other stuff too. God wants us to reveal our most vulnerable, broken, hidden places so that He can show us He loves us anyway.
God wants us to come with anything that’s causing us to stumble. No matter how big or small it may seem from our vantage point. Because God cares, and He wants us to soar.
And God wants us to come boldly in our prayers.
God doesn’t want us to beat around the bush. He doesn’t want us to be shy. He doesn’t want us to ask for watered-down substitutes for the desires of our hearts.
No, God wants us to be more like the menu at the coffee shop.
He wants us to be bold.
He wants us to be honest. To shoot for the moon. To say what’s really on our hearts.
Because each time we do, we’re investing in real relationship, and we’re professing with our mouths a believing faith that with God, all things are possible.
Is your relationship with God bold? If not, what do you need to do to change this?