I am praying Abraham prayers lately. Not the frilly, happy Christiany prayers that quite honestly I'm no good at anyway. Not the humble, obedient prayers that I should be good at. But Abraham prayers. And by that I mean like when he argued with God.
So here's the story in case you didn't grow up Baptist and don't have the entire bible pert near memorized. God decides he's going to wipe out a town. At some point Abraham finds out and starts begging for mercy. Then, and I really love this, Abraham starts bargaining with God. It goes something like this: how about you don't wipe them out if there are fifty good people? Well there weren't. So he tries forty and so on. Then Abraham gets God down to ten. Quite masterfully I thought. Wouldn't you know it, there weren't even ten good people in that fool city. But still. He at least got to get his brother's family out.
My dear husband was recently praying and said that he wanted what he was praying for to be in line with God's will, and at first I was nodding and smiling. Then I threw an Abraham fit. No! Do not let this man die. I cannot go to another funeral this year, I just cannot.
Once I started arguing it was hard to stop. Come to think of it, this whole cancer stuff, well you can just shove that where the sun don't shine. Little kids being sick and dying? Yeah. I'm sure there's a nice hot place in hell you can stick that. While we are at it how's about the world be a little more balanced and there not be so many billionaires when there are so many billions literally starving to death. I'm not saying you have to go all communist with it, but geeze, have you seen that photo of the boy that is all skin and bones? Breaks my heart. So yeah. Why not, since I'm bargaining and all, we just end world hunger entirely?
What if.. Just what if... We could end world hunger in large part by praying? Jesus's disciples asked him to teach them how to pray and so he teaches them the Lord's Prayer. Then. He says something profound. That even cruel fathers give their kids good things, and that essentially we are his kids, so why would we not expect to get what we ask for? Heaven knows that most of what I ask him for deep down I really don't believe he can or wants to do. It was the only limitation to Jesus's superpower. Unbelief. He goes to his hometown and 'he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.'*
What if we all stopped our unbelief? If we all whispered the: 'I believe, help my unbelief' type prayer at a minimum, or at best said a Peter prayer: 'Lord, you know!' What if we dared to believe way beyond what we have limited our dreams to? What if we prayed and we meant what we prayed?
So I pray Abraham prayers. I beg him to whittle it down ten less. I ask for crazy, impossible things. And I keep asking, like the persistent widow who begged the wicked king each day for her thing that she asked for. Except. He's not a wicked king. He's a very very good king.
I believe that he will out wow my brightest dreams in an incomprehensible way. That he has endings to these loose threads and unlike me, who is so completely horrible at knitting and just wants to stab something with the needles, he can knit together the ends into something fantastic. And it will fit perfectly. But sadly, it will be in his time. Which quite frankly makes me spitting mad most days, but waiting almost always seems to be a holy thing. Especially waiting on a holy God to step into our unholy lives with his plan that he is working out, in his holy time. So I pray, Lord, you know.