It was first thing in the morning. Even though I knew it was time to get up the crisp cold air in the room was begging me to stay under the covers. Using prayer as an excuse, I started talking to Jesus about several of the challenges that were facing me that week. (It had the potential to be a doozy!!)
Soon I was praying,
“Help me to get through this challenge”
“Help me get through this event”
“Oh Jesus, please help me get through this issue.”
And then I heard myself.
More importantly, the Holy Spirit heard what I was saying and corrected/challenged me with these words:
“Really?? That’s all you want? To ‘get through’ to ‘survive’?”
I’d never really thought about it before. Still, I had to admit that after too many years of obstacles where simply surviving seemed victorious, this had become an all too common attitude.
Yet there, in that moment, I realized it was time for an attitude change. I didn’t want to just ‘survive’ I wanted to ‘thrive’.
That’s when my prayers changed to:
“Father, help me to thrive in this situation.”
“Help me to overcome this challenge and be victorious.”
Because the truth is that we were created for so much more than simply survival. The Bible doesn’t say that Jesus came to help us make it through life. No, John 10:10 says that Jesus came so that we can have “real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
I get it, this concept can be difficult to believe---especially if you’ve gone through some really painful things in your life. Honestly, after taking a look at my heart, I believe this is precisely why I was praying such small prayers---because I had been through so much trauma. After years of crisis, health issues, turbulence, and difficulties, I’d lowered my expectations to “just help me get through”.
And yet the Holy Spirit has called you and I to more.
Like Jabez in the Old Testament, we cannot let the things we’ve been through in our lives rob us of hope and keep us from believing God for greater things. Instead, we need to acknowledge that “Yeah, I’ve been through a lot, but I’m still going to ask, seek, knock, for and believe for the full, abundant life that God has for me. I want to do more than survive—I want to thrive!”
It’s time to start really believing Scriptures like John 16:33 which say “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Romans 8:35 & 37 says:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?.... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Even in the hard times, the painful times, the difficult times of life, we are called to be MORE than conquerors, we are called to thrive.
And so I’ve been intentionally changing my prayers.
I’m replacing words like “survive” and “make it through” with “thrive”, “overcome”, “gain victory”, and even “enjoy” (now there’s a big leap of faith for me!)
Is it because I believe God needs clarification or that I’ve found some magic formula that will produce answers to prayers? (Ha Ha!! No way! I seriously don’t go in for that stuff!)
Instead, I’m making this conscious choice because I believe that I (me, myself, and I) need an attitude adjustment.
I need to hope for more, pray for more, expect more, and believe that God wants me to have more.
So I’m taking this step to proactively change---one day, one prayer at a time.
What about you?
Perhaps today you find yourself caught in the same mental trap: praying to survive when God wants so much more for you.
Will you, along with me, begin taking steps to change your attitude?
Together, one step at a time, we can change!!!
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.
His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!
Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”
And God granted his request.
1 Chronicles 4:9-10