Praying like it’s happening


I have a hard time trusting that God will follow through. A really tough time.

Growing up I prayed every night and felt like my prayers were rarely answered. Of course, now, I understand that God answered them in a way that was even better–but it fostered a culture in me that felt like I had to do everything myself.

This fostered anxiety and mistrust, and others could see this. I overworked to compensate for my lack of trust that God could make things happen after I clock out.

Here’s my first example of how I’m learning: 2 years ago, we had 8 Small Group Leaders for all of our Middle School because it was so tough to find dedicated adults, and this year I set the goal of 24 in order to meet the needs of the growing ministry. The school year had already started and I still needed 6 SGLs, but I split them into the appropriate-sized groups anyway, trusting that these people would come out of the woodwork and join the team. And they did. This was one way that God showed me that I could live my life as if he’s already answering my prayers.

Since, I’ve tried to apply this principle in other areas of my ministry, but also my life.

This week my cat got loose when transporting her out of the house and ran off. I couldn’t find her, and I was trying not to become hysterical. A friend came to help me search for her, and they were so surprised that I wasn’t crying or panicking. In fact, it was me who said multiple times that I think we should stop searching. She had a collar, a microchip, and a very fattened body. Even though she’s down one eye and 7 teeth, she’s a good mouser. I just need to trust she will come home.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I still worried. I was sick.

But I went to work the next day, trusting she’d come home.

And when I came home, there she was.

I was living as if that prayer was answered, and once again, it calmed me and the prayer was answered.

I recognize that there’s a tension though, as I write this: How do some prayer requests get answered, and others not so much?

I can’t answer that.

But I can say that there have been times where I’ve practiced the principle of “living as if my prayers are already answered” and when they aren’t answered, it hasn’t hurt as much.

A few weeks ago one of our volunteers asked me “How do you know our prayers are working?” And I stared at the email, mouth agape and dumbfounded. What a silly question.

But I realize that we have this question. We want to know if God hears our prayers.

God is Able

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Saturday I had the blessing of spending a few hours with my teenager sister while she copped my WiFi.  We watched a Mythbusters episode together, where they proved it is scientifically impossible to be buried alive and escape.

This was comforting.

Why? Because that means no Zombie apocalypse. Unless it’s Walking Dead style.

Why else? Because it exemplifies what Christ did.

Now, I know that his grave is way different from our graves…I get that.  But for a while (and don’t cry “heretic” out to me) I forgot how magnificent it is that Christ rose from the dead.

Not only that he rose from the dead, but that he rose others from the dead.  He healed the sick, the  handicapped, and the diseased. He gave hope to the hopeless and changed ridiculously lost people into the examples by which we lead our Christian walks by.


For a while…and I hate to admit it…I forgot two central truths:

God can do anything.

God can save anyone.

For a while, I wasn’t sure of this; at least, I wouldn’t have admitted it out loud. In fact, I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t sure of this.  It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized that I wasn’t operating my life based off of these truths.  And when you’re not walking, you stop talking.

You see, these truths radically change the way that you live.  It means that nobody is too far of a reach to pray for.  It means that you don’t just complain about people, but pray for a change of heart in them.  And speaking of prayer, it radically changes your prayer life.  Prayer isn’t just a time of asking, but a time of believing that it can actually be done.


At one time, these truths provided me hope and comfort…..and I want to cling to them again.  Because, if God can move mountains, then God can save my family from drug addiction.  And if Christ can raise from the grave (which I watched on Mythbusters yesterday is scientifically impossible) then Christ can raise up my teenagers from their sin. If God can lead adulterers and bigots and prostitutes and cheaters and hypocrites to him and use them as leaders, why could God not lead certain people in my life to salvation?

God can do it.

I know he can.

And as soon as I realized this in the least bit, I saw it happen in a huge way. I really did.  God is working in the lives of the people I didn’t think he can save, and he is slowly moving them away from their addictions to sin.  Can I get a stinking Hallelujah?

God is able.

I never again want to get in that dark place of not believing that.

Prayer Requests from a Youth Pastor in Newtown

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This is copied directly from

We are all still reeling from the school shooting that happened this past weekend.  This afternoon, I had the privilege of talking with a youth pastor from Newtown, CT.  He works with children and teenagers in his community just minutes from where the shooting happened.

There was a lot that he and I talked and prayed about.  Here are a few of the prayer requests that he said that I could feel free to share.

1.  For his personal healing.  Help him find joy in suffering.

2.  Many of the families in their church were friends or associates with victims families. 

3.  That God would use this tragedy for His Glory.  Provide a spiritual awakening in the town.

4.  The town is crawling with media and it’s proving difficult to try and live any semblance of normal living.

5.  The church wants to help and is trying to find their role in the healing process.

6.  There were kids from the youth group that had recently gone off to college that had known Adam Lanza.

7.  Healing for kids and teens who are trying to reconcile so much during this time.

8.  For Christmas joy.  Newtown is a town that always makes a big deal of Christmas and many people have taken down decorations because of the guilt they feel for celebrating.

9.  How to address the youth group kids in the coming days, weeks, months.

10. Wisdom for the youth ministry network of 8 guys in the area.

I’d encourage you to take a moment to pray for these 10 requests.  Feel free to post in the comment page any encouragement that you’d like to share with him.  I’ll be emailing him this post.

If you have any comments you’d like that youth pastor to see, go to the original blog post at