written by Mark Hurlbut

Jesus is looking for faith (Luke 8:22ff; Mark 8:22; Matthew 8:10). The kind of faith that will believe big things and even pray big, holy, audacious prayers.

What in the world is a big, holy, audacious prayer? Hang on, I’ll explain.

But first, think with me about how often Jesus commented on people’s faith (or lack of it) in the gospel accounts. Faith is of great concern to Jesus. He is looking to see if we really believe He is all He says He is.

Is He really the all-powerful, sovereign Savior? “Of course!” we might reply. But do we pray as if we believe that? Do we live by faith as if we believe that?

Here is the rub: Faith is found at the end of ourselves and the beginning of belief—that place where we completely and fully admit that we are mere mortals and God is the all-powerful, all-wise, immortal One. This world screams against that place.

The enlightenment brought us “corporate reason” (known as science and logic), while post-modernity brought us “personal reason” (what makes sense to me is what is right). And now, the post-Christian era is giving us “public reason” (the immediate impression of majority rule/cancel culture).

In each case, objective faith in a real and revealed God gets moved to the perimeter of acceptability in our culture. But Jesus is looking for faith. He is listening for prayers of faith, which come from those who have realized they completely need Him … AND (big and) from those who yield themselves to His will, His time, His way.

Now, back to the big, holy, audacious prayers. As we consider our “Three Big Moves,” I am moved by our need to pray. We have already begun to soak in this statement from the apostle Paul: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think …” (Ephesians 3:20 ESV).

Far more abundantly than all that we ask? Do you get what Paul is saying? God can do way more than we think He can, and more than we even pray for. That is throwing down the gauntlet for us to pray bigger, holier, more audacious prayers. Why would we pray for insignificant things if God can do the significant?

By faith we can come to Him with BHAPs (big, holy, audacious prayers) because He is the God who does infinitely more than we give Him credit for. By faith we can come to Him with BHAPs because He is a God who delights in moving in our midst in ways we cannot even dream of.

When we come to the end of ourselves, and faith is all we have, we are right where we need to be to pray a prayer of faith. When we can let go of our reason and logic and ask God to do what only He can do for His glory, we are where we need to be.

When we can pray for His desire to be our desire, we are where we need to be. When we can accept wholeheartedly His will, then we are where we need to be.

We are ready then to pray big, holy, audacious prayers! As we die to ourselves, our prayers come to life, and God moves in our midst.

Can we pray for exponential impact?

Can we pray for doors to open to us that we don’t even know exist, to share our core messaging?

Dare we pray for revival to actually happen?!

Will we pray?

May Jesus find faith in us—the kind of faith that can pray big, holy, audacious prayers!