In Ephesians 3:20, Paul tells us that God is able to do far more abundantly than we ask or think. The question is: what are you praying for? Are you asking that your sinful life be extended for several years to come, asking for good health and pain free living? That’s okay to pray for; but you’re not bringing your requests to a back doctor or a foot doctor or a general practitioner; you’re bringing them to a spiritual heart surgeon who wants to set your heart right more than anything. He wants to give you resolute strength and abiding love and spiritual maturity—all things that pertain to your heart rather than your body. Stop merely living in the physical and emotional realm, and start living in the spiritual realm. Pray that God would spiritually strengthen you, and give you a deep love for Him and for your wife or your husband or your parents or your kids or whomever you’re at odds with.
And grow up. It would be abhorrent for me to stand up here and preach—or for you to sit in the pew—in a diaper and an onesie. Yet, spiritually, we live in diapers and onsies, spending the majority of our time praying for things that are passing away anyway, all the while neglecting things that will last forever: like spiritual fruit or your neighbor whose going to hell. God can do way more than you or I ask for. So ratchet it up: pray deep things and hard things that only God can do. Pastor John Piper said this: “I don’t know how people pray who don’t believe in the sovereignty of God to do the impossible. Because all the things I want to happen are impossible. If they’re possible I’ll do them.”
If God can do far more, then maybe we should get a lot more creative and deep in what we pray for. And so don’t hesitate to ask for hard things that are pouring out of a heart of righteousness; pray hard things like your hard-hearted neighbor would listen and see his need for Jesus. Pray that your kids would do the same. Pray that this church would not only grow numerically, but spiritually. We can reach way more than a small portion of this town or support more than a few missionaries. Pray for it.