Big faith, or just unpractical?

“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 ESV

I was in a church service recently where the message was about praying big prayers. The point was that we should pray specific, seemingly impossible prayers and watch what God might do. Afterward, they challenged us to write out a prayer on the walls of the sanctuary. One of them essentially said this: “God, help me meet Bill Gates so that we can cure AIDS.”

Now, maybe it’s just the cynicism of my nature, but for some reason I just couldn’t help but laugh at that prayer. Is that what the pastor meant when he said to pray big, seemingly impossible prayers? It definitely fits the description. But is that big faith, or just unpractical?

I can pray that God would have president Obama call me today and schedule a press conference where I get to share the gospel on all TV stations throughout the world, but let’s be honest… nobody actually thinks that’s gonna happen.

So where is the line between big faith, and being practical? Should there even a line when it comes to faith?

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8 comments

  1. Big faith is about seemingly impossible tasks that require God’s intervention. If it’s about getting people together to do something that just men can do, then that is not really something requiring any kind of faith– except in ourselves.

    1. I think I would say that truly we need God in every aspect of our lives, so ultimately faith is required for the big and small. But based on your comment I would assume you’re saying there aren’t unpractical prayers. Cool. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I remember a few years ago I started praying for a person who at the time was very much into drugs and alcohol. His parents were pastors and he completely rebelled against them and God. I can’t explain why but I prayed and prayed for this person. Even at times when I knew he was at a party I would pray that the Lord would break through to him. Anyways several years passed and one night that young man found himself asking God for forgiveness. He is now a Salvation Army Officer/Pastor. (I have a copy of his testimony that he emailed me to share with others if u would like to read it.).
    I think for me praying for Matt took big faith because I knew that it was only the power of the Holy Spirit that could change his life. And at times when I saw him and talked to him and knew the things he was doing I often wondered in my weakness is there any pointg to these prayers?? I couldn’t change Matt but God sure did!!

    That to me is BIG FAITH.

  3. There is wisdom and balance to everything and that includes praying. The wisdom and balance is found in praying what God’s will is. If it is according to His will (1 John 5:14), then it doesn’t matter how impractical it may seem.

    1. The verse you gave is great and fits really well. I think I’m going to move some posts around and follow up with this topic on Thursday. Thanks for the comment Kelly. I checked out your blog… very cool.

  4. I believe there are no impractical prayers but that does not mean that our answer will be what we expect. If we pray with an honest heart and truly believe God will act on our prayers, we are willing to accept His will in the answer, then God does answer even our unbelievable prayers. We have to pray with expectancy and a genuine desire for God’s will, then all things are possible through Christ.

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