I don't know how much you believe in prayer. Some of you may not at all. A lot of you probably believe in it at least a little bit. Definitely when your team's down by at least a field goal. It's okay if you don't, but I really do.
Exactly one year ago, the staff at Epic Church, where I work, decided to start praying this prayer: God, stretch me. God, heal me. God, ruin me.
It was based on a message with a lot more context, but the gist is this: we wanted to pray that God would stretch us in the areas we needed to be stretched, to heal us in the areas that were holding us back, and to ruin us and break our hearts for what broke His, all so we could live life to the fullest extent we were made to live.
So we started praying that prayer.
We got we asked for. Since we began that prayer a year ago, many of us have been stretched beyond our limit, forced to our knees in sorrow, buried to the eyes in worries. We've had our hearts broken and our faith tested.
Prayer really does work, though sometimes not in the way we envisioned it would.
This year, I propose we pray to win the lottery.
I'm kidding. (Well...)
The cool thing is that I've seen God heal us, too. I've seen Him take us through some of the most painful stuff you can imagine. We made it through, and I believe we're better and stronger for it.
I'm about to join the rest of our staff to kick off our winter retreat. While I've already asked Kent to cool it with the challenging prayers, I'm ready for whatever is coming this year.
If God has to stretch and ruin me all over again, so be it.
I want to live life to its fullest, and I know He can get us there.