It wasn't that long ago that I made a bold declaration of faith. That Lord, today, I am trusting you for today.
The truth is that while yes, I declared my trust for the Lord in that moment, it only came after nine long years of an agonizingly similar prayer. Yet with one simple statement of belief, I was able to finally live it.
Because for every morning, noon, or night that I had prayed that prayer, for every anguished tear I had cried asking the Lord to come and be something I could believe in, for all the exasperated and desperate moments I had pleaded with Him to answer my lowly prayer, I had also harbored a second thought (or a back-thought) in my own heart and mind. And that was this:
Man, if this works, I am going to remember how I did this so that next time, it doesn't take so long.
Surprise. Such a prayer never works, and in nine years of experience, let me assure it - it never works. It never worked for me, and in fact, it kind of drew me away from God a great ways because I started to wonder just what it was about me that wasn't worth answering. Or worse yet, what I was doing wrong that made my tear-filled prayer so disgusting to the Lord that He wouldn't even humor me.
One small, out loud statement of faith that not only could God, but God would and was and is and has and will, allowed me to live like my prayer had been answered.
It had. The answer was in the surrender.
It was in giving the moment and the situation and the fear and the faith fully to my Father, who does love and hear and respond to me. It was in saying it out loud so that I could never take it back. And so that I wouldn't have to. It was in doing more than simply saying I was giving it to Him; it was in actually letting go and letting those words linger out there without having a claim on them any more. Without having one hand ready to draw them back in.
Which is kind of how I think most of us pray. We think when we get it, when we hit it right, not only will we reap the rewards of answered prayer, but we will harbor the secret to being heard and we will be able to remember that for next time, to know how our God answered us and what magic we put into it.
Oddly enough, this is precisely what Prayse, my book-in-progress, is all about. And here I am guilty of precisely the same. Oh, how I pray to live more before my Lord.
When you put your statement of trust out there and let go of it, you really let God and God really gets to. You won't be able to say there is any good in you, any spectacular thing that you have done. You have open admitted your need and your inability, your weakness and your timidity and you have given that out there as a standing testament to what measly little bit you are.
Whatever happens next becomes a testament wholly to who God is. And you just can't take that back.
What's more, the world won't let you. Because they have seen your statement of trust and they know it wasn't you. You can't pretend that it was. Anyone who loves you will call you on that. And the next time you're faced with an agonizing prayer, you'll remember this moment and you'll wonder what it was that you did this time, and there stands your statement of faith that says...you didn't do anything but give it all up and put it all out there and let Him go haywire with it.
And that much, He does. You give it wholly to Him and He shows you what holy means. God will knock your socks off.
In that, there is the greatest good. For you get an answer to your aching heart, a true word you can hang your hat on. And the world watching sees what faith really looks like, what tangible trust is. And everyone witnesses the promise of God...which gives us all reason to believe a little more, question a little less, pray a little harder, and trust out loud.