Imagine a quiet neighborhood on a lazy, summer day in south Texas in the 1960’s. Our particular ranch-style home had a vast backyard and I had two favorite go-to spots in my yard. One was in the nook next to the banana plants and the other was up in the fork of a large climbing tree. I could lie in either place for hours and dream of all the things I was going to be and do. Granted, the hopes of that 9-year-old girl were far different from the goals of this adult woman, or dare I say it, Grandma. My aspirations have changed with time, and the means to achieve these dreams has matured as my walk with the Lord has progressed.
We all have dreams—some of them realized and some of them not. Are we putting off working toward our desires because we don’t know where to begin? Or, because we think it’s too late in life to do something? Or, because someone might think it’s crazy or silly?
If we believe God’s Word confirms our dream as something He wants for us, then it’s time to ask for His help.
Some powerful ways to pray are verbs which all begin with the letter “E”: Encourage, Enable, Equip, and Empower.
“Dear Lord, please encourage me to visualize the task or dream.” When I pray for encouragement, the Holy Spirit invigorates me with purpose which I submit to Him. The Lord encourages us by making us “determined, hopeful, and confident” our aspiration can actually happen. (Merriam-Webster.com, 2016) In Psalm 20:4 (NIV) we draw inspiration from the words, “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Furthermore, we’re assured, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4, NIV)
“Dear Lord, please enable me to begin the task.” Our Lord will provide you with the means or opportunity to make your goal possible. In computer lingo, enable means to make something operational or to activate. And, that’s exactly what the power of the Spirit will do when you ask according to His will. What a beautiful word picture David paints in Psalm 18:33 (NIV) when he describes how God prepared him for battle: “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.”
“Dear Lord, please equip me to perform the task.” You will find yourself supernaturally equipped with ability and everything you need for the situation if you ask the Lord to provide. Just as an expert chef lays out her cooking utensils, positions her pots and pans, and completes her prep work so she can proceed with cooking, the Lord readies us in advance. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NIV)
“Dear Lord, please empower me to see through and finish the task.” We can absolutely depend on the Holy Spirit to help us persevere. After all, the Lord doesn’t want us to give up if our aspiration is part of His plan for our life! Your dream will see realization through His empowerment. An Old Testament prophet, Azariah, exhorted King Asa in 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NIV) with these timeless words, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
My dreams have changed since those lazy summer days I enjoyed as a young girl, but our Lord knows the desires of our hearts. He hears our cries and tells us it’s not too late and we’re not too crazy to dream big and turn our hopes and goals over to Him.
Father God, I have big dreams, tasks, and challenges which I humbly submit to you. Please encourage, enable, equip, and empower me to boldly go forward on what you have birthed in me. I acknowledge you have set these goals before me, and trust you will see them through to completion. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV): “Many are the plans in a [woman’s] heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 16:3 (ESV): “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
Isaiah 32:8 (NIV): “But the noble [woman] makes noble plans, and by noble deeds [she] stands.”
Ephesians 3:20-21a (NIV): “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory ….”
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