A few weeks ago I had to take my car into the shop for an oil change, some tire care, and new rear brake pads. Months before this I extended my factory warranty on my trusty Toyota Camry and so believed the warranty would cover the brake pads. A day after I dropped my car off at the dealership, I got a call that all of my needed fixes were considered routine maintenance and so would not be covered under my warranty. Translation: I would be paying for this all out of pocket, almost $500. I took a breath and said “That’s ok, everything will be fine.”
The next week as I laid in bed unable to walk and barely able to form a sensical sentence, I tried to pay for my car costs on the phone with my debit card so that friends and co-workers would be able to swing by and grab my car for me when I could not. I give the numbers to my Mechanic once. Declined. Twice, Declined. Three times, Declined. I immediately asked to call him back and checked my bank account. My concerns were true. The cost of my medical bills, ministry travels, medications, supplements, and specialty foods had almost drained my account. I was deeply upset, and even felt a little ashamed. Here a nearly 30 year old unable to pay some of her own bills.
But I didn’t hesitate. I knew what I had to do.
As soon as I said the words, “I can’t afford my car repairs”, my father responded. “Of course, Honey. I’ve got it covered. Love you.” And immediately my father hung up the phone and called the dealership to give them his own credit information. Just like that. Done.
I didn’t hesitate. He didn’t hesitate. I asked. He answered.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and I’ve found myself comparing my approach to my Daddy here, and my approach to my Abba on His throne.
My earthly father, although wonderful, is not perfect. He struggles with sin just like the rest of us. So if I find it acceptable to approach my earthly father, who is full of sinful nature, without hesitation, what stops me from approaching the throne of my Abba Father, who is perfect in every way?
The Word of God is riddled with truths about Abba’s character. In Pslam 23 we read “The Lord is my Shepherd”; my protector, my provider. In Lamentations 3 we hear of the cry of tortured souls and are then met with “Because of the Lord’s great love for us we are not consumed. Great is His faithfulness”. And in the gospels we are shown through the life and death of Jesus that Abba’s children are far more important to Him than His own majesty. He gave up His one and only Son to come to earth in human form, yet perfect in nature, by society’s standards live a life of uncleanliness, and die a disgraced, sinner’s death. For one reason alone: His love for His children. We are told and shown that He is the perfect Father who will sacrifice His best for our best. If we look, we will find love and perfection in Him and from Him.
So if we believe this, if we believe what we say we do, that He is a perfect Father who loves His children deeply, a perfect Father who wants only good for them, and will always answer our prayers with mercy and justice, why do we pray with hesitancy in our requests?
I believe we do this out of fear. We hesitate in our requests to our God by only asking for His will be done. Our Abba wants relationship with us! He wants to hear the desires of our hearts that He already knows come from our lips. He longs to meet with us in the secret places and brush the hair back from our face as we ask for big, bold, impossible things. He’s a perfect Father. A perfect Shepherd. A perfect Comforter.
This is not to say that when we come boldly before Him that He will grant us our requests. If that were the case, He wouldn’t be perfect. He’d be a magician. We can crawl in His lap, weep violently, and beg for that one thing that we want so bad, and still not receive it from Him. Approaching Him with boldness is not assuming we will get the answers we want. It’s stepping out in faith knowing He will answer no matter what. The answer just may be different than what we imagined or even wanted. And it’s in THOSE moments we can then pray, “Your Will be done, Abba. I still trust you.”
This has been a deep place of growth for me in my prayer life these past few weeks; as most of my Queen City Tribe deals with deep grief, loss, confusion, and desire. but I’m tired of hiding my face from Him and covering my requests in “but only if You Will it to be…” Of COURSE only if You Will it to be! OF COURSE. But I have chosen to believe that Yahweh is the one true God. That Abba is my one perfect Father. That Jesus is my Savior who gave His own life for mine. That the Holy Spirit is my advocate and my prayer warrior when my own words turn to moaning. And if I believe the things I say I do, I must approach my God as who He says He is. I must trust He will not turn away or hide His face from me.
If we believe what we say we believe, must we not then approach the throne with boldness? And, of course, do this with open hands, and an open heart, knowing His answer might not be what we would’ve wanted. Yet finding comfort in the freedom we have of just asking? I believe we must.