Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014 “Imagine That”

“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, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 20-21)
Good Morning Prayer Partners!
   Every now and then, I like to get out the videotapes I made of my kids as they were growing up. They bring back so many sweet memories…memories that are now being made in their own hearts as they watch their own little ones grow. I am constantly amazed by the imagination of children. I watched as my son Dan transformed an ordinary cardboard box into a space ship on its way to mars. I marvel at the simple songs of joy sung by my daughter Rian…songs full of what seem to be nonsense words, but which were full of meaning to her as she sang them, I’m sure. And how good were those little slices of plastic cake served up by my daughter Erica as we had an afternoon “tea”. Delicious!
   When I was ordained as a pastor in 1975, one of the vows I took was to serve with imagination! Considering this, it is good to reflect on the unbridled imagination that was displayed by my children. It was boundless. I could say the same thing about my own boyhood. In my mind, I was a superhero, a sports star, a professional singer, sometimes all three in the span of just a few hours. What is it that stifles the imaginative boldness of childhood as we grow older…at least for some people? We start living more “practical” lives, as if that were a virtuous thing or a sign of maturity. Even in our prayer lives, we begin to limit our prayers to those things we think God can handle, or is more likely to grant us if we ask him. That way, we protect ourselves from disappointment if our requests aren’t granted the way we would like them to be granted. We begin to limit God in our imagination. But in the verse above, we note that God is capable of doing far more than we can ask or even imagine. Children, when asked what they would like for Christmas, are usually capable of rattling off an extensive list, which may even include things like ponies or new cars. They can imagine receiving such bounty. When you pray, what is it that you request of God? Christian author Kathleen Norris gives us this insight…she writes,
“Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can’t imagine”
Get beyond the idea that the Lord is limited, especially when it comes to fashioning you into the person he always had in mind, even before you were conceived. He is waiting for you to unleash that imagination he gave you. Like an artist at a canvass, he waits for you to select the colors and hues of your life and is ready to bring them out in amazing vibrancy as you pray. Don’t be hesitant. Trust Him. he is a master and the finished work will be a masterpiece, for he can do far more than we can ask or even imagine! So…Let’s pray!
Gracious God; Fire our imaginations as we come to you in prayer, asking you to transform us into the masterpieces you have in mind for us to become. Thank you, Lord, for your bountiful grace. Thank you, O Lord of our imaginations. Amen!

 

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