"[They] limited the Holy One of Israel from giving them His blessings. They forgot His power and love."
- Psalm 78:41-42 TLB
When our female duck, Lily, began having some serious health problems, our vet told us that it was absolutely essential that she take a long rest from laying eggs. My husband, Joe, and I have been raising domestic ducks for more than ten years, and we have witnessed firsthand how harmful--and even lethal--constant egg laying can be. We had lost our first two female ducks to laying problems, even though we had provided them with excellent medical care throughout their lives. We had better hopes for Lily, because she had proved to be a good nest sitter, and had taken rests from laying whenever she sat on her eggs. But for some reason, this year, she wanted nothing to do with sitting on her nest, and her health began to rapidly decline. I had always been faithful to pray for Lily and her mate, Larry, but it seemed like my prayers were falling short somehow in this case. I sought the Lord about it, and I felt impressed to begin praying in a way that I never had before. I told Him, “Lord, all things are possible with You. So I ask You to break Lily’s laying cycle for a time, even if she does NOT sit on her nest.” My mind told me that I was asking God to violate His own laws of nature, and that there was no way He would do it. But my spirit reminded me of the Scripture in James which says, “You have not because you ask not.” (4:2) So I decided that I would ask. A few weeks later, Lily stopped laying eggs, and almost immediately her health began to improve.
This experience taught me some valuable lessons about prayer. It made me realize how easy and natural it is for us to limit God’s interventions on our behalf by praying within certain “boundaries” that aren’t necessarily His. Sometimes, the Lord is just waiting for us to ask Him for the “impossible”. And if we make the mistake of not asking, we can miss out on some answers to prayer that would have greatly benefited us and others. Even Moses was guilty of similar failings. The Bible records how during the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert after leaving Egypt, the people often grumbled about their hardships, and looked to Moses for solutions. Once, when God’s people had become sick of the manna that the Lord had provided for them, they complained that they wanted meat, and the Lord promised to grant them their wish. In response, Moses cried out to God: “There are 600,000 men alone, besides all the women and children, and yet You promise them meat for a whole month! If we butcher all our flocks and herds it won’t be enough! We would have to catch every fish in the ocean to fulfill Your promise!” (Number 11:21-22 TLB) The Lord’s response is enlightening and sobering: "Is the Lord's power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not." (Numbers 11:23 NASB) God did, indeed, provide His people with meat for a month, proving that His power will not be limited, when He makes up His mind to act.
Psalm 78:41-42 (NKJV) says: “Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power.” The Lord is not pleased when we forget His limitless power, and refuse to pray as though all things are possible with Him. If we believers fail to pray for the impossible, who can God count on to do it? Right now, there may be prayers that the Lord is waiting for you to pray—not only so that He can demonstrate His boundless power and love to you, but also, so that He can reveal Himself to the lost around you in life-changing ways. Don’t keep Him waiting any longer—begin praying prayers without limits right now!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for praying anemic prayers that rob You of the opportunity to display Your power to the world in amazing ways. Help me to cooperate with You for the growing of my faith by devoting myself to prayer and the study of Your Word. Thank You that as I take the limits off of You, I will witness Your power and love in greater ways than ever before!
- J. M. Farro