Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Big Hairy Audacious Prayers
(The following was excerpted from a post on “Rurality Bytes,” blog of Jeff Gaus, a Minnesota Iowa Baptist Conference pastor in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.)
Last night after the Saturday night service, I had the privilege of talking with a young lady and leading her to Christ. The really cool thing is it was the second Saturday in a row that I’ve had that privilege. All-in-all, we’ve had six people make commitments to Christ in just the past week! And here, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Our staff and overseers are believing God for 100 commitments to Christ this year. God is moving! He wants people to be saved. He wants us to ask him to save. He wants us to pray Big Hairy Audacious Prayers (B.H.A.P.s)! Our God is great! Our God is good! Our God is strong! Our God is loving!
I believe that God wants our church to grow more than we do. Our God is big enough! Our God is wide enough! Our God is deep enough! Our God is high enough! He can fill a bucket. He can fill a barrel. He can fill a pool. Let’s give him a pool!
The thing with B.H.A.P.s is that they are contagious. Once you believe God for one thing and you start to see him move, you want to ask him for more and more audacious things. Our prayer is that God will be so alive among us that people will be beating down the doors to get in. People will stand just to hear the Good News. They will be uncomfortably warm just to experience the presence of God. They will park blocks away just to say “I was there.” Oh yeah, I believe it’s going to happen!
B.H.A.P.s need to be just big enough that we can’t do it in our own strength. They need to be just hairy enough that it causes a little bit of anxiety and fear. They need to be just audacious enough that it could only be accomplished through faith.
Our God will not be contained by the limits of our imagination. He will not be stopped by the shortness of our vision. If we don’t believe him to do great things, he will find someone else that does.
Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Executive Pastor and Lead Pastor for Life Training.