Impossible Prayers


For with God, nothing shall be impossible. – Luke 1:37 (RSV)

 All you need is a Bible, a few three-by-five cards or prayer notebook/journal, and a mustard seed faith.

For what?

For your impossible prayer list.

And what, you ask, is an impossible prayer list?

A list of prayer requests that are humanly impossible to answer.


The idea for an impossible prayer list originated with my friend Virelle Kidder. She told me that she faithfully prayed over her list daily, then, when no answers seemed forthcoming, eventually forgot about it. Until a year later when she dropped her Bible and everything stuffed between the pages fell onto the floor.

There, on her knees, she read over her impossible prayer list: a kidney for a friend who’d already had two failed transplants—answered; a healthy baby for her daughter who suffers from lupus—answered; healing for six broken marriages—all but one greatly improved (and that couple, she noted, was in counseling); personal financial needs—money appeared, she said, “out of nowhere”; godly wives for her son and his friends—two matches made.

Out of 10 impossible prayer requests, seven had been answered. Not all in ways she’d envisioned, and not in her time frame. But they were answered.

Whatever happened to faith? I wondered. The kind of faith that moves mountains, the James 1:6–7 kind of unwavering faith.

I thought about my own shield of faith, shot full of holes, corroded by the rust of doubt. I thought about my own prayer requests—all safe because they didn’t require the impossible to be answered. No requests that would stretch my faith.

I needed the faith of a child—simple, pure, uncorrupted by the cynicism of the world.  I needed to take God at His Word:

  • “Ask and you shall receive” (Matthew 7:7)
  • “If you, then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)
  • “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory (Philippians 4:19)
  • “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you” (Psalm 50:15)
  • “Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things” (Jeremiah 33:3)
  • “Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20)
  • “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16)
  • “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20–21)

God’s Word is pretty clear. My choice is whether or not to believe it.

“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 16:14)

Forgive me, God, for my weak faith. I believe You hear and answer all prayers—mustard-seed sized and mountain-sized, possible and impossible. I believe I’ll see Your perfect answer to my impossible prayer in Your time and in Your way. And I give You the praise and the glory, now, before I even see it. Amen.

Read and meditate on Matthew 7:7–11

(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.


The Other Shoe


Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? –Psalm 44:23 NIV

A man checked into a hotel room and was told to be as quiet as possible because the guest in the next room was a light sleeper. As he pulled his shoes off, he accidentally dropped one on the floor, making a loud thunk! He carefully slipped off the other shoe and crawled into bed. An hour later, he was awakened by someone pounding on the wall and a shout from the light sleeper next door: “For heavens sake, drop the other shoe!”

Have you ever waited for the other shoe to drop? “Trouble comes in threes,” you’ve heard, and you’ve already been slammed with two. “What else could go wrong?” you ask (but don’t really want to know). So you spend your days (and nights) anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Been there? Done that? Haven’t we all.

In times like these, we wonder where God is. We’ve prayed and prayed and prayed, yet not even a whisper of an answer comes from heaven. Not even a “Wait.” God is silent, and we don’t know why.

Psalm 44 addresses this scenario. The psalmist goes from feeling blessed to abandoned, and he doesn’t think it’s fair.

While in the context of this psalm, he’s speaking for the nation of Israel, we, as individuals, can identify with the situation and his feelings: “You blessed us” (vv. 1–8). “You abandoned us” (vv. 9–16). “It isn’t fair because we didn’t do anything wrong” (vv. 17–22).

Like the psalmist, we have a choice. We can stay in our pit of self-pity, feeling betrayed, rejected, and abandoned, or we can accept God’s sovereignty and, like the psalmist, still pray, “Help me!” (vv. 23–26).

I read this psalm in my Quiet Time Bible Friday morning. In the “Responding in Prayer” section, I was challenged to “ask God to help you to understand His ways and grant you His peace when you are waiting for His voice.”

How can I ask Him for understanding, when my finite mind cannot wrap around God and His ways? As A. W. Tozer wrote, “God in His person and attributes fills heaven and earth exactly as the ocean fills a bucket which is submerged in its depths.”

Even though I cannot even begin to understand—am I supposed to?—I trust that He has a plan and a purpose for the delay. I do not pray for patience as I wait for His answer. Instead, I pray for strength for the wait and His grace to sustain me as I wait.

He hears. He will answer. Of that I have no doubt.

In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice. In the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation (Psalm 5:3). Thank You for the hope I have in You. Blessed assurance! Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalm 44

(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.