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One year for Christmas our family decided to implement a new idea. We had been discussing wanting to cut back that year—partially because in prior years we seemed to really go overboard. We were buying for the sake of buying. Honestly, it was more about us feeling good about what we did than thoughtful purchasing.

Then we read a devotional by Linda Mintle entitled “An Uncluttered Christmas,” and we decided to follow some of her thinking. We asked the adult children to make lists for themselves and ones for the young children. The list could include one couple gift and then individual gifts. We set dollar limits, which was really hard for my wife. The items listed had to follow three basic guidelines: a gift really desired, a needed item and a relatively educational gift. 

It was fun watching the family sit and work on the lists. They asked questions of us (mostly about raising cost limits). They wrote, then thought a while, crossed out and wrote again. It was fun for my wife and me to compare what had been listed. Some detailed their lists, while other lists were more vague. My daughter-in-law, Jessica, wrote down the name of the couple gift, which store it was in, the description on the box and the bar code number. Guess how organized her home is.

Shopping was actually fun. We were a bit nervous on Christmas morning. The tree looked really bare compared to the previous year when the gifts were piled so high the tree was barely visible. It surprised me that even when people received what they asked for, they were happy. They were as excited as when they got things years before that they can’t even remember today.

That is, everyone except Brian. When gift opening was all said and done, he remarked, “All I got were boxers, t-shirts and dress socks.”

My wife explained, “Brian, that’s what was on your list. It’s what you asked for.

“Yeah I know,” he responded. “I thought if I was the ‘good son’ and just put down that kind of stuff, you would go overboard for me. I think I will start next year’s list now.”

We are all still laughing.

The Apostle John said, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15, emphasis added).

Wow. We read this, and too often try to explain it away. We do what Brian did: We make our lists “small.” After all, we don’t want to put a strain on God. But over and over again God reminds us that all things are possible with Him.

God says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:27).

But we pray as if we are afraid to ask. We beat around the spiritual bush. Eloquence takes the place of supplication. How our journeys would differ if we prayed boldly! What would happen if we prayed out on a limb? What if we prayed asking for the miracle things? What if we prayed asking for the hard things? Or, what if we prayed adventurous prayers? Audacious prayers? Courageous prayers? What if we were undaunted about asking for our needs? Our desires? Our deepest longings? What if we were fervently, passionately asking, according to His will, knowing that He hears us, and then believing that what we ask for, we have?

Our praying has become so sub-normal, that to pray normal, biblical, Spirit-filled prayers, seems abnormal. This week in your Christ walk, ask—seriously. Pray boldly.

What is it that you need? Physical healing? Ask. Financial relief? Ask. Restoration of a marriage that is down the tubes? Ask.

Be fervent. Pray with passion. Ask—believing that since He is the God of all flesh, nothing is too hard for Him. Nothing! Make a list. Bring it before Him according to His will. Ask Him. He will answer the requests that you ask of Him, I promise.


This week pray adventurous, courageous, audacious prayers. Pray with expectancy knowing that He has promised to answer and give us what we ask according to His will. Be bold! Exercise your faith. Know that nothing is too hard for Him. The miracle of Christmas shows us the miraculous intervention of God on our behalf. Thank Him for it and take time to reflect, pray, believe and expect answers to what seems impossible. Remember those affected by natural disasters, loss of income, health and loved ones. Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to share His love and bless others, especially during this time. Pray for an outpouring of His Holy Spirit to bring repentance, revival, refreshing and reformation to our land and around the world. Remember Israel and continue to pray for it to fulfill God’s plan and purpose. Jer. 32:27; 1 John 5:14-15

To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate Scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout DemonsPrayers that Bring HealingPrayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here.

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