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The Boldest Faith

"...about this time next year, you shall embrace a son." And she said, "No, my lord, O man of God; do not lie to your servant."

(2 Kings 4:15-16 ESV)

There are a range of emotions that accompany a new year. For some, it is the excitement of a fresh start, a slate wiped clean and the dawn of new possibilities. A chance to dream. For others, there may be a sense of dread: a return to effort and endeavour after a tiring year, with little pause to regroup. Whatever your sentiment, the need for boldness often punctuates the arrival of January.

Before Christmas, we spent time with those who reached out to touch Jesus’ garments in the hope that it would respond to their deepest need and found within their reach lessons for our lives today. The more I reflected upon those Scriptures, the more another lesson was illuminated: that the touch of Jesus' hem testified to to the boldest type of faith.

It is the faith required for the prayer you have been praying the longest, the faith required when your hope has flagged or even expired, where a once lively dream has become worn down with the recurring disappointments and length of the journey. Where you are fatigued by hope deferred that you dare not still dream.

If so, take a while to consider the Bible characters who pursued Jesus's hem: the woman with the issue of blood had battled for twelve long years, costing her significant financial loss for no return. Imagine the attendant emotions: the physical pain and worry, the hopes raised by a new physician, the fear of treatment, the wait for results and then the crashing fall of further disappointment.

When we ponder her situation, we begin to grasp how much faith was required to touch Jesus' garment. Here was a touch infused by a dark hinterland of waiting, discouragement and fear. It was a touch of incredible, bold faith.

Her story calls us to dust off the bold prayers that we have long laid down or that cause us to break. As you do, take heart from the Shunammite woman before Elisha, expressed in our headline verse. Elisha asks what he can do for her and tells her she will finally have her son – her most precious longing and need. She however, dare not believe – and yet, God still fulfils (see 2 Kings 4:8-17).

May I encourage you, however difficult or discouraging, to reclaim those big prayers of breakthrough and to pray them again? Yes, these are bold prayers, and they do indeed require the boldest faith. But that faith is based on God's capabilities and not our inability, it is founded on who he is and not how we feel. And, the more we know him, the more we realise we could dare to dream.

Copyright © Sharmila Meadows 2022

Scripture quotations are from The ESV®Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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How do you feel about praying prayers that have gone unanswered for a long time? Or is there another challenge that calls your boldest faith? Do share your thoughts!

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