My Boldest Prayer


Just over a year ago, I prayed the boldest prayer I’ve ever prayed. And I’ve prayed a lot of prayers. But this one was life-changing in ways I could never have imagined. And I did ask for it.

I’d just boarded a plane headed east to meet my youngest grandson for the first time. Exhausted, I opted for a silent flight. No music. No internet. Not even a book or magazine. Just my earplugs … and 4+ hours of quiet time with the Lord. What should we talk about?

Prayer changes things. And people.

As you know from reading My StoryOpens in a new tab., my life has been one challenge after another. Many of my lifelong dreams have remained just out of reach. Even now, I consider only a few of my endeavors to have been successful ones.

  • My three amazing sons (grown with their own families)
  • My three psychology degrees (BA, MA, PsyD)

It was July by now, and for several months the Lord had been talking to me about establishing a Christian Couples Retreat Center. [You can read the back story hereOpens in a new tab..] The ideas flooded in as fast as I could write them down. “No one is doing anything like this,” I quickly realized. “The concept is totally unique, Lord! Very romantic and exciting!”

There were just a few problems, however.

Although I certainly have the training for it, I couldn’t help but wonder. Why on earth would the Lord give such An Amazing Vision – such a unique and brilliant concept –

  • to a woman who has been divorced twice,
  • a woman who is clearly no longer a Spring Chick,
  • and who has very little in terms of material resources?

Seriously. No one has that kind of money these days.

But if God wants it, He certainly can make it happen. Right? But why me, Lord? What have I ever done? Yet who am I to question God’s choices for leadership in His Kingdom?

He’s picked a lot of unlikely candidates to advance the Kingdom throughout history.

  • Abraham (an old dude with no kids … at first)
  • Jacob (second-born son who’d been a liar and a cheat)
  • Joseph (a bragger who lived the life of a slave and prisoner)
  • Moses (another old dude … this one with a stick and a stutter)
  • Esther (an orphaned Jewish girl who became Queen of Persia)
  • David (a scrawny shepherd boy who failed to fit the armor, but became King)
  • and Paul (who persecuted Christians … then wrote most of the New Testament)

… just to name just a random few.

So why NOT Dr. Debi (an old dudette)? “Ok, Lord,” I prayed on the plane that day. “I’ve been reminding You of how old I am, and You keep ignoring me. Your idea for this Christian Couples Retreat Center is so far beyond anything I’ve ever done. So – assuming You really want me to do this – You’re going to have to put me on The Fast Track.”

“I know I’ve played it safe all my life. But from here on out, you call the shots, Papa. All of them. Let’s make the Second Half of My Life a Real Adventure! You write the script. I’ll follow Your direction and do whatever You ask of me. Whatever You ask.”

At the time, “The Fast Track” I had in mind meant He’d have to start teaching me a ton-at-a-time about how to run the multi-dimensional business that He’d shown me.

Nope. Not even close.

What He’s done is put me on His Fast Track. He’s challenging me like I’d never imagined possible. And refining me in ways I didn’t know I needed to be refined. Here are just a few things I’m learning at a deeper level … so far.

  • Submit to His Lordship. If He’s in charge, then He’s in charge. Follow Him always.
  • Trust in His Goodness. For everything. I mean literally. Everything. Anxious for nothing. I mean literally. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
  • Stand on His Promises. I’m learning to hear His voice best and to take Him at His Word. Always. Because He never lies. Never. And nothing is too hard for Him.

Is this a new thing? I suspect it’s something He’s had planned all along.

I’ve always wanted to make a difference. And that was my goal when I began college as a single mom [and later, graduate school]. I wanted to help at least one person live a better life. But was that a new thought for me at age 40?

No, indeed. I recently recalled a time in junior high school. Yes, that’s when it was. Though I don’t remember the specific context, I’m sure it was during my Youth Group. The passion of it all – still fresh on my mind today – as I eagerly responded – even as Isaiah did – to the voice of the Lord. And I don’t think He’s ever forgotten it either.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

QUESTIONS: What Passionate Pursuit have you had on hold? How long has Your Dream been waiting for you? And what would it take to get you going again?

DrDebiSmith

Dr. Debi is passionate about helping Christian couples & single adults learn more effective ways to apply Biblical principles & the findings of psychological research to everyday life. She is an author & former professor, as well as a California Licensed Psychologist (21711) & a Texas Licensed Psychologist with Provisional Status (38600). She earned her Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) at Rosemead School of Psychology-Biola University, and has taught psychology courses at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Azusa Pacific University, & Biola University. * Dr. Debi has taught psychology courses at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Azusa Pacific University, & Biola University.

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