When did you last ask God for big things?
Maybe it’s been a long time. Or perhaps, you’ve never, ever prayed for what seems impossible. It could be you’re worried that asking for the desires of your heart is unspiritual. Or perhaps you’re afraid of what will happen if God tells you no. What would you do then?
In this episode of the 4:13 Podcast, you’re going to learn that asking God for big things doesn’t mean you’re demanding what you want from Him. Instead, you’re expecting Him to give you what you need—and Julia Sadler is here to unpack for you what that means.
Julia lost three babies in one year. But, in her heartbreak, she continued to ask God for big things. She never imagined the answer to her prayers would include triplets and a national TV show.
Today, Julia is the star of TLC’s reality show Rattled, a licensed professional counselor, a radio host, and the author of the book, Pray Big Things: The Surprising Life God Has for You When You’re Bold Enough to Ask. She and her husband, Ryan, are the parents of lots of little people, and they live in Texas.
So, get ready to be encouraged to ask God for big things. This conversation with Julia will help you learn how to take heart, renew hope, and pray for what seems impossible.
4 Ways to Ask God for Big Things
- Pray Scripture. Several years ago, on New Year’s Eve, Julia and Ryan decided not to make resolutions. Instead, they determined to ask God for the things they wanted. They made a list of twenty things they committed to pray for until they either happened or God said no. Their list included praying for three children, for multiples, for a TV show, and for the student ministry they led to catch a vision for evangelism.
One of the ways they asked big was to pray Scripture. They prayed verses such as Ephesians 3:20, which says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us…” Julia shares that she also asked God every day to help her not be ashamed of the gospel by praying Romans 1:16.
When it comes to praying big things, you can do the same. Take some time to find Scripture verses that apply to your situation and pray them. If you’re not sure what verse to begin with, try praying Ephesians 3:20 as Julia did. There’s something uniquely powerful about praying God’s words back to Him. Plus, as you pray Scripture, you write it on your heart too.
- Pray unashamedly. When Julia and Ryan decided to start asking God for the things they wanted, they determined to do it unashamedly. Julia says that the sky was the limit, and they weren’t embarrassed to ask. They didn’t want to miss out on anything simply because they didn’t take the time to ask for it. As God answered, Julia explains that some of the answers didn’t look exactly like they expected, and some did. They learned that as they prayed, they weren’t responsible for the answer. What it looked like was up to God, not up to them.
You may be afraid to pray unashamedly. Perhaps you feel like boldly asking for your heart’s desires is selfish or unspiritual. But, Julia notes, there’s nothing unspiritual about it. While it’s good to pray for things that feel spiritual such as missions or those suffering, it’s also okay to pray for the things going on in your life.
To get you started, Julia shares a formula you can use. You can pray: “God, I want [fill in the blank] more than anything. Help it to be done. Please, make a way, whatever it is. But, if that’s not Your will, please take that desire away.”
- Pray specifically and consistently. After Julia and Ryan started to specifically and consistently pray big things, they lost three babies in one year. Following these miscarriages, they had to decide whether to keep praying. Should they keep asking God for big things—especially when it came to children?
Julia says they felt severe spiritual warfare. She remembers feeling the oppression so strongly that she said to the enemy, “Yeah, you better bring it because I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to follow God. I’m going to trust Him whether I have kids or not. I know He’s good.” Even as they grieved, they continued praying both specifically and consistently. Not only did Julia end up pregnant with triplets, but TLC approached them about being on a TV show and the student ministry they led experienced a newfound passion for evangelism.
When you ask big things, be committed to praying consistently. While you don’t need to start with a list of twenty things as Julia and Ryan did, you can follow their example by committing to pray every day. Also, when you ask God specifically, He can then answer you specifically. And, if He does respond with a no to one of your requests, remember that you don’t come up empty. Instead, as He gives you what you need, you experience an opportunity to deepen your relationship with Him.
- Pray honestly. All of the experiences that Julia walked through—the loss, the trauma, the answered prayers, and the joy—sometimes made her feel like she was riding a wave. It’s was an up and down, up and down journey. Fortunately, as a trained counselor, she understands the connection between trauma and emotions. She understood that things like anxiety, depression, and stress are often the result of emotions that have been buried alive—or, in other words, stuffed down and not felt.
Julia remembers one specific week where she didn’t read her Bible because she was angry at God. Her training allowed her to recognize that she not only needed to be honest about her feelings—but she needed to be honest with God about them. She prayed, “Okay, God, I’m mad at You. I know You’re good. I know You have a plan. But I’m mad that You just allowed that miscarriage to happen.” She let herself cry and be real about what she was experiencing, which helped her move forward.
Psalm 62:8 tells you to “pour out” your heart to God. So, when you pray, be honest in your prayers. If you’re not happy, don’t pretend to be happy. God wants to have a personal, intimate relationship with you, which comes from telling the truth.
Friend, just like Julia, don’t give up! Never stop believing God to be the powerful Dream Creator and Prayer Answerer that He is!
And, remember that however you feel, whatever you face, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- Psalm 23: The Shepherd With Me
- Me, Myself, & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
- Me, Myself, & Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover Bible Study
More from Julia Sadler
- Visit Julia’s website
- Pray Big Things: The Surprising Life God Has for You When You’re Bold Enough to Ask
- Follow Julia on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram