Although this won't post until Sunday night, I am writing on Thursday.
When I requested a good friend to pray for new contracts for me, she challenged me to be specific. "I need a contract for (name of book) for (amount of money) from (publisher) by (date)."
Gulp. When I pray a generic prayer, I'm playing it safe. If I'm specific I'm faced with the possibility of disappointment. What if God says "no"? Is the problem with my faith?
That's the personal backdrop behind my most recent insight to the epic story of Genesis.
We all know the familiar words of Genesis 15:6. "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness." Abraham exemplifies salvtion by faith and not by works.
Abraham believed it, that settled it, and that was that.
Only it wasn't.
Only two verses later, Abraham asks God, "Sovereign LORD, how can I know . . .?"
What? You mean to say that this giant of faith dared to ask God "Uh, God, do You mean what I think you said? How can I know for sure?"
God gave Abraham specific instructions on making a sacrifice, and God confirmed His covenant with him by walking between the two halves of the sacrifice. God didn't rebuke Abraham for asking confirmation, didn't berate him for his lack of faith.
The two sides of our faith are laid out side by side. Belief without proof. Belief asking for confirmation. But both are faith.
If I remember, I will update this post before Sunday to let you know how God answered my specific prayer. But Abraham's story allows me to relax, to know that I haven't disappointed God by asking. Thank You, God!
P.S. Sunday update: God gave me a "no" on hearing from my several book proposals. The good news is that all are still under active consideration. What I learned in the process was as important as entering the contest!