For the last five years, every night at 8:20 pm, or 20:20, many have prayed the prayers of Pray2020: “Mold my heart, Multiply my life, and Mobilize laborers.” Andrea Buczynski reflects on God’s answers to these prayers in her life. Andrea is Cru’s vice president of Global Leadership Development and Human Resources.
Gobsmacked. It’s the only word I could think of that comes close to what I was feeling at the moment. It’s a British word meaning utterly astonished, dumbstruck. Sitting in a small group at a two-day retreat, I was speechless. We were looking at 2 Corinthians 9 when verse 8 jumped off the page and smacked me.
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
When I read the passage, here’s how it seemed to me:
And God is able to make ALL GRACE abound to you, so that in ALL THINGS, at ALL TIMES, having ALL that you NEED, you will abound in EVERY good work.
Many people say they want to see God do the miraculous, but they don’t want to be in a position to need a miracle. While there is nothing wrong with having a safety net or concrete plan, God has promised that He will give all grace no matter what the circumstance or timing. So, I have to wonder, How much of a cushion do I really need? Theoretically, my cushion could be zero, if I was willing to walk by faith in a big way.
Every day, as part of Pray2020, I have asked God to mold my heart, multiply my life and mobilize laborers. God has been answering my prayers by opening my eyes to insights like this one. In the months that followed, about once a week, I came across additional passages where the word ALL was repeated. Psalm 145:9-20, Psalm 103:1-5, Ephesians 1:18-22, Colossians 1:15-20, 2 Corinthians 1:3,4.
These verses reminded me that God is good, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, rich in love, trustworthy in all He promises, faithful in all He does and righteous in all His ways. He is above, far above every name that is named under heaven. He has created all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.
This is who He is. This is how He acts. Too often, I forget. Too many times I ask the Lord for things because I want relief. Like the woman at the well in Samaria, I ask, “Please give me this water, so I no longer have to come to this well.”
He is showing me those places where my heart is not like His. Lord, will you continue to make my heart more like Yours, more compassionate, more gracious, more merciful? Will you multiply my life?
Very often, I forget how much God has entrusted to me just by virtue of the training and experiences He has given me. J.D. Greear, in the introduction of his book, Gaining by Losing, asks this question: “If you looked at every one of your blessings as ‘kingdom seeds,’ how many of them are you planting in the fields of God’s kingdom, and how many are you keeping in storehouses to use as ‘food’?”
I have to confess, I’d never thought of blessings as seeds, or of things entrusted by way of knowledge or experience as blessings. My concept of generosity suddenly became about more than my finances.
Having recently celebrated a milestone birthday, I find myself asking, Have I built storehouses like the rich fool in Luke 12? Will the lessons I’ve learned that are stored up inside of me go to waste because I left those seeds in the storehouse instead of planting them? What am I waiting for?
If I have a legitimate FOMO (fear of missing out), I’d have to say that it’s the fear of missing out on all that I might know of God, all that I might see Him do, all that He has prepared for me to do. I don’t want to leave seeds in the storehouses; I want them to be planted. I want to see an increased harvest. And I’d like to be aware of all that God might want me to give in an increasing way.
The “Mold, Multiply & Mobilize” prayers have been bearing fruit in my life in the place where compassion meets generosity. Who is the person before me right now, and what can I offer her or him in the name of Jesus?
The 2 Corinthians 9:8 insight came in the early days of Pray2020 praying. Now, five years later, the enormity of the promise in that verse still amazes me. And others have been added to it — He has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3); I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20); If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7).
The faithfulness and the generosity of God continue to astound me. At the same time, I’ve found a growing sensitivity to and awareness of those things that are not of His Kingdom. Love builds up; it does not tear down. Love prunes for faithfulness; it does not destroy. I’ve grieved for the ways I tear down or destroy. While I didn’t think there was violence in my soul, I have seen that there is, when I discount another’s experience or point of view.
So, as I’ve joined in praying the prayers of Pray2020, His largesse in forgiving me all my sins has come home in a fresh way to my soul. Realizing all this — His promises, His heart for us, His mercy and forgiveness, His grace — results from the gift to the world that is Jesus. His sacrificial death on the cross has made me more grateful and humble.
I have rejoiced in seeing multiplication happening in unusual places; I have rejoiced in seeing the multitudes who have been mobilized for His harvest. But I am still gobsmacked by the love and generosity of God toward us. And I hope I always will be.