CP: Although God Is Able speaks to what God can do in individual lives, you tie this back to the church community.
Shirer: The Scripture says, that last verse says 'to Him be the glory in Christ Jesus and in the church.' Well, this is the Church. The Church of Jesus Christ is not a building. … We are the Church, and God gets glory, glory is where we magnify God, where we put Him on display, where we shine a spotlight on Him. The world is gonna see a spotlight on Jesus to the extent that you and I are living as testimonies to the greatness of God. They don't need to hear us talking a good game anymore. They don't need to hear a bunch of good messages about how great God is, and watching all these religious people do religious things. They've had a lifetime of watching Christians say how much they believe God. What they need to see, is somebody's life who God has actually done something in. The only way that's gonna happen is if you and I boldly take our prayer requests to God and then watch Him come through in His timing, in the way He sees fit due to His sovereignty. Then, when we point the world's attention to God and shine a spotlight on God and say, 'Look, look what God has done. Despite me, despite my circumstances, look what God has been able to pull off.' Paul says that's the way that God is gonna get glory in the church.
CP: Some of us might struggle with a mindset that there are some things we can surely take care of on our own and don't need to bother God about. How do you speak to that?
Shirer: I love the portion of the verse that says 'now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think.' I love that world "all" so much. I like that it's there in this passage, because it helps people like me who have a tendency to think, 'You know, God is kind of busy doing big things.' There are people that are hungry that need to be fed. There are whole countries at war right now. There are people dying of cancer, Lord. There's a friend of mine down the street who has a child that the doctor has just labeled terminally ill. Those are big things and we're praying for miracles. And it's easy for someone like me to be so caught up in the fact that God might be a little busy, I kind of tend to think God might be busy doing the big things that I hesitate to take my "little" things to Him.
Well, Paul wants to put all that to rest here for us when he writes this passage. Because he says, 'Listen, God can do all that you ask or think.' All, last I checked, means all, like everything. So even the little things that might be insignificant to somebody else if they were listening in to your prayer life. If they are mentionable to you, if they are worth mentioning to God because they're on your heart or they just keep you up a few extra minutes at night, or they cause tears to fall from your eyes and your best friend or your spouse doesn't even know that that's a pain that has cut deep within the recesses of your heart about that issue in your life...if it's big to you, it's big to God. Even if it's little to somebody else and seems insignificant in terms of the grand scheme of all that's happening in the world, it matters to God because He's concerned about all that concerns us.
Learn more about Shirer and her ministry at GoingBeyond.com.