With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. (Ps. 108:13)

HOW MANY TIMES have we expressed gratitude or relief that we “survived” something? Sometimes we are happy to have survived the holidays. Other times it’s the winter. Perhaps you are pleased to have survived another school year. The traffic jam after work. Singlehood. Childbirth. It’s a rather fatalistic way of viewing life, isn’t it?

Wow! When did our expectations get so low? When I occasionally ask my husband of twenty-one years how he managed before me, he flippantly responds that he, in fact, managed to survive thirty-three years on his own. Excusing the fact that his momma was in charge the first eighteen, I feel obliged to remind him that mere survival isn’t much to brag about.

Jokes aside, the psalmist didn’t pray to get by. When tested and challenged, his prayer was not for an escape, but for a win. His prayer was not timid or meek, but instead big and bold. Victory was the goal.

Unless we are contestants on a reality show where the last one standing is also the contest winner, simply making it through isn’t a very lofty, or heavenly, aspiration. When we pray, let’s go for the gusto. Let’s go big when we talk to God. If it was good enough for the psalmist, it works for me. I think God’s OK with that. In fact, I think He expects us to do just that.

When praying to God, offer prayers of a confident idealist rather than a fearful realist.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.