A number of years ago, I started practicing faith on a practical, everyday level in parking lots. I know that may sound strange, but I believe the Holy Spirit led me to do it. I know I’ve grown in many ways because of it. I have a deeper, practical revelation of effective faith that I cannot relate in words. And today, I see the real impact of having learned to exercise effective faith at times when it might not matter.
Every time I drive to a store, I exercise faith (and patience… but that’s a different story). Let me explain.
I expect… no, I require a front row spot every time. I started out considering one of the first 5 spaces in any row to be a front row spot, but today I’m looking within the first three spaces near the entrance. This may seem completely unspiritual, but I would challenge you in a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. If you wait until it’s an emergency to need to move in effective faith, you’ve waited too long. Emergencies are not the time to learn.
So when I get near a parking lot, I begin expecting a front row spot. Expectation is violent, forceful faith. Expectation is prayer. It requires something specific and it involves your heart. When you expect something, you feel emotion when you get it or when you don’t get it. It is impossible to move in expectant faith and not feel anything. It’s not being guided or controlled by your emotions, but it’s your emotions coming into alignment with your faith. That produces what James refers to as fiery, fervent, effective prayer (James 5:17).
Bluntly stated, if you don’t feel anything when you pray, you’re not doing it right. It needs to matter. It must mean something. It must be important on a heart-level. You must pray with passion. You must lean in with your whole heart.
When I enter a parking lot, I flip into “right-brain” mode. I look, listen, and feel. I let myself expect what I desire. And then I follow what I perceive. Quite often, a space will open up as I approach the front of the parking lot. Other times, there is already a spot open. Probably just as often, there is nothing available. In that case, I loop around once, twice, three times.
I’ve grown so much in my ability to move in faith because of this simple, seemingly unspiritual parking space exercise. At first I wasn’t very effective. But today, I almost always get one of the first three spaces. I don’t always get what I expect, but one thing I’ve realized is this:
I can either get what I require or I can get what I settle for. God allows us to decide by our faith.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.