Thursday, July 02, 2009

Dangerous Prayer

Statistics show that many people pray. In fact, for a good number of people, praying is as commonplace as going to a baseball game. You go, you watch, the game finishes, you leave. It isn't necessarily an exciting experience, but something to do. It doesn't change your life, but occupies your time. Or you do it because you were invited to.
But what if we took prayer seriously? What if we actually prayed in a way that was exciting? Dangerous? What would that look like? What kind of prayers might that be? Jesus, in Matthew 7:7-8 said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
However, Jesus gives us some qualification in John 14:13-14 that what we ask for needs to glorify the Father.
And so we are encouraged to ask boldly, to ask dangerously, about many things: such as God exposing you to your sin and weaknesses; that God would break you so that you would rely totally on Him; that God would use you beyond your current boundaries or expectations along the lines of the well known prayer of Jabez: "Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, 'Oh that Thou would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast [territory], and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!' And God granted him that which he requested." (1 Chronicles 4:10)
Unfortunately, we want our lives to be comfortable and easy. So we don't pray seriously. We don't pray dangerously. We pray selfishly. We pray for ourselves or those close to us that all or problems will go away and that we will have no worries. We don't pray in a way that might inconvience our lives in any way; that might change how we act or how we might serve the Lord.
However, if you want to have spiritual depth, if you want to make an impact on the kingdom of God, then you need to pray dangerous kinds of prayer and be ready to be challenged and stretched by God.
God created us to live dangerous lives in faith. God desires for us to have ever expanding ministry boundaries. I encourage you to let yourself be challenged in this way, and stop being safe in your prayers. The excitement of God's working in and through you will be great. Amen.