Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dangerous Prayers

I was having a really great conversation with a friend of mine last week about faith, love and discipleship, and there came a point in our long discussion when the idea of dangerous prayer came up.

Dangerous Prayers are the kind of prayers I think we all need to pray more often, but are too afraid to pray. They are prayers that, in reality, are not actually *dangerous* per se- we aren't going to get murdered or accidentally blow up a bridge because of them, usually- but they are risky, in that God's answer to them is going to challenge the heck out of us! The example I was using at the time was in reference to praying for one's future spouse. This is a discipline I took up about a year ago, that I will regularly pray that God is preparing for me a wife who is godly, passionate, fertile, healthy, and going to challenge me a lot in my faith. I would call this a dangerous prayer because I am literally asking God to put me into a difficult relationship, because I just don't think I want something easy. But that's a story for another day.

Since we're talking about Dangerous Prayers today, I thought I would list a few others, and challenge you guys to pray some of them from time to time! :)

Pray for God to convict you of your sin. I figure this is a good place to start. It sounds pretty straightforward, but for a lot of people, the idea of *asking* Him to point out sin in their life is a terrifying thing. It's akin to asking your boss or supervisor what you can improve on at work. You just know there's going to be some stuff in there that you hoped nobody would notice, or that you were putting off fixing because of how difficult it is. And that's why this is a dangerous prayer, because it is so challenging, but so so worth it!

Pray for humbling experiences. This is one that I need to do more often, because it scares the heck out of me. Asking God to humble us is like a branch manager asking the CEO to make him receptionist for awhile- humility comes out of situations where we are lower, where pride is hard to come by. It is a good feeling being exalted, acknowledged publicly for good works, given a position of high importance, it all makes you feel more worthwhile. But the experiences that grow our character most and bring us closer to God are often the ones that are humble, behind the scenes and go unnoticed. This prayer is dangerous, especially for leaders, because it challenges our pride and invites us to step out of the spotlight and into the bathrooms with a mop.

"Break my heart for what breaks Yours" I couldn't come up with a way to phrase this one, so I'm just giving it to you as is. Asking God to help us see things the way He sees them is a dangerous prayer, but an amazing one. Often we see people who are so compassionate that we are blown away, and we wonder how they do it. It's because God has given them the gift of compassion, and they are able to see people and situations in a different, more holy light. This prayer is dangerous because it first takes acknowledging that we have built up so many expectations and biases that we are, in that sense, very disconnected from God; and also because having such compassion can move people in incredibly unexpected ways. Ready to do a lot more crying? If you're not, pray for humility first, then pray this one ;)

These are just a few examples of the dangerous prayers we can pray, but I'd like to challenge you to think of a few more, and start praying them from time to time! :) I read a book awhile back and am blanking on the title and author, but they listed quite a few and I just loved it. So if I find that, I'll come back and edit this post, but until then, that is all I've got! :)


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