"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" Psalm 139:23-24 ESV
When was the last time you prayed a dangerous prayer?
Not that the prayer was against God's will, but was an all-out, down-on-your-knees, beg-the-Lord-to-use-you kind of prayer. Recently, my prayers were anything but dangerous, more like safe, vague and just skimming the surface. Sure, I prayed every morning and then in short bursts throughout the day. I thanked God and prayed for others. But was I praying dangerously? Unfortunately, no.
I knew it, and so did God. So what did He do? He called me out on it. Yes, He did it gently and lovingly, but it was still a solid punch in the stomach that'd make any boxing instructor proud.
Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to join me. Don't recite the words, "pray without ceasing," but live them. Don't just read about Nehemiah's heartfelt prayers, but make them your own. Most importantly, don't just ask God to do something in your life, but listen to Him and offer yourself as His vessel.
Rather than ask God to keep you safe, ask Him to break you. Rather than ask God to provide for you, ask Him to search you. Rather than ask God to bless you, ask Him to use you.
These are dangerous prayers, but are they not what Jesus asked of us? The One and Only God told us to take up our cross, forsake all this world has to offer and follow Him.
My journey with the Jesus Connection started with a dangerous prayer: "Lord, I'm not the person you created me to be. Please break me to make me into your mold." When I tell people about how TJC started, most reply something to the effect, "Wow. I could never do that. Leave your full-time job to start a ministry, not knowing the next step? No way."
At first, I gave into my flesh and liked those comments. Now, I realize how backward we are in thinking them. Nowhere in Scripture does it tell us that we as God's people are to live comfortable lives on earth once we believe. Our goal isn't to live a comfortable life with a nice family, in a nice house and with a nice retirement fund. No, we're to follow our forefathers' footsteps and willingly forsake everything to follow Jesus.
It will include persecution, division, doubt and possibly even death. But when you think about it—and I mean really mull it over —why would we want to do anything differently for the One who died for us and willfully allowed Himself to be separated from the Father on our behalf?
Leaving my job wasn't courageous, it was obedience. It was simply doing what God has commanded all of us to do since Creation. He wants us to submit ourselves to Him. I'm not saying this for compliments, but to state a fact. We're all called to wild obedience. We're all called to pray dangerous prayers.
People like Jeremiah and Nehemiah prayed dangerous prayers because an entire people group had forsaken God. Friends, we have entire generations not only forsaking God, but who have never met Him. How will we respond? I pray it is getting down on our knees and boldly asking God to search, break and use us for His Kingdom. Will you pray such a dangerous prayer?
English Standard Version Bible. (2001). Crossway Bibles.