March 2016

We would all admit that our prayer life could use some work. Even for those who pray regularly, sometimes the prayer time can feel stale and boring. It seems that we are saying the same things over and over again. Well, this month I’d like to offer some suggestions to give that prayer life a little shot in the arm. I call it: praying ‘dangerous prayers.’ I’m not saying to change your physical posture during prayer so that you are dangling over a cliff or something like that. When I say ‘dangerous prayers’ I mean prayers that we are sure God will hear and answer, but may cause life to get a little rough for us and get us out of our comfort zone.

The first dangerous prayer you can pray is to pray for humility. We all would admit that humility is a necessary Christian virtue and we should be working on being more humble. 1 Peter 5:5 ends with the statement, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” So, He is inclined to those who are humble. Also, in order to be humble, we must admit that we are not humble. As soon as one says, “I’m humble,” they aren’t anymore. But why is this a dangerous prayer? The answer is: for God to teach you humility, He will humble you. God will send you to a situation where you might feel embarrassed, or ashamed, or guilty of something. Sometimes pastors can feel a little puffed up because we think we are preaching God’s Word so the church needs us and we are important. And then God humbles us by some dear saint in the church reminding us we didn’t call them back as we said we would, or we forgot that appointment we had scheduled. Being taught humility is a humbling experience.

The second dangerous prayer we can pray is to ask for opportunities to share the gospel. Most people are terrified to share their faith, let alone approach a stranger about it. But Paul continually prayed for opportunities to share the gospel (Col 4:3). And we know that it is God’s desire to save everybody (1 Tim 2:3-4), so if you pray for God to give you opportunities, He will answer. But this is a dangerous prayer for us because that means someone will probably engage us in conversation, ask us about our church, or tell us of the hardships of their life; which gives us the opportunity to share our faith, and that is the one thing we are most scared of. God is good to shake us up a little bit and get us out of our comfort zone. If we won’t approach a stranger, God will bring someone to us. Pray this prayer if you want to see yourself share the gospel more.

The third dangerous prayer you can pray is for God to give you a trial. Some of you reading this may think I’m crazy and that we should never ask for a trial. In fact, we probably do everything in our power to get out of a trial and avoid trials, not ask for one! But the Bible says that we will encounter trials and we should not be surprised when we encounter trials. Jesus said we would have tribulation in this life. So, if we are not in a trial right now, what’s going on? Is God’s Word just not true for me? While I do not think the Lord wants us in a trial every moment of every day, it is important to remember the words of James 1:2-4. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Trials produce the endurance necessary for our faith, which makes us complete. Like a rubber band our faith is stretched out during a trial. We all want greater faith right? Well, that comes through trials. Pray for God to give you a trial to strengthen your faith and God will provide you with an answer to that prayer.

Of course I use the phrase ‘dangerous prayers’ tongue in cheek. Those are actually good prayers to pray. They are only ‘dangerous’ in the sense that they will stir us in our walk with the Lord. If you are feeling unsatisfied in your walk with the Lord, pray these prayers to challenge you a little bit. After all, there is nothing dangerous about that.

Pastor Mark Scialabba