I don’t consider myself a person who lives in fear, especially in the last couple of years. Scripture teaches “perfect love drives out fear.” As I have gotten my “totem pole” in life in the correct order, fear has greatly diminished and been replaced with God’s perfect love.
I do get nervous and at times “feel fear,” but I am learning to step even when my “feelings of fear” are present! God has been so faithful when I step. For example, watching my mother die. Or going to Israel and knowing only 2% of the people going. Speaking up when it might cost me a relationship. Setting strong boundaries. Giving financially when God told me out of the blue to give…and the list goes on and on.
Recently, as I have studied D and D, the lives of David and Daniel, I have taken some bold steps to pray like David and Daniel. In the book of Psalms, primarily written by David, he prays a dangerous prayer. What I mean is a prayer that is not common for most of us. We pray safe prayers like: “give me safe travel,” “protect me,” “provide for me”…but David prays in Psalm 139:23, “Search me O God and know my heart; TEST me and know my ANXIOUS thoughts; See if there is ANY OFFENSIVE way in ME, and LEAD ME in the way everlasting” [emphasis added].
David asks God to test him!
Wow! just wow! How many times do we/I ask God to test me? I have learned that is the only WAY we can become more like Christ…to openly and willingly open ourselves up to the DANGEROUS PRAYER of asking God to TEST us!
The second dangerous prayer is: Break me LORD.
I have found that God does the best job of showing us how to LEAN into HIM when we are “broken”. We are already broken people…in need of a Savior…but “when we are broken” it allows us to SEE….and SEEK our HEAVENLY Father and become more intimate which IS HIS PERFECT WILL FOR OUR LIVES. We are here to please God not for HIM to please us.
In Daniel 2:20-21 we find Daniel praying, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons: he deposes kings and raises up others.” God does as He pleases.
The third dangerous prayer is: SEND ME.
Yes, it is “signing a blank contract” and lifting it up to God with an open hand and a willing heart. It is a surrendering of our life, our comfort, our norm to go to the EXTRAORDINARY. That is where God led David and Daniel….and their lives were hard, exciting but meaningful.
THEY ARE WRITTEN ABOUT A LOT IN SCRIPTURE…GOD’S HOLY WORD. I/WE would all do well to study their lives and what God’s word says about them and duplicate it. The comfort I find from studying these two sinners who have hearts for God lies in their imperfections. But the “MOTIVES of their hearts,” exposed in scripture, were good.
In Anne Graham Lotz’s new book, “The Daniel Prayer, Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations,” has encouraged me in my recent study and growing convictions. Living life “safely” is NOT GOD’s call on our lives.
IT is “Surrender, Sacrifice, and Holiness.”
Daniel was intentional about his prayer life. God’s word teaches us in the sermon on the mount, “When you pray, go into your room, CLOSE THE DOOR and pray to your heavenly Father, who is unseen” (see Matthew 6:6, emphasis added). Then Jesus set a personal example, and so did Daniel, of repeatedly seeking His Father in private prayer. “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).
Point of post today…I encourage you to move from “safe” prayers to “dangerous ones”.
Ones that require “exposing our hearts” and allowing God to do…whatever HE PLEASES. We were created by God for Him to DO HIS WILL….not ours. To accomplish HIS WILL…requires us to pray “dangerous” prayers that may lead, WILL lead, us to “uncomfortable places” because it is only then….that WE WILL GROW.
Warning: You cannot pray this way and stay the same.
IT WILL MAKE OTHERS around you uncomfortable at times. Jesus, our ultimate example, and David and Daniel’s lives were NOT COMFORTABLE, but they sure were REWARDING!
Finishing STRONG is not at all about being comfortable…but so far I have found it to be the “safest place to live my dash”…because I know that this life…is just a dash in comparison to eternity…that is our real destination…and HOW we live our dash does impact HOW WE SPEND ETERNITY!