To pray as we should before God really is dangerous. Not that we would say something to bring down His wrath upon us. If we are in Christ, His loving hand is upon us and those who belong to Him and His wrath shall never meet. He may discipline us, but that is far different from His wrath.
To pray as we should, with open hearts and open hands really is dangerous in the sense that more often than not, God doesn’t give us what we want, but what will bring Him the most glory. Now, I know this goes against the contemporary teachings of the “name-it-and-claim-it” crowd. (When have I ever written anything that would agree with that crowd?) The point is that when we pray, our prayers should be focused on God’s glory, not our comfort or well being.
This is what drove Jesus to pray in the upper room before He was arrested and sent to His death. The first words out of His mouth to the Father was that the Father would be glorified, and that He too, would be glorified during His hour. Jesus was not praying for comfort, health and wealth, or an easier path… but for the Father to be glorified no matter what may take place, even if the result was enduring the ghastly death on the cross.
His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane was similar. “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” That was a dangerous prayer, for Jesus completely punted what would have been the best for Himself, according to our human standards. He denied Himself comfort and ease for the suffering of the cross because the Father’s glory was primary in His ministry.
That same glory should be center in our lives as well. That the Father and Son would receive all the glory as we follow His will for us. Yes, it is OK to pray for things we desire, but always with the caveat that is not for our glory, but His that we ask. He may bless us abundantly with material goods. The church needs those with financial blessings in their lives. But He may also keep us dependent upon Him and take us down paths that are less than smooth. This is meant for our well being and His glory.
For instance, Joey is really afraid of elevators. I don’t know why, but he is. He has been since he was barely 2 years old. The thought of getting on an elevator brings immediate fear. Do I cater to this fear? Sometimes I do, but other times I don’t. There are times, usually when there are multiple floors to be elevated to, where I make him ride the elevator. I do that for my convenience and his well being. Even though he is afraid, I want him to see that the elevators are safe. He needs to learn this lesson.
He also needs to learn to trust his Dad. If I never made him ride the elevator, he would never learn the lesson of trusting his Dad and seeing that even when he is afraid, his dad has his best at heart. Since taking this route, I’ve noticed something about Joey as we ride the elevator. He holds my hands a lot tighter. He is also a lot closer to me and holds onto me tighter when I pick him up.
This is exactly how it is when the Lord leads us down a dangerous path. We cling to Him a lot more. We depend upon Him and trust in His wise providence more than we trust in the surroundings or circumstances that bring us so much fear. Is the journey dangerous? Absolutely. But the Lord’s hand is upon us and the more we cling to Him, the more we realize His rich love for us.
Are you willing to pray dangerously? Are you willing to let Him take you down the road less traveled, but far better for us? If you are, be ready to cling to Him. In the process, your faith and trust in Him will grow.