|As we commence a week of praying together it is important to remember that these anxious, challenging and dangerous times provoke a variety of responses in people. Some will shrink back fearful of what might happen, some will mourn the loss of community, of the church physically gathering together week by week and others will try and seize with both hands the opportunities they see before them and commence new initiatives.|
No matter which group of people we find ourselves aligning with, one thing we must all do in times like these is to pray. In his book “Dangerous Prayers” Craig Groeschel reminds us that throughout the Bible there are a variety of prayers spoken by His people. He says “Not only did they pray about things that were incredibly personal—to conceive a child, for instance (1 Sam. 1: 27)—but also their prayers were often so practical, for food and provision (Matt. 6: 11) and escape from their enemies (Ps. 59: 1–2). Sometimes they seemed to gently whisper to a loving God. Other times they yelled at him in agony and frustration. They often pleaded with God sincerely. Then later they’d cry out from the depths of their anguish.
No matter what situation we find ourselves in during this season of life, any of these responses can be appropriate. In the past the people of God prayed for walls, both internally and externally, to fall. Daniel prayed for the mouths of hungry lions to be shut, and Jonah prayed for the belly of a hungry whale to be opened. Gideon prayed for his fleece to be wet one day and dry another. God’s people prayed whether they were giddy with joy or crushed by sorrow. Their prayers were honest, desperate, fiery, gutsy and real.”
In these dangerous times Craig reminds us “Your prayers matter. How you pray matters. What you pray matters. Your prayers move God.” I don’t know about you but especially in times like these I want my prayers to move the heart of God for our families, our friends, our communities, our state, our nation and for the people of the world.
So, over this week lets join together and pray some simple but challenging and dangerous prayers that come straight from Psalm 139: 23-24. “Search me, 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”.
This is actually not an easy prayer to pray, but it’s even more challenging to live out and apply in our lives. Because if you have the courage to pray it, then you’ll need to exercise the courage to live what God shows you in reply. So, don’t pray it if you don’t mean it. Be forewarned, this prayer has the potential to convict you. To correct you. To redirect your life. To change the way you see yourself. To change how others see you.
So let’s begin to pray this simple and powerful prayer in its entirety because, over the next few days we will break this down into four more focussed sections and allow God work on us, in us and through us, as we pray it section by section. As you pray, I want to encourage you to also pray for your situation, your church, your family, your relationships but also for one another in the group and our world.
Pastor Andrew Hill
BUV Mission Catalyst Team
“Search me, 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”
- Now pray it again (out loud) slowly breathing deeply in between each section
- As you pray and meditate on this passage what stands out to you as you pray?
- As you read that prayer what do you sense that God is asking you to focus on?
- Is there a relationship, a person, a feeling or even an event that God brings to your mind?
- If God brings something or someone to mind
- allow God to minister to you as you remember that event or person
- perhaps He is wanting you to pray for them at this time or maybe there is something He wants to deal with in you around that person or event.
- Perhaps one of the first things to ask God is to help you be honest with Him as you embark on this week of life changing prayer.
Pray also for:
- The members of your group and their concerns
- The three people you have committed to pray for each day who are not followers of Jesus
- The April 13th BUV Calendar prayer – “Protection for those with pre-existing disease”