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.
(Psalm 139: 23-24)
To live a dangerous, adventurous life, means we live not just for ourselves, but for God and for others. In fact, the Dangerous Prayer series this week has assured us of God’s continuing love despite our tendency to default to materialism, selfishness and comfort. If we read the whole of Psalm 139, we realise that we can never really hide from God, go anywhere from His Spirit, or even be unknown to Him (take time now to read together this beautiful and transforming Psalm). However, apathy, being time poor, and the challenges of raising children in such a fast-paced, materialistic and modern world can dry up any generative spirituality we may have or feel. One of the mightiest challenges we have here in Australia as a follower of Jesus is not persecution, poverty or public discrimination but pressures of time, competing voices in media, and priorities which are not God’s.
Craig concludes his book, Dangerous Prayers, by saying, “what you feed grows, what you starve dies.” Feed your spiritual self and your sinful self-dies. Feed your sinful self and your spiritual self dies. This is the subtle yet surreptitious truth of why our lives often feel dulled, our attempts at witness and a generative life in Christ seem so very far away.
So, this is a call, this post Easter Sunday week, a call to respond to God wholeheartedly.
God really has a far more amazing life for us than we are living now (think John 10:10 – “I have come to bring life and life in all its fullness”), but the way to this life is surrender (being open to being searched and being open to being broken) in the hands and arms of a loving God, and then being prepared to ask Him to “send you?”
Will you do this?
At every step of these three dangerous prayers, there is risk, discomfort and danger. But the more dangerous situation, is if God’s people DO NOT pray these prayers. Churches will continue to decline, materialism and comfort will continue to be followers of Jesus’ priority, rather than God’s. Our world, in need of redemption will remain unredeemed.
Yet the beautiful thing is – it’s not that hard. As Craig says, “When you become available to God, he might ask you to go to Africa as a missionary, but it’s far more likely he will invite you to be a missionary at your workplace.
God usually asks for small things of us, through the prompting of His Spirit – calling that friend that He lays on your heart, buying an extra packet of toilet rolls and giving one lot to your neighbour, rising half and hour earlier and spending that in reading, doing an extra chore around the house when it is someone’s turn and not resenting it, etc, etc, etc. Sometimes God does ask bigger things of us – but the shaping that comes from daily saying, “Send me” enables us to take these bigger steps.
Rev Gayle Hill
BUV Head of Mission Catalyst
Are you sick of praying safe prayers? Are you tired of living for things that don’t matter? Do you despise half-hearted, lukewarm Christianity? Then pray the dangerous prayer daily.
Heavenly Father, because you gave Jesus for me, I give you my whole day today. Every part of me is yours. Take each part of the body you created and consecrate it for your purposes today. God, I give you my mind. Please guard my thoughts. Help me take captive any thoughts that are not from you to make them obedient to Christ and your truth. Renew my mind. May all my thoughts be pleasing to you. Help me to think of things that are pure, excellent and worthy of praise. Help me to think your thoughts. Direct my mind toward your perfect will today.
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 19th BUV Calendar prayer – “Provision for those who have lost jobs or seeking employment”