by Ron Hawkins, Transition Pastor
“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in The One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” —Max Lucado
In theory, prayer can appear simple: a conversation with God. A first step toward Jesus’ mandate to “Abide in me.” Yet for many, prayer—not unlike sharing our faith—can be a spiritual discipline we know we should do, yet often feel like we come up short. We fall into times when our prayer life becomes stale. We convince ourselves that prayer doesn’t really makes a difference, or we don’t ask for the good things we deeply desire or seriously need because of a fear of being self-absorbed. And yet praying boldly—even dangerously—can show us who our God is, reveal how much we need Him, and engage us in His Kingdom work in ways we never could have imagined.
The Scriptures instruct us in James 4:2, “You do not have because you do not ask God.” Many of us know the verse that follows: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” And because we know our motives are mixed at best, we ignore verse 2 and listen only to verse 3. The defense mechanism we utilize with other people who continue to disappoint us is put into play with the God of the universe: we stop talking to Him.
Sure, we can pray in ways that are self-serving, and sure, we should take our conversations with God (which is the essence of prayer) to the next level—but we can’t do that if our prayer life is minimal at best or non-existent at worst.
My hope is that you will join us in exploring the concept of “Dangerous Prayers” this summer. As God’s people, let’s learn to pray in a way that makes us fully engaged with Jesus and fully alive to an adventure with Him. One way to get started or to do a reset is to pay close attention to verse 2: We do not have because we do not ask.
Ask boldly. Pray dangerously, in such a way that you will see God move in transformative ways. And then add verse 3 to the mix. Invite God to work on your motives so that you will receive more of what you ask for because your motives—and requests—are aligning more and more to the very heart of God.
Paul proclaims to us in Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
May God’s favor be upon you.