Summary: Praying like Jesus will mean praying dangerous prayers.
I love technology…especially when it works. I am some what technologically challenged. That means my 11 year old has to program the DVD player for me and my 5 year old has to hook up the video games. So imagine my surprise when I arrive at BCC and I am presented with my very own cell phone. I still only have one phone number programmed in it (my home phone) and often have to have my wife show me how to retrieve messages
In fact raise your hand if you own a cell phone. Some of you have one of those cool types that get internet access, play games, show sports scores and fix breakfast twice a week. Raise them again if you have it with you right now. Raise you hand if its on and your hoping to get a call.
I have this Pollyanna view of life where driving, eating a meal with friends and exercising were meant to be phone free time.
In spite of my technology limitations one thing I have learned about cell phones is the importance of “bars”. You know what I’m talking about. Those little bars that show up in the corner telling you how strong your reception is. From my thorough research I have determined that 2 bars are better than 1 and 4 is even better. In fact the cell phone company Cingular markets itself as Raising the Bar.
This morning I want us to talk about how we can raise the bar in our prayer life. To help us raise the bar I want us to take a look at three dangerous prayers from the life of Christ. These prayers are dangerous because they are a serious threat to a lazy boy spiritual life. They will demand that we get out of our chairs and actively engage for Christ.
Some of us, especially us non-military folks, recoil at the idea of danger. But danger is not necessarily a bad thing. Who among us couldn’t stand a little more excitement in our spiritual journey? Imagine the adrenaline rush of experiencing God at work in your life. Think about the thrill of seeing yourself in the middle of God’s huddle playing for big time stakes. I want to invite you on a bungee-jumping, sky diving, mountain climbing prayer adventure.
As we begin let’s establish a foundational truth regarding prayer: Men and women, I want you to know that God will always…and I mean always, take your call. Do you realize that when you turn your heart and mind toward God He turns His full attention on you? I don’t fully understand how God can do that will millions of people at a time but the Bible tells me He can. When I pray I am truly having a conversation with God Himself. Not an angel. Not some intermediary person…but God. I get all of God talking to me.
So as we look at these dangerous prayers allow me to dispel your fear that God will not respond to you or that God is too busy for you or that God will give you only cursory attention. If you don’t believe that then listen for the next few minutes, choose a prayer and give God a try.
Dangerous Prayer #1:
Send Me to the world. John 17:13-19.
I was originally going to use the catch phrase, “Lord help us to be in the world but not of the world.” There is certainly truth in that idea but then I continued to think about what Jesus said. I think the emphasis of His prayer was more aggressive than we generally think about it. I believe Jesus was praying that we would aggressively engage our world with the person and message of Christ and in the process not become tainted by it and ensnared by our enemy the devil.
I find it interesting that so many Christ-followers today seek to isolate them selves from the world. We often take great pride in creating fortresses that keep the world out and the righteous in. Yet Christ prays that His followers would be out among the world representing Him. In fact in verse 18 Christ prays “As You, (the heaven Father) sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”
Now I am not suggesting that we embrace the ways, lies and sins of the world. Jesus said in verse 16 that we are not part of the world. We are not to embrace the life perspective of the world. Christ then stated in verse 17 that the primary way we live in the world without becoming like the world is by having our lives saturated in God’s Word. We are to be like fully saturated sponges swimming in the pool of life. We enter the world already saturated with Christ and His word so that our lives cannot absorb the things of the world.