Summary: The Bible is full of dangerous prayers. Search me, stretch me and send me are examined. Each prayer has an oject lesson to go with it.
Pastor Bob Hunter
(A similiar, but not identical message is available at Willowcreek.com by the title, "Dangerous Prayers.")
Objects needed for message: 1 flashlight, 1 suitcase, 1 stretchy cord
I want to talk to you about praying dangerously. Today’s message on prayer is going to separate the men from the boys, the steers from the bulls, and the heifer’s from the cows. I had to throw in a feminine metaphor, if nothing else for shock value… The prayers I’m going to suggest today are not for the faint of heart. You see, prayer is not for whimps. It’s for people that have firm spiritual resolve. It’s for people that dare to go deeper in their walk with God. So if you thought you could get away with simple mealtime, bedtime, business as usual prayers… Surprise! There’s more. Instead of dog paddling through the shallow end of the pool, we’re going to take a plunge in the deep end. I’m going to talk to you in a very challenging way about dangerous and daring prayers. The Bible we have is chock full of them. You see, the Christian life is not about playing it safe, it’s about living life on the edge. It’s about taking a leap of faith even when there’s no safety net in place.
You say, "Pastor Bob, what do you mean by dangerous prayers, does that mean something really bad is going to happen?" The answer to that is NO. It doesn’t mean lightening is going to strike or the sky is going to fall. Dangerous prayers are prayers that reach the heart of God. They are dangerous because they dislodge us from our spiritual safety zone and challenge us to live beyond our comfort. In that sense, dangerous is not bad, but necessary for our growth.
So tis morning we are going to take a little tour through scripture. And examine some of the truly dangerous prayers found in the Bible. Ones prayed by ordinary people just like you and me. You see, prayer is for everybody, not just for a select few or the spiritually elite. As followers of Christ we are called to be people of prayer. You and I have this awesome privilege; we can pray to the Lord anywhere, anytime. It’s a privilege none of us should take for granted. So whether you’re a seasoned expert or just a beginner, take heart God’s anxious to hear from you.
So for each daring prayer we’re going to examine today, I have a physical object to help you remember it. Now, just remember, you may not be the same after today. If you’re really serious about going deeper in your walk with God, then today’s your day. O.K. so here we go…
1. Dangerous prayer number #1 Comes from King David in the O.T. he prayed for some pretty radical things. In Psalm 139 he prayed a long prayer that could be summed up in two words. And the two words are this: SEARCH ME! There are dozens of dangerous prayers in scripture, not the least of which is this one. I’m mean this one really stands out. And it takes guts to pray this prayer and mean it. And I believe David did mean it. Let me read the whole thing for you. ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious and wayward thoughts, See if there are any sinful ways and lead me out of that into the everlasting way." Ps. 139:23-24
The object I have to help you identify with this point is a flashlight. Now this flashlight was a gift to me by my father law. We take it camping, I’ve used here at Church, and at home, sometimes to work on the car. A flashlight is primarily used to help us find things in the dark. We need a flashlight to help expose whatever it is we are looking for. When we camp out in the woods, I keep this thing in tent, so when we get up in the middle of the night, I can click it on and find my shoes. I need the flashlight to light the way to the bathrooms. I’m mean, it gets pretty dark out there in the woods. Without a flashlight I would be stumbling around in the dark. A flashlight is a dear to life necessity.
Now here’s the spiritual application.
When we pray, Lord, SEARCH ME. We’re praying for the God of heaven to flash the light of His brilliant holiness into the inner recesses of our soul and expose whatever’s in there. We’re saying God, "Shine the spotlight of your Grace into my life, and if there’s anything in there that shouldn’t be in there, expose it." If there’s a pocket of resistance, a stubborn way, or a sinful habit. Expose it with your light and get it out in the open.