Did you know that prayer can be dangerous? Dangerous prayers are prayers with consequences. Prayers that we ought to pray but that we also need to realize that that prayer which we pray might just be answered by God. These prayers are prayers that will challenge you, stretch you, change your world, and transform your life. They are prayers that should be prayed.
I. Show me the sin in my life.
A. Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.”
B. Many people do not like to pray because prayer will convict you to get sin out of your life. In order to effectively pray, we must be willing to confess and repent of our sins and allow God to create within us a clean heart so that He will not only hear us but answer us.
C. Sin in the life of the believer holds back God’s richest blessings, the dynamic power of the Spirit, and the fullness of the joy of the Lord.
D. We need to ask God to show us the sins in our lives that are holding us back from getting all God has for us.
E. Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
F. The psalmist is asking God to search him thoroughly and to examine not merely his outward conduct, but what he thinks about; what are his purposes; what passes through his mind; what occupies his imagination; what secures his affections and controls his will. - copied
G. Psalm 26:2 “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.
H. Today’s Christians what to be comfortable in their Christianity. They want Christ and the world. We get uncomfortable when God’s Holy Spirit examines our lives and begins reveal to us our sins. Understand that it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to make us uncomfortable with our sins.
I. The very moment that the Holy Spirit reveals that you have unconfessed sin or an area of your life where you are displeasing God you ought to take action in confessing your sins.
J. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
K. When you pray that God shows you those things in your life that are is pleasing to Him, you are asking God to give you a deep, heart-rending sorrow for sin, and a deep sense of guilt and shame for offending a holy God. Praying for God to search you is dangerous because when you ask God to search your heart for anything that displeases Him, He will. That prayer has consequences. It will transform you.
II. Let Christ be Seen in Me
A. Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…”
B. "Lord, do whatever it takes to make me like Jesus."
C. Philippians 3:8-10 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
D. To be like Jesus means:
• doing whatever the Father wants you to do, regardless of the cost.
• reaching out to people that others have rejected
• being willing to have very little in this world while focusing on living for eternity
• loving your enemies
• being prepared to leave the safe place to go where you might be persecuted so others can hear the good news
• being willing to suffer
• being ready to die for others
• having your heart will ache for those without Christ
E. It means opening your ears to hear the call of God for your complete surrender.
F. Years ago a Korean layman was invited to address the General Assembly of his denomination during one of the devotional periods. He said that he wasn’t qualified to preach, but he wanted to present to the group a problem he was facing and ask for their advice.
“A year or two ago,” he began, “I received a letter from a friend of mine in Seoul. He was a young dentist and wanted to establish himself in my city. He asked me to find a place suitable for his home and office combined. Now we had a great housing shortage, but I did all I could to help him. For three days I searched my city. Finally, I found a place and wrote him about it I told him that the house was in bad condition. The wall surrounding the place was in disrepair there was a hole in the house wall, the roof leaked badly. The house was in a wretched neighborhood. Furthermore, the price was exorbitant.
In spite of my bad report, my friend sent me a telegram telling me to buy the house. A day or so later I received a check for several thousand yen as a down payment. So I signed the papers and purchased the house. The down payment was made and the final payments were to be made in three days, at which time the old owner agreed to vacate the house. The final payments were made, but then the owner asked for a day or two more until he could find another house. I granted him this period of grace. But after a week he was still there. Two weeks, three weeks, a month, three months, six months have passed.
The man who sold the house has purchased new clothes for his family, and they are eating out at the best restaurants. He knows I am a Christian and that in Korea we Christians never go to court with other Christians and we try not to go to court with unbelievers. He laughs at me when I come.
“Now, Fathers and Brothers,” the layman continued, “my friend is greatly embarrassed because his capital is tied up in this house, and he is in a very difficult position. What am I to do?”
Several members of the General Assembly responded. One pointed out that the layman was not acting in his own behalf but as an agent. Another pointed out that he was obviously dealing with a man who was a thief at heart. All agreed that the speaker had a right to go to the authorities and ask for an eviction order. The speaker asked for a show of hands and all voted that he had a right to proceed legally.
Then the layman said, “Thank you, Elders and Brothers, for the way you have considered my problem. Before I sit down, I would like to draw one conclusion. Nineteen hundred years ago the Lord Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to purchase for Himself a dwelling place.” Then he put his hand on his heart. “He bought the old shack. It was in a rundown condition. It was in a bad neighborhood. He bought me because He wanted to take possession and dwell in my heart. But I cling to my tenement and leave Him outside. Now if you say that I have the right to seek the help of the authorities to evict the man who is occupying my friend’s house, what shall you and I say of ourselves when we deny the Lord Jesus the full possession of that for which He gave His own life?” – Haddon Robinson
III. Pray for Workers
A. Matthew 9:38 “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”
B. Jesus urges the twelve to pray because the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. He tells them to earnestly pray for workers. The word pray, deomai, means to beg, beseech, plead. This is the Greek word for passionate prayer. This is the kind of prayer that makes a difference.
C. Matthew Henry said that one of the greatest areas of discouragement in the church is a lack of workers.
D. Therefore, this certainly seems like an innocent and harmless request. Any believer can pray it! The problem with praying, however, is that sometimes God calls upon us to answer our own prayers. There is a danger associated with praying that the Lord “send” for laborers into his harvest. He may send us! He may create such discomfort for us in our present circumstances that we would be almost literally “cast out” into the work which He has for us to do. – copied
E. “IT’S DANGEROUS TO PRAY”
I prayed, Oh Lord, bless all the world,
And help me do my part.
And straightway he commanded me,
“Bind up a broken heart.”
I prayed, Oh bless each hungry child,
May they be amply fed,
Then God said, “Go find a starving soul and
Share with him your bread.”
Oh, stir the hearts of men, I prayed
And make them good and true.
God answered quickly, “There is one way,
I stir men’s hearts through you.”
Dear friend, unless you really mean
Exactly what you say,
Until you mean to work for God,
It’s dangerous to pray. – Unknown
IV. Praying for the Lost
A. Romans 10:1 “Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”
B. The danger in this prayer is that God may ask you to share Christ with that individual or group of people. If you do you might be laughed at our rejected. If you witness to them you are going to have to live a consistent life before them. Uncomfortable?
C. A survey was given to those attending training sessions for the Billy Graham crusade in Detroit. One question asked, “What is your greatest hindrance to witnessing?” The largest group of respondents was the 51 percent whose biggest problem was the fear of how the other person would react! None of us likes to be rejected, ridiculed, or regarded as an oddball.- Good News is for Sharing, Leighton Ford
D. I came to realize that to love Jesus and to love people mean we will do our best to bring the two together. To reduce it to the simplest terms, loving Jesus and loving people is what Christianity and the church are all about. I came to understand that unless I genuinely care about the person with whom I am sharing my witness will lack compassion and sincerity. Also, unless I study the Word of God, my witness will lack content. The caring witness sharing the message of the Word of God gives the balance needed to reach people. - Darrell W. Robinson, People Sharing Jesus, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publ., 1995)
E. Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Mea in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
F. A witness is someone who by explanation and demonstration gives audible and visible evidence of what he has seen and heard without being deterred by the consequences of his action. - S. Briscoe, Getting Into God
G. The Nyungwe Christians knew about the tribe of people on the opposite shore of the Zambezi River for a long time. They could see them every time they rowed out in their canoes to work their fields on the islands in the middle of the river. A few people had been there and said that it was a dark place with no Gospel witness. The Nyungwe Church began to pray for that place. They thought that someone should go there and tell those people about Jesus. Then they realized that the “someone” was them. God was calling them to go to the lost. They had to leave their comfort zone and paddle their canoes across the wide and rushing river to reach that shore and begin preaching the Gospel.
H. Isaiah 6:8 “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
V. Save Me
A. We are often told that in order to be saved we need to pray something like this: "Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21). I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life according to Romans 10:9-10. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead."
B. That prayer can be a dangerous prayer if the person praying does not truly understand and mean what he or she is praying. It will produce a false sense of security that they are okay when in reality they are not.
C. God has promised us salvation if we sincerely believe and place our trust on Jesus Christ making Him the Lord of our lives.
D. Those who with sincere hearts and under the Holy Spirit’s influence follow the admonition of Romans 10:9-10 also are challenged as the Word of God declares that when a person yields to the Lordship of Christ they are profoundly changed and no longer the same.
E. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
F. You cannot prayer that prayer without it changing you.
Conclusion: Five dangerous prayers that should be prayed – (1) sincerely praying to be saved; (2) praying that God would reveal sin in our individual lives, (3) praying to become like Christ, (4) praying for workers in the church and the out in the field, and (5) praying for the lost. I would challenge you to pray these prayers and get ready for God to radically change you.