Summary: The following sermon series is going to look at three dangerous prayers, Search Me, Break Me, Send Me; that when daringly given from the heart will not only be God-honoring but life-changing and world transforming!
Dangerous Prayers – Search me O Lord!
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
Do you feel that your prayers to the Creator and sustainer of this Universe are a sweet aroma, holy and pleasing unto His ears? How often do we pray with the same requests, repeating long, loud, fancy words and even quoting Scripture but run the risk that such prayers will become flat, dull, predictable, stale, boring and Pharisaically vain? And how many times during such prayers does our minds “wander off” only to be found focussing on the things of this world rather than God? Even though the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in “wordless groans” (Romans 8:26) surely His ambassadors and royal priests (2 Corinthians 5:20; 1 Peter 2:9) are still expected to boldly approach God’s throne of grace not with mere platitudes of self-indulgence but with honesty, desperation, fierceness, unrelenting faith, and unbridled Spirit led power to humbly and yet boldly make their requests known to a loving and compassionate God? In Craig Groeschel’s book Dangerous Prayers he suggests that the prayers of many Christians are often to sustain a safer, stress-free lifestyle and as such they have become lukewarm and distant from their Creator. Groeschel also suggests it is not “a bubble of spiritual safety” we should ask from our Creator but the opportunity to follow His Son and serve in His kingdom no matter what the costs might be! The following sermon series is going to look at three dangerous prayers, Search Me, Break Me, Send Me; that when daringly given from the heart will not only be God-honoring but life-changing and world transforming!
PART 1: SEARCH ME
While there is certainly nothing wrong with praying a scripted prayer of another person or a fond passage of Scripture. Groeschel suggests that as our faith grows and our relationship deepens our prayers ought to go from scripted to those that “well up deep inside and come straight from the heart!” For example, in the face of an enemy in Pslams 13 David cried out the following prayer:
“How long Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will you hide Your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart” (1-2)?
From inside of the belly of a large fish Jonah prayed to the Lord the following words
“In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currently swirled around me; all you waves and breakers swept over me. I said, I have been banished from Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple” (2:2-4).
When Daniel got a vision from the Lord that the 70 years of exile was about to end he prayed the following words:
“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name” (9:17-19).
Truth or Dare
Groeschel defines prayer as “a sacred communication, the language of longing, a divine dialogue between you and your heavenly Father, your Abba, your Daddy.” When I was growing up one of the games we used to play was called “truth or dare.” If you chose “truth” you had to answer an often very personal question truthfully or if you chose “dare” you had to do whatever was asked of you. In the book of Hebrews we are told that we are to come to the throne of grace with confidence, assurance and boldness to receive mercy and grace (4:16). While this sounds easy it is far from it for in doing so we must understand that He who is indivisbly present and knows every thought, word and deed (Pslams 139) is likely not only to reveal our sins to be repented of but also the glorious, Spirit led mission He indends us to accomplish! Do you dare to hear the truth about your sins and leave the safety or normalacy of your comfortable, daily routine to pray for a radical, faith driven life of passion that might “change eternity, shake hell, and scare demons” but will most certainly invite trials, tribulations, suffering and termendous persecution (John 15:20, 16:33)?
The State of Your Heart
”Knowing that his motives weren’t always perfect, David surendered his heart before God and prayed one of the most vulnerable, transparent, and dangerous prayers you will ever hear.”