A dangerous prayer is one in which you are truly expecting God to do something or call you to do something that may not be safe or easy, but it will always be good.
Have you ever played it safe?
So often we become comfortable and complacent that we begin playing it safe with our lives. We get into a routine that works and we stay there. It’s not a bad thing to come to a place where we are taken care of and comfortable, but I believe when it comes to our relationship and commitment to God this is not a good place to stay.
This can cause slothfulness and apathy in our hearts and minds.
I want to focus on three prayers found in the Bible that all speak to the desire to not become complacent, but continue to hear and follow God in any and every situation.
1. Paradigm Shift: From Self to God
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strengthEphesians 1:15–19.
This Dangerous prayer may sound like a normal prayer we ask for over and over. “God give me wisdom and revelation so that I might make the right choice in life and have the riches of his holy people and your great power in my life.” This prayer is very safe, but what Paul was praying was much more dangerous then what we have turned it into.
This prayer was not personal. Paul was praying that The Power of the Holy Spirit who is Wisdom and brings great revelation of God’s will in life. So that God may be KNOWN better and more intimately. The dangerous aspect of this prayer is that if you pray for the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation because you want to grow in your relationship with God He will revel His heart to you. The reason this becomes dangerous is because God’s will is that the whole world would experience His love and grace.
When we begin asking God to give us wisdom and revelation of who He IS not to fix OUR situation; we have a paradigm shift. Your prayers will no longer be about you, but about God.
Ephesians helps us to see that when we pray for God to speak with a God focus instead of a me focus He will revel Himself.
2. Be Ready to Listen
The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”1 Samuel 3:1-10
Samuel was a boy who wanted to faithful and obedient. This is very clear because he was working in the temple helping Eli. Then when Samuel heard his name he RAN to Eli. He was a young man with a heart to serve and obey.
We need be position ourselves to pray for God to speak wisdom and revelation; not for our benefit, but for our relationship with God. When that happens and we have been positioned to hear out of our desire to be faithful and obedient God will speak.
Samuel’s actions give us to two keys to this small but dangerous prayer.
1. Positioned Properly
Samuel was in the right place to hear God speaking…
Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was.
Samuel had positioned his body to be in the place where God was. The Ephesians also where Spiritually positioned to hear God’s voice.
I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people
When our faith and love is properly positioned it is as if we are laying down resting next to the Ark of God. We create a place for God to speak in our hearts and minds. Samuel and the Ephesians found a place to rest in God. This is why we must not become complacent. We must continually seek to be in His presences with love and faithfulness.
2. Discerning Direction
Samuel struggled to discern where the voice was coming from…
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
He followed the only voice he knew. In our lives whether we are new followers of Christ or we have been following Christ for many years; the voice of God can get mixed in with others and we start to loose His voice.
The comfort and apathy of “normal life” can get in the way of what God is speaking. Paul wrote; Wisdom and Revelation to know God more. Just because God spoke to you yesterday does not mean you are still where He wants you today. The Revelation God has for you is new and exciting everyday. But we must take the time to listen and discern where that voice is coming from.
We must like Samuel learn to hear God’s Voice. Samuel did not know it was God so he was putting His focus on Eli. When we do not discern the direction correctly we will find ourselves not following God. This is why we must daily listen, because yesterday’s revelation may not be todays. Here are some key questions we must ask when we are starting or returning to a place of discerning.
- Does this agree with Scripture?
- Does it reflects the nature of God?
- Does it give the feeling of peace, hope, joy, and being loved, or fear, anger, confusion and condemnation?
- Does it stick with you through the next several days and months?
God called to Samuel three times without Samuel recognizing it was God.
When you learn to recognize God’s voice you will become a dangerous Christian. God will reveal Himself to you. You will find yourself consumed with your love and desire for God that you will be as quick as Samuel to pray “Speak for your servant is listen.”
3. Move and Speak in His Power and Strength
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.1 Samuel 3:11-21
Samuel found himself in a place where what God had told him was not an easy thing to accept. The word that came to Samuel was not gripped with fear, but he was afraid of Eli’s response.
But Samuel gained courage and shared what God had said. Then God continued to do amazing things through him, because Samuel was not focused on himself. Instead he was focused on God and remained living Positioned properly to hear and to discern the direction everyday.
Paul prayed that as they experienced God’s wisdom they would begin to experience God’s power and strength. The truth that God will speak may not always be easy, but it will always be true for our good. That strength and power will be ours too, when we are willing to be like Samuel and move and speak the truth. When it is easy or not.