Ever pray big prayers? The kind that you're almost afraid to pray because maybe, just maybe, God would actually answer it? I do that on occasion. I can think of several times when I've paused in the middle of a prayer or worship song thinking "What in the world and I saying?! Do I really mean this?!" And then, usually, I take a deep breath and continue with it. Because, in the words of Francis Chan,
"If we never pray audacious, courageous prayers, how can He answer them? If we never follow Him to positions where we need Him, how can He show up and make His presence known?"
If we really want to see God show up in our lives with power, we have to dare to ask him! I know, I just wrinkled your brain. But seriously. If I want a friend to come over, I (usually) have to ask them to come over. If I want them to come and bring something, I have to ask. It's been said that God is a gentleman. He won't push in where He's not wanted. We wonder why we don't see more of the power and presence of God, but are we asking?
Today I found just such a prayer from Sir Francis Drake, and it's a real doozy!
"Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves. When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little. When we arrive safely because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord."
You can read the whole thing here. This is amazingly powerful. Can you imagine if we all prayed like this? If we all lived like this? Because this isn't just asking God to show up. This is asking Him to show us when we're not taking enough risks. But not just show us, disturb us. That's powerful language! He could have said "Lord, show us" or "Lord, gently guide us". But he says "Disturb us". Wow. There's no good thing about being disturbed. You never hear it being used as a compliment. Yet that's what this prayer is asking God to make us! And then the things he lists! Basically, it breaks down to this:
Lord, when I think I'm awesome, make me uncomfortable.
Lord, when my dreams come true, make me unsatisfied and anxious.
Dreams come true just means I didn't dream big enough.
Lord, when life is smooth sailing, unnerve me so I leave my comfort zone.
Wow. This prayer is amazingly powerful and, if taken seriously, stands to create an amazing life for the prayee. It's the kind of prayer that you want to pray, but at the same time, want to hold back because....what if God takes it seriously?! Then you're either going to be disturbed all the time, or living a crazy, blessed life that is outside of your own strength! I think sometimes we're just scared of the unknown. And this prayer is trying to get us outside of that, to take us out of our comfort zone.
It's a crazy prayer, but I wanna pray it! I want to be more than me. In some weird way, I want to be disturbed. But then, of course, there are days when I don't wanna pray it. I just wanna lay on my couch with the TV and laptop and pretend there's nothing more important than what's on DVR or Facebook. I want to just go for easy and comfortable. But that's not what we're called to. That's not what I'm called to. I think of all the BIG challenges Jesus gave, and I know that I want that life that He offers. But it can be sooo hard when the rest of the world, including others in the church, are just living for comfortable. But that's the call. That's the life I've (we've?) chosen. It's not always easy (ha! Try never!), but what of value ever is?
I could probably ramble quite a bit more about this, but what do you think of all this?