Stop Praying That!

One of the biggest differences that I see the more I am in ministry is that the American Church and the 1st Century Church pray for different things. I know that is not a shocker for most of us. Now some of the things we pray for are quite obviously not what God would have us pray for. For example I remember watching someone buy a lottery ticket one day and turn around to pray over that ticket. Now that is clearly not something that we believe God is going to answer yes to right?

Other prayers that don’t go with the prayers of the 1st Century Church however are subtle and not as obvious. Such as, the prayer that we hear so often for safety. Every time someone is leaving to go on a mission trip we pray that they are safe, now I often ask myself would the first-century church had prayed that? I am not necessarily saying that praying for a mission teams safety is a problem but I wonder if they would have prayed that.

The reason I question this prayer is not that I don’t believe God will keep people safe but the fact that it usually means we don’t want to follow God into the dark places of this world. I don’t see the Apostles in Acts praying for safety often but I do see them pray for boldness! They actually pray for boldness in Acts 4 in the face of persecution from the Sanhedrin. You see God has called us as believers to be bold in the face of darkness and in the face of persecution. I don’t see the Apostles praying that God would make this life easy and safe. God is not in love with the idea of us being “safe”; he is in love with the idea of us being obedient to the great commission.

So why do we pray for safety so often? Truly there are probably many reasons but the major reason is out of FEAR! We normally pray for safety out of fear of death, fear of the persecution, or fear of losing someone close to us. This idea of Fear is definitely not a reason to be praying for something like safety. The Bible says that we have not been given a spirit of fear or timidity but a spirit of power! (2 Timothy 1:7) People of God lets stop being afraid of the things of this world and begin to stand in fear of the one who can kill both soul and body.

Last reason why I think we should not pray for safety as often as we do and that is the fact that when people die for the gospel makes them conquerors. The book of Revelation speaks maybe more on the idea of martyrdom than any other book in the NT. The book actually tells us that people conquer by dying! The fact that people die (physically) for the gospel of Jesus Christ is what makes them conquerors and the fact that people die (spiritually) to themselves and live for Christ is what allows them to conquer sin! The book Revelation actually mentions the idea of conquering at least 15 times. Many of these are referring to human beings conquering. For example, Revelation 12:11 says “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”

The point is that we conqueror ultimately by not loving our lives even to the point of death. Let’s stop praying for safety or comfort and begin to step out of our comfort zone for the one we call our Lord and Savior. Let’s begin to pray for boldness in the face of persecution because trust me we are going to need it (even in America very soon.)


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