It's easy to throw up cotton candy prayers that lack substance in traffic, in the shower, or as we run out the door to work. It's easy to stay on the safe side of petition by asking God for things that our hearts don't truly desire. Why? Because having a shallow prayer life feels safe, right?
On the contrary, praying for what we know only God can accomplish, or for those things we sincerely want can feel dangerous — like our hearts have been stripped bare and vulnerable before Him. To avoid this feeling of discomfort, what do we do? We separate our desires from prayer. We only ask Him for things that haven't captivated our affections, or that we know He'll say yes to. This way we can feel like we did our duty, and were a faithful son or daughter who has stayed in communion with Christ.
But is that all there is to the Christian life? Just to "pray it safe?"
There are times when I want to stand on the cliff edge of prayer, certain that only God can provide what I need; and if He doesn't, that disaster will be mine. There is something exhilarating about living in total desperation for Him.
Other times, I want to live predictably. I don't want God to upset the apple cart of my carefully arranged life. Unfortunately, when I insist on always being in-control, I trade adventure with Him for the mundane; I forfeit an abundant Christian life for something easier and less threatening. Sure, I feel like I get to live in a spiritual safety zone by not asking God "for too much," but I also try to put Him in a box. As a result, my heart dies.
Life with God was meant to be lived in faith. And living by faith can be exciting, even when it's not easy.
What kind of prayers have you been praying lately? If you're anything like me, you ask God for far too little. I encourage you to live on the cliff edge of prayer and ask Him to move some mountains for you while you trust Him. When we come to Him in faith and ask for what others might believe is too much, it must thrill His heart that we're confident in His love, and that we believe He is so mighty.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).