This month our LeadHer Local chapters have been talking about the topic “Prayers from the Pit.” We have looked at the life of Daniel and his willingness to not only pray from the pit… But also to pray prayers that could put him in the pit. Daniel did not play it safe with his prayer life, he did not cry out to God to guard his status quo and protect his comfort zone. No, Daniel was willing to risk it all on his knees for the All in All.
Our world needs more people that are willing to pray risky prayers. We live in a broken world that is full of hurting people and dark struggles. As image bearers of Christ, we must be willing to do more than simply pray for solutions… We must also be willing to ask God what part are we to personally play in the solutions. Prayer needs to do more than move our lips… It also needs to melt our hearts and move us to action.
Our country needs more people that are willing to pray risky prayers. The last few year’s headlines in our nation have highlighted the great divides that still lie at the core of our country. We all have people in our lives and on our social media who do not think like us on social issues, vote like us in the ballot box, or advocate as we would for needs in our country. As believers, we are often quick to pray for the other people…but how often are we willing to pray for ourselves? Are we willing to ask God to examine our own hearts and show us anything in us that needs to change? Are we willing to give God permission to use us as an agent of peace rather than a lightening rod for our passions? Prayer needs to bring us to places other than our knees…. It also needs to seat us at coffee tables and in living rooms for conversations to listen to other people, their positions, and their experience.
Our churches need more people that are willing to pray risky prayers. The Church was God’s good design for the world. It was to be a place from which the Gospel was pushed out into the world and God’s people were sent out to proclaim the Good News and to minister to the needs of their neighbors. While some churches are still zealously sending mission teams around the world and across the streets of their cities to show the love of Christ… Others are not. Sadly, many churches have become a place of inward focus rather than outward activity. We preach messages about loving our neighbor but are we willing to walk across the street and meet our neighbor? We sing songs about reaching the lost but we are often afraid of sharing our faith for fear of rejection or offense. Prayer cannot only be used in a defensive posture… We must also be willing to fill our altars and our pews with passionate offensive prayers that boldly ask God, “Where do you want us to go?” “Who do you need us to reach?”
Daniel’s life is one of the most impactful and inspiring to read about in scripture. We may not find ourselves in the same situations that he was placed in; however, we can cultivate a similar heart of prayer. His boldness in action was the result of consistency in prayer. Daniel’s life and his leadership were formed from a posture of prayer. He cried out to God in ways that gave God permission to use him in any way he needed. He did not try to protect or preserve his life… Rather he laid his life before God was willing to be used to speak truth, to live out his faith boldly, and to change the hearts of rulers.
It is my prayer for each of you that the life and heart of Daniel will challenge each of us to examine the level of risk that we are willing to weave into our own prayer life. We live in times that call for boldness and courage- those characteristics are formed on the knees of praying men and women. Never forget, that we serve a God who has promised to give us strength, to be with us anywhere you go, and to guide us along the way. The question for each of us is- do we trust him enough in those promises to pray the kind of prayers that risk putting us in situations where we will need his strength, his presence, and his guidance?