Lately I've been reminded of the importance of risky prayer. Risky prayer is prayer that is big, that pushes us out of our comfort zone, and shines the spotlight on God rather than ourselves. We all love to hear about God moving in the lives of others in extraordinary ways but it can sometimes be scary to submit and trust that He'll do the same for us.
We think things like; what if they pray better, harder, or somehow have more faith? What if God loves them more because they're a little holier and they've never done _______? The problem with those types of fears is that they are assuming prayer is answered based on our own righteousness. If we can just earn enough merit God will come through for us. Paul tells us in Philippians 3 that he "obeyed the law without fault" but that it was "worthless because of what Christ has done". We cannot earn favor with God through our works. When He looks at us He sees Jesus' righteousness.
So when we ask risky prayers it is not in our own name that we ask but in the name of His holy and blameless son. You can't get any better than perfection. So what is stopping you now from asking God to move in a big way in your life? Do love something too dear to potentially give it up for Him? Do you hate the idea of relinquishing control you never really had? Do you not believe that He is good and will really work things together for your good?
I've been all those places, so no judgment. But when I look back and see God's hand in my life I am so thankful He didn’t always move how I expected. That's the thing about saying "Thy will be done" it's not a fingers crossed I don't really mean it but I have to say it statement that we tack on to the end of our prayers. It's a true submission. It's faith that He knows better what we need than we could ever know ourselves.
I often picture us as toddlers throwing temper tantrums because our Father, God, won't let us do whatever silly thing we think is a good idea at the moment. If you've spent any time around kids under a certain age you realize that they think a lot of things are really good ideas that are really terrible. That is because they don't have enough knowledge of the world to understand all the dangers and consequences that come with playing in the street or only eating candy. They simply want what they want and usually refuse to be reasoned with. Aren't we like that when we get our hearts set on something but God tells us no or not yet?
Risky prayer is a sign of maturity that puts Kingdom priorities over our fleshly desires. It moves us from childish faith, where we expect God to be like a genie or a fairy godmother, to a childlike faith, where we trust Him to protect and provide.