When I was beginning my journey as a Christ-follower and responding to God’s call to leadership in ministry, I often prayed bold, brash (naive?) prayers.
I remember praying, while I was in college and contemplating my future in ministry, that God would “send me to the most difficult place.” While I don’t necessarily pray that particular prayer anymore — my intention was simply to make myself available to God and to indicate that I was available to go wherever needed — I hope I always make myself available to God.
That’s a dangerous prayer. And speaking of dangerous prayers, John Wesley’s “covenant prayer” is a rather dangerous prayer!
I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
It’s common for Methodists to pray Wesley’s covenant prayer around the beginning of the new year as a way of renewing our commitment to God. It is not a prayer for the faint of heart, though. It’s always a little jolting to pray, “put me to suffering” and “let me have nothing.”
But real prayer is always dangerous, isn’t it? Praying things like “Not my will but yours be done” and “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” Through these kinds of prayers, we make ourselves completely available to God to use as he sees fit.
It may be a dangerous way to pray and live, but it’s the best way to live. Life is an adventure and there’s no greater adventure than doing life with God!
What dangerous prayers have you prayed?