Yesterday, I introduced the idea of the most dangerous prayer. So what is it?
My prayer time is when I’m driving. I spent a lot of time in my ol’ Ford Explorer. I pray for my patients and their families. I pray for my co-workers. I pray for our city, that disciples of Jesus will multiply and churches will sprout in all areas of the city, and that I will do what I can to let Jesus use me to be a part of that. I pray for people that don’t know Jesus like I do, that one day they will–which sparked a prayer I never prayed before.
And it made me very nervous.
What was it? What is the most dangerous prayer?
“God, do whatever it takes to bring people to Jesus.”
It’s been said that Christians should do anything short of sinning to introduce other people to Jesus. In the minds of many, that means churches should push their resources, innovation, and creativity to the brink to bring people to Jesus. I wonder if they’ve ever thought about those words: we should do anything short of sinning to bring people to Jesus.
Would that anything include suffering? Does “whatever it takes” include suffering?
What if God allows that person who doesn’t know Jesus to suffer in some way? It’s been well noted that times of pain and change are when people are most receptive to the good news of Jesus. Are we willing to pray that prayer, knowing God may allow that person to suffer their way to Christ?
What if God allows us to suffer, and our reaction to our suffering is what opens someone up to the good news of Jesus? What if God allows our children to suffer illness, or worse? What if God allows our spouse to suffer, or worse? What if God allows us to suffer, or worse? What if he allows our possessions to go up in flames? What if that is the price we must pay so that others may know Jesus? Is it a price worth paying? Is the price too high?
Can you honestly say that you want God to do whatever it takes–anything–so that people might know Jesus? Most of us would hesitate. Honestly, I hesitate.
So who is the most dangerous pray-er? More on that tomorrow.