Warning: Pray with extreme caution. Answers to prayers may be closer than it appears.
But seriously, I think God really, really delights in answering our prayers. And that’s what makes them dangerous. Because God will, in fact, give us our hearts’ desires.
And it may be in ways we never expected.
In this Dangerous Prayers Series, let’s chat about some of these dangerous prayers.
I hope you’re a risk-taker. I hope you like livin’ on the edge. I hope you like a little thrill.
Bring me closer to You.
Bring me closer to the Father’s heart.
Take me deeper.
I’m already crying.
That was quick. Normally it takes me a few minutes of reflecting on Jesus for the tears to start forming.
I don’t even know why I’m crying. And I’m in a coffee shop right now. This could get awkward.
My only answer is, this is God’s answer. His answer to my prayer.
Bring me closer to You.
The beautiful paradox of God is that we know God fully, but not completely.
We know God. Like we know Him. We have an intimate relationship with Him. But we don’t know Him completely.
In this lifetime, we will never know the entirety of our Heavenly Father.
But it’s a thrill to try.
It’s exciting and pleasing and fun to dig as close as we can to His heart.
“We are as close to God as we chose to be.”
The entire reason Jesus came down to earth was to reconcile us with God. To bring us back. To make us close. SO when we pray, “Jesus, pull me closer to You,” He will.
“Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” John 17:24
Jesus wants us to be with Him. He said it. He came down to earth just so we would be close.
But what is the dangerous part of praying to be closer to the heart of the Father?
Well, a strange thing starts to happen when we become closer to God.
It roots from the fact that we are growing apart from the world.
Or, more bluntly, we are downright separated from the world. Enemies of it, actually.
The things that seemed so bright, so vivid, so pleasurable are now strangely dim.
They seem faded. They seem rusty. They seem dead.
Our old lives, as we used to know them, now seem bitter.
Things we used to do, things we used to talk about, things we used to work relentlessly for, are now all dead. And bitter. And counted as loss.
Because the love of God is so much sweeter.
Let me put it like this:
You used to think Starbucks coffee was good. But now, you’ve tasted Stumptown. So why would you ever go back to Starbucks, knowing you can have Stumptown?
(Side note: All jokes aside, I still like Starbucks. That one is just for my OC coffee-addicts.)
But you get the point. Why would you chose a Hersheys kiss over a Lindor dark chocolate truffle?
It just doesn’t make sense.
So once we taste the love of God, which is SO much sweeter than anything of this world, we naturally just chose the love of god. Over and over. Instead of the worldly things we used to fill our lives with.
When you are growing closer to God, your life will change.
Your pleasures will change.
Your desires will change.
Your heart will change.
But it’s so, so good.
They say there’s a God-shaped hole inside of our hearts. And that we spend our entire lives trying to fill it with things like alchohol, drugs, sex, relationships, money, status, power, etc. But only God can fill it. And once we meet Him, that hole is filled. And satisfied. And we are complete.
So forget the alchohol. Forget the drugs. Forget the cussing. Forget the vain labor. Forget the pursuit of money. Forget materialism. Forget it all.
Because Jesus is just, simply, better. Sweeter. Deeper.
He’s more fulfilling. More satisfying.
And that’s that.
One more quick thing:
I never used to be a crier. It would take a lot, a lot, a lot to make me cry.
But the closer I come to Jesus, the more emotional I feel. And I have wondered why… but here’s what I have learned:
Jesus was more human than any of us are. Jesus felt things harder, because he loves harder. So when our hearts begin to be shaped like His, we love harder too. Which automatically means, we feel harder too.
I feel more strongly for people. I feel more love for them. I feel more pain when they are hurt. I feel more joy when they are happy. And when I feel Jesus, man, just cue the water works right away.
Since I have prayed this, I have probably often looked like a fool to this world. Standing, mascara running down my cheeks, stuffy nose, and red eyes as I cry out to Jesus. Or sitting, head down, eyes closed, praying in my heart to my Father in public, as people awkwardly wonder if I’m fainting or sleeping or what not. Or talking to people about “My Lord,” in casual conversations, realizing by their weirded-out expression that they probably do not know Jesus. Or asking to pray for people who probably don’t believe in the power of prayer.
But it’s the aftermath of being closer to Jesus. It’s the boldness, it’s the strong love, it’s the devotion we have for Him. We will look like a fool to the world. But God is looking down, and I can feel His smile. I can feel His joy at our relentless pursuit of Him.
It’s dangerous to our life. To our lifestyle. It’s dangerous to our reputation.
But Jesus is sweeter.
“Take me closer to Your heart.”
Let me taste the Stumptown cold brew, dark chocolate Lindor truffle that Your love is.
And never let me look back.
I want to be closer to You, my sweet Jesus.
With much, much love. And a little courage. –Melissa