Sunday, June 24, 2012

What I Don't Pray

I saw something on Facebook the other day that I found rather disturbing. All sorts of people post pictures of cheesy Christian-ese sayings, which, though shallow and dorky, I usually find relatively harmless. But sometimes the seemingly spiritual sentiment is totally contradictory to the Christian faith, and when I see that, I am bothered. One I saw the other day said:

"I pray everyday for my children to be happy and safe. *LIKE* if you pray the same thing."

I wish there were a *BARF* button.


It's not that I don't understand the temptation--the pull towards earthly comfort--but I cannot reconcile my fleshly desire for these things with living a sold-out Christian life.

This is the most mealy mouth, pasty-skinned, lukewarm prayer ever! The Bible does not say "Seek ye first your own safety and happiness!" The Bible doesn't even promise safety and happiness to those who "seek first the kingdom of God." "Happiness" and "Safety" are not goals for the Christian.

I felt the undercurrent of this idea much more strongly when I lived in the States. In the US comfort is king, and most Christians are not concerned--nay, they are pleased--if they live comfortable lives. Even those who do not speak these words in prayer live lives that pay homage to the sentiment.

We, (yes I, too, fall prey to such thinking!), we find magnificent ways to rationalize keeping most of what we earn in order to live lives that are happy and safe. We find magnificent ways to rationalize NOT sharing the Gospel, when this should be the first thing on our to-do list each and every day. We find magnificent ways to rationalize our independence, even though God has called us to live in interdependent community. We find magnificent ways to rationalize our use of time, including time on Facebook, when our own neighbors are dying for human contact--a hug, a listening ear, a batch of homemade cookies.

I do not want my kids to fall into this trap--I do not want them to live safe, happy lives. I want them to be in the trenches, losing their lives for the kingdom of God. Here is how I pray for my children:

Father God, thank you for giving your only son to die on the cross so that Graham and Chandler could be saved. You could've chosen a 'safe and happy' life for your son, but instead He became a 'man of sorrows' who died a most painful death. Yet His death was not the end of the story! Thank you for making eternal safety--life with you--a reality. Since you have sealed Graham and Chandler for eternity, please do whatever you see fit with their lives here on earth. Give them challenges that help them to realize how much they need you. Give them opportunities to be patient in the face of trials, to be loving in the face of hatred, to be joyful in the face of difficulty, and to have peace in the face of battles. Let your light shine brightly through them in every circumstance so that people will be drawn to Jesus and give You glory. I pray, Lord, that they would be aware of the needs of those around them and eager to share everything that they have because they know that You are the great Provider. I pray that they would be unsettled by injustice and willing to fight for what is right, no matter what it costs them. I pray that they would be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks them the reason for the hope that they have. I pray that they would continuously speak of your goodness and grace. I pray that in all things--ALL THINGS--they will give thanks. Let their faith be tested, refine them in your holy fire, and when you call them home, Lord Jesus, I pray that they will hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servants."

I pray every day that my children will be spiritual warriors, not spiritual wimps. *LIKE* if you pray the same thing.


  1. *LIKE* and Amen! I totally agree...why do we as Christians get so obssessed with the worldly-defined "safety"? The safest place to be is the center of His will!

  2. LOVE IT!!!Thank you Jenn for calling this one out. I too struggle with these posts...which is one of the reasons I don't get on facebook lately.


  3. Oh yes sister. This is it. We've been so programmed to gravitate towards the easy, the painless and the mundane that we miss the adventure and the challenge and, I believe, the ultimate reward of being followers of Christ. The challenges make us sharp and keep us focused on the Lord. We are forced to dig into the Word and find our hope and strength from Him alone.

    As for all the FB quotes and graphics, it's getting sickening, mainly because so many people are saying, by their LIKES, that they agree with this drivel, this pablum, this milk - we're called to eat solid foods and these are far, far from it. Great post!!!