A Dangerous Prayer
I’ve told this story many times over the past several months. If you’ve already heard it, I now invite you to stop reading and read a different Crosstown blog as there are many good ones. But if you haven’t heard my story, sit back and enjoy the tale of how one prayer changed my life.
I’ve prayed many a prayer over my 26 years of life, but I’m talking specifically about the one I prayed on January 16 of this year. Let me set the stage: I was at the end of my rope, working at a job that was tearing me apart, and was surrounded by people whose influence over me was anything but positive. So, on one cold mid-January evening, I called out to God and said this:
"Take anything and everything from me that does not directly lead me on the path to your kingdom. Take everyone out of my life that does not lead me to you, Lord."
The next day, our heavenly Father answered that prayer. I was fired from my very emotionally draining job. As I sat in a state of shock during this final meeting, I recalled the prayer from the night before. I almost couldn’t be mad at God, because he clearly was doing something big in my life, almost.
My life proceeded to be turned upside down in the worst and best way possible. Unemployed and now living back at home, I was directed to Crosstown. In an American fast-paced, career obsessed culture, being unemployed was shameful to me. But when I started to attend Crosstown, God revealed himself and his plan for me. I had been defining myself by work, by a job position, and by my accomplishments. God was not the center of my life last year and you can see very clearly how that played out. Although I was unemployed and depressed about how much I had failed, I was so happy that God was showing up in my life, all because I asked him to. Unemployment gave me the opportunity to refocus my life, shape it around God and everything else worked out.
I started a new job in May and I was hesitant at first if this was what I was supposed to be doing. So I said my miracle prayer again one day as I was sitting in my car at lunch, “God, take everything and everyone out of my life if they do not help lead me to you.” I got out of my car, walked back into work where my boss was waiting to tell me that the next week would be his last. I don’t know if my boss would have contributed to me falling, but I do know that God still had plans for me.
A couple weeks later, I prayed my prayer again and asked God to put opportunities in my path that would lead me to his kingdom. The next day, my boss called and asked me to takeover from my previous director. That’s right, I got a promotion when only a few months prior I was escorted out of a building with a box filled with my desk stuff.
There are two big points I hope people take away from my story. First, there is a dramatic difference in trusting God with your life and not trusting God. Last year, I held tight to the reins of my life and tried to have everything the way I wanted. And it was turmoil. When I finally handed the reins over to God, yeah life imploded, but he built it back up in a way I never could have imagined.
What are you holding tight to right now? You may not even know you’re doing it, but look at what you have going on and ask yourself if you are truly trusting God with every aspect of your life. God never promised us happiness, but he does promise us joy and I don’t think we can experience God’s perfect love and joy without giving ourselves up to him completely.
The second lesson is to take a chance on my dangerous prayer. Do you know the real reason I said it that night? Because it was simple. It was the most simple way I could think of to ask God to come and take control away from me. God wants all of us, every single aspect. He wants our heart, he wants your work, he wants your goals, he wants your troubles, he wants to be the center of our lives. Only when we finally ask him to come and flood our hearts does life start to get better. It may not always be happy and carefree, but it will be full of joy.