In Francis Chan’s book – Crazy Love – Pg. 133 Chan writes:
“Haven’t we all prayed the following prayer? Lord we pray for safety as we travel. We ask that no one gets hurt on this trip. Please keep everyone safe until we return, and bring us back safely, in Jesus’ name we pray, amen. The exact wording may vary a bit, but that is the standard prayer we recite before leaving on mission trips, retreats, vacations and business trips. We are consumed with safety. Obsessed with it actually….We’ve elevated safety to the neglect of whatever God’s best is, whatever would bring God the most glory, or whatever would accomplish His purposes in our lives and in the world. Would you be willing to pray this prayer? God, bring me closer to You during this trip, whatever it takes…”
I’ve heard many people pray this way. I’ve prayed this way.
After reading this segment in Chan’s book I asked myself: Do I really want my relationship and experiences with God to be “Safe”? or do I want a life-on-the-edge, high stakes, adrenaline pumping, passionate, soul-burning adventure?
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” – Matthew 16:25
Letting go is difficult. but it’s the key to finding life – letting go of sin, letting go of bad habits, letting go of your life.
There is an awesome benefit for those who are willing to loosen their grip and say “Lord, whatever it takes”; instead of losing their life, they will find it.
When people pray for safe journeys, safe travel, safe experiences they are ultimately saying “God I want things my way because I don’t trust you enough to let go.” They’re willing to participate in church events and volunteer on short term mission trips, but they want to ensure their safety first, they want to wrap themselves up with bubble wrap and keep a safe distance. The problem is you make it impossible for God to really use you.
“Father, if it is your will, take this cup [of suffering] away from me. However, your will must be done, not mine.” – Luke 22:42
Often times today people pray “Father, take this cup away from me” but they neglect “However, your will, not mine.” Instead of obedience people today would rather pray away any sort of trial or hardship, forgoing the rewards of endurance.
“I have refined you, but not in the way silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering” – Isaiah 48:10
It is through suffering that we are refined; but we cannot suffer if we do not experience hardship, and we cannot experience hardship if we do not let go, and we cannot let go if we do not step out of our bubbles and quit praying the “safe” prayers.
I’ve made up my mind and i’m committed to no longer praying the “safety” prayer. I don’t want God to child-proof all the cabinets, wrap me in bubble wrap and tuck me away in the attic just so I don’t get hurt. If my brokenness will bring others to Christ then that is what I want! If praying “Lord, whatever it takes” is the only way I can truly experience God, then that is what i’ll pray!