A megachurch pastor and author recently exhorted his congregation, as well as other American Christians, to renounce their “easy” and “safe” beliefs and pray “dangerous prayers” asking God to “break my heart.”
Pastor of Life.Church Craig Groeschel just wrapped up a three-part series titled “Dangerous Prayers” in which he challenged Christians to lay aside their “easy” prayers and carry the load of prayers that are “not consistent with the ‘God should make your life easy’ version of Americanized… Christianity.”
Groeschel considers the prayer of asking God to “break my heart” an uncommon prayer and one that not many Christians ask God to do. “It is not a common prayer, it is not an easy prayer. It doesn’t match the normal safe prayers that many of us pray.”
The pastor also emphasized that the “dangerous prayer” of asking God to break our heart falls in line with the biblical account that “following Jesus was never meant to be safe.”
“Jesus didn’t call us to be safe. He didn’t call us to be comfortable. He didn’t call us to be cozy. He called us to deny ourselves and follow him. That’s a dangerous calling. ‘Search me, show me my sin.’ That’s dangerous.”
During an interview with fellow author and researcher Ed Stetzer about Groschel’s latest book release that shares the same name as his sermon series, the multisite church pastor referenced King David’s prayer in Psalm 139.
“When I look at some of the prayers in scripture, they’re much more dangerous,” he told Stetzer. “In one of the prayers we talk about in the Old Testament, David asked God and gave God permission to search him. That’s a dangerous prayer: Search me, God.”
“Then he prayed, ‘See if there is any offensive way in me.’ In other words, if there is any part of me that is impure, unclean, unrighteous, displeasing to you, God, I give you permission to show it to me,” he added. “That’s a dangerous prayer. That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.”
Praying doesn’t come easy for everyone. Some struggle to stay focused for five minutes, while others can only think of praying for things that will meet an immediate need. Even Groeschel admitted that he doesn’t believe he does a good enough job of praying.
“Honestly, there have been times when I get very bored praying. Like I’m bored. I’m thinking God’s bored when I’m praying sometimes. Like all you’re praying is the same old routine, kind of prayer rut. I think that’s a big problem for a lot of us,” he confessed to his congregation.
Groeschel suggested that maybe our prayers are “just too safe, predictable, mundane, rote.” He wrote his book to help Christians combat this approach. He warns that it won’t be an easy read but it will challenge you to examine your heart.
“But be warned: if you’re fine with settling for what’s easy, or you’re OK with staying on the sidelines, this book isn’t for you. You’ll be challenged. You’ll be tested. You’ll be moved to take a long, hard look at your heart.”
Watch Groeschel’s latest message “Break My Heart:”