I know you probably want to hear stories from Haiti, BUT I'm going to wait until my team has the opportunity to share theirs with friends and family first. Don't worry they'll come soon. Dangerous prayers put you in a place that invites God to use you, but in a way that will force you to make a choice, to make a decision...stick to your word or abandon it.
At 16 years old I began to pray dangerous prayers. I remember praying in the sanctuary of a Baptist church in small town America, "God, I'll go anywhere, I'll do anything for you!"
At the time, I was recently saved, I'd found a love so deep that it captivated me, I NEEDED God to know I had an unending allegiance to Him (so I thought) and I found myself telling Him, "anywhere, anything, anytime, for You." However, I didn't know 'anywhere' could or ever would mean out of America. So two years later when God said Africa, my words came back to me. Really? Anywhere?
I'm reminded of Peter's devoted declaration to Jesus right before the cross, "though all may leave you I will follow you unto death!" Little did he know that it wouldn't be long before he would have an opportunity to prove those words.
My anywhere and anything have been challenged over and over as God has asked me to follow Him to places as insane as back to a classroom in my hometown to war torn nations of Sudan and Congo. I've done my best to obey as He has called my word to the table, but I've learned a thing or two about the prayers I pray.
God takes my words seriously.
As I saw the desperation of the Congolese produce great manifestations of His presence, I began to cry out from my core, "GOD MAKE ME DESPERATE FOR YOU AND ONLY YOU!" I want to know how to be desperate for you in the land of blessing. I need this type of intimacy with You, no matter what it costs me. The prayer sounds spiritual, it sounds real good in a sermon, but once again I didn't have a real understanding of what I was saying. I'd learned that anywhere means ANYWHERE- from rural America, bush in Africa, unreached people groups, war zones, closed nations, gypsie villages, industrialized cities, or even the bottom of the ocean if He asked, but desperation, I didn't know what it took to be desperate, I had no idea the cost of being desperate.
I'd only been DESPERATE naturally a few rare times in my life. I grew up provided for, I'd not known hunger, thirst, or lack of protection. For the most part I've been healthy, lived in peace, had great relationships, and truly lived a BLESSED life. I could truly say each day, each month, each year had just gotten better since I'd gotten saved. So as I cried out for Him to make me desperate for Him and Him alone, I hardly knew what I was asking, but my Father AGAIN in His mercy was going to see if I would stand by my words or turn and run.
It's a beautiful picture of His grace and mercy that though Peter ran in fear from His passionate words of devotion, As soon as he repented Jesus came quickly to lavish His love on Him and restore Him. He didn't make Him go through "Disciple School 101," He immediately restored Him. Now Peter had a new understanding of His own humanity and Gods infinite love. Though he denied Christ, God was able to use the lessons he learned during this time to launch Him right back into his destiny! (Expect more on this in the book, Using the Weak).
If we choose to pray dangerous prayers God will test your faithfulness. If you choose to be faithful to your words Then you can expect your flesh to be beaten to death, sometimes quite painfully. Desperation for Him means nothing else will satisfy. Nothing else can calm my storm, no amount of natural comfort from man will do. Not a routine, not a hot shower, no relationship, not therapy, not even a good cup of coffee. I found myself in a place where only He would do. Only He could make me come alive.
Discipleship costs something. Desperation is uncomfortable. Intimacy comes from total vulnerable surrender. Total surrender to God means total, all aspects of every part of who you are, what you have, what you want, and what you do. I've asked to be intimate with Him, I asked for desperation, I've told Him anywhere, anything, anytime. I may not have had full understanding of my words, but like Peter my heart for Him was true.
If you're ready, if you're willing, if you want more of Him, I encourage you... Pray a dangerous prayer and watch as God takes you to another level.
This morning I sat on a roof looking out over the hills of Haiti. I prayed and thought about the countless dangerous prayers I've prayed since I first met Jesus. I thought about what these prayers have cost me. I thought about the discomfort, the pain, the trials, and the sacrifice. I sat still as I realized I'm only 26 and this is just the beginning. It will cost more, it will hurt more, it will force my flesh to die, it will mean more discomfort, more challenges to my faith, and more moments where my heart is called to the table. Then the breeze came.
In one moment of feeling His sweet presence I realized something that will shape the rest of my life. It's all been worth it. He is worthy of it all. "For the eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His." (2 Chron. 16:9)
Be blessed, J. Tate