Safe Prayer

I’ve recently been reading Your God Is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan, and have been completely floored by some of the things that he has to say.

“God is not safe. God is not a household deity, kept in our safekeeping. And–be warned–God’s safety is not our business. Our role on this earth, be it prophet, king, priest, or bank teller, is not to keep the Almighty from mishap or embarassment. He takes care of Himself.

The safest thing to do with a God like this is not to play it safe with Him. It is to never get so caught up in keeping the traditions or hastening the innovations that we forget to throw ourselves headlong into His brusque and tender embrace. It is to never get so busy protecting God that we fail to take refuge in Him. It is to never become so preoccupied in our Keep God Safe march that we forget to dance before our God with all our might…, tripping the light fantastic all the way into the holy wild.”

I realized I had made God entirely too safe in my mind…and I took things a little too far with my realization. Throughout my days I would find myself thinking about any given thing, “I should talk to God about this.” Not long after, I’d hear another voice in my head saying, “No, if you pray about that you are assuming God is more safe than he actually is, so don’t talk to Him about this.” My prayer life was almost nonexistant for a while because I assumed almost all the things on my mind were things God would file in my “safe prayers” folder.

While it’s true that some of the prayers I bring before God are entirely too safe, many are not. And if I said that I’ve now found “the way to pray”, I hope you would call me a heratic and run me out of town so as to not pollute the minds of others. I most certainly have not discovered the formula for prayer. There is no formula for anything: only a gracious God who gives us an infinite number of chances when we screw up time and time again in our attempt to unashamedly dance before Him. I’d say that’s much better than trying to find the right formula from millions of options.

13 Responses to “Safe Prayer”

  1. Linea Lanoie Says:

    You are right God is not safe. But he is amazing. It seems that the less I try and fit him into what I expect him to be and the more I am willing to listen to him, the more exciting it is to follow him. Risky though – your time, your life, your family, your career won’t be your own anymore.

  2. Markio Says:

    God is Messy
    “God is the God of order” hails so many people who which to stop the ramblings of a select few who dare to think more of God than they have been taught. “Wait for the rest to join together in unity of mind before taking your next step” hails the ones who can not think of missing out on what God could have in store for then so they make rules for God’s people to act as they act. “God would not do that” say those who know that if God really did that with ordinary people, that they have missed out on an adventure that would have lead to more excitement and wonder than they have ever known.

  3. Kimbo Says:

    I agree that following God is risky and altogether thrilling and frightening at the same time. I for one am very glad that we serve an unpredictable God. Not much would happen around here if we served a safe god…we’d just have really good weather every time we go golfing and would accumulate a lot of really nice toys. No thank you, I’ll take radical living over that any day, however stretching it may be. To quote Buchanan yet again, “A safe god inspires neither awe, nor worship, nor sacrifice.”

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