Are You Praying Safe Prayers?

“Don’t you realize that I could ask My Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now? (Matthew 26:53-54 NLT)

Prayer is the most powerful force on earth, yet we often treat it like a child’s security blanket. It’s like we don’t want it to get “dirty.”

When Jesus spoke the words in the verses above, He was in the garden of Gethsemane with His disciples. Judas had brought a few soldiers, armed with swords and clubs, and others to arrest Jesus, but at first, Peter pulled his sword and was going to try to protect Jesus. The end result, had that happened, would likely have been the death of the very men Jesus had trained to carry out His mission to the world.

Whenever Jesus prayed, He was fully aware of the consequences of the actions He was asking God to take on His or someone else’s behalf. He knew without a doubt that His Father in heaven would instantly answer, regardless of what He asked. How did He know that? He was His only Son, and He knew the heart of the Father better than anyone.

That’s why Jesus, in His earlier request prayed: “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me.” But then added: “Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” We often mistakenly believe that we should add to each of our prayers: “If it be Your will!” What have we done when we pray like that? We’ve prayed “safe prayers.” We’ve given ourselves an out. If it’s not answered we can say: “Oh, I guess it wasn’t God’s will!”

Am I suggesting we shouldn’t pray in line with God’s will? Of course we should! But we often pray bold and courageous prayers, only to nullify everything we’ve prayed by adding “If it be Your will!” That’s not what Jesus prayed. Jesus clearly stated exactly what He wanted His Father to do, then He added: “Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.”

That’s why it’s so important to seek the Lord BEFORE we pray, so we CAN pray in line with what we already know is God’s will, either because it’s clearly recorded in His Word, or He’s given us clarity in our heart and mind.

Photo by Anna Shvets on

For example, let’s say a loved one who is not a believer is deathly ill. You’re the “go-to” person for prayer in your family or circle of friends, so you’re asked to pray. You know that you’re the only person in the room who is a Jesus-follower, so you quickly ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you pray, then you ask the Lord to heal your loved one, restoring her to complete health, including giving her insight into her great need of forgiveness from her sin.

You don’t have to say, “If it be Your will!” because you know with certainty that it’s not God’s will that anyone perish, “but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Now it’s in God’s hands. What if your loved one isn’t healed? Then you keep praying.

One conclusion I’ve come to in my old age: I want to pray prayers that if not answered make me look foolish, but when answered make my Savior look like the awesome God that He is. Our faith needs to be squarely and fully in the God of the Bible to do what only He can do – the impossible! So, please don’t be afraid of being embarrassed if He doesn’t answer like you prayed.

Pastor Bryan Loritts said: “Stop praying safe prayers guarding yourself from being disappointed by God. Pray in faith.” God has very broad shoulders and can handle our disappointment if things don’t go as we’ve asked. Bold, courageous prayers are a work in progress and, sure, we may not always get it right, but more and more we will, giving greater honor and praise to the only One who is deserving.

Blessings, Ed 😊

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: