A Dangerous Prayer! I triple dog dare you

Yesterday was like most days in the past weeks. Me dragging myself into my office, waiting for God to sell my house and get us to PA permanently. Tired of sleeping on a twin bunk while my wife is having to cuddle with Nathan. All of us in the same room every night we are in PA. I have to admit, yesterday I was just coasting as a follower of Christ. I had a small quiet time with me telling God a bunch of stuff. I struggled to get my motivation to study for the sermon Sunday. I was just coasting.

Then God messed me up. As I was studying for this Sunday's message, I decided to watch a message from Paul Gotthardt on sharing Jesus. (here it is for you to watch)

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It exposed a problem I had while planning these sermon series. I was heading back down the path of calling people to do and not calling people to be with God. As I watched and took more notes, my heart confessed the sin I had been committing to our God. He was gracious to listen and began to heal my heart from calling people to work harder. But what He did from there disturbed me. At the end of the sermon on "Share" (the sermon above), I saw the link to Paul's sermon called "A Dangerous Prayer". I didn't have time to watch it because I needed to get back to writing my outline and figuring out how I was going to communicate what I believe God had just shared with me. I got distracted from writing by my kids and when I came back to my computer, Paul's sermon was sitting in-front of me on my computer. I decided to put my sermon down for a bit and then watch Paul's. 20 minutes into it, I was exposed. I couldn't watch anymore. I begged God for forgiveness. I had fallen to the trap that I walked away from years ago. I had become a faithless man in this journey at Faith Community. What I had preached to our church I had slowly quit doing. Most of the things I was attempting were things I could do without God. Things that could be met with my talent. I had settled for me and not what God could only do. I was exposed and I could nothing but beg for His mercy.

I have to admit that I have not dreamed big dreams. I have just dreamed about going to 2 services, bringing on the next staff member, helping church planters and bringing a church to become more missional. However, that desire is rooted in what I can do, not what God can do. I am not saying that God is not wanting to do those things, I am just admitting to focusing on the less painful journey that I can control. I had not walked in total dependence on God.

So, I have begun writing again and begun asking God for big dreams again. So far I am scared of what is in my mind. Could God really be doing that and how is that going to affect our church? One thing I know; that God has brought me to 2 Dangerous Prayers and they are going to change how I do things if God takes on that challenge.

First prayer: "Take my world apart". I have created this comfortable, Shawn centered universe that whines every time I don't get what I want and keeps me from trying hard things. I have asked God to blow this up and replace it with His world. His world is a place where I hurt for people, love the church, attach myself to God no matter how painful the process of what He is doing is.

(if you don't like God messing with our church, you might want to quit reading now)

Second prayer: "Make us a sending church, even if it costs us our church" - This is freaky. To become a church that sends its people to where they believe God is inviting them to. This could ultimately cost us our church. It could mean that the people we communion with today could be gone tomorrow, serving elsewhere. It could mean that we continue to send people to other churches, church plants, cities, states or nations. I don't know exactly what it is going to look like, but it is going to cause us to go through something pretty scary. What will God do with this prayer? I don't know, but it freaks me out. I could be over-reacting (a talent I do well). God could just be moving our church to something new that won't hurt much. Who knows but the Lord!

At this point, many of you might want to run for the hills or remove the person praying these prayers. Believe me, I feel the same when I think about what could be. However, if God is inviting us to this, then it will be not only the scariest thing we are part of, but also the most incredible thing we will ever be part of. Hold on tight, this ride might get a little bumpy but it will thrill our hearts the most.

Oh and here is the sermon Paul preached. Watch it, I triple dog dare you!

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