Have you ever held back from praying a Dangerous Prayer because you knew - soul-wrenching, gut-deep KNEW - that God would answer it with a resounding YES?
Twice, in the past 6 months.
Once was this past summer. I was driving somewhere I didn't need to be going. Watched the interstate lines dart under the wheels of my car, flashes of white, my spirit begging me to ask God to intervene. To stop me.
I couldn't pray it. Because I knew He would. And I wasn't ready to let go yet.
But I wanted to. So badly, I wanted to.
My soul prayed it anyway, the urgent plea not verbally crossing my lips or even coherently forming into syllables within my thoughts...but my heart cried out in desperation just as tangibly, vividly, as a spoken word.
I halfway expected a flat tire.
I made it to my destination. And God intervened in a different way. A way that had me wishing for a flat tire. Instead of air leaking out of rubber, there were words hissing through unprepared lips. Instead of metal rims scratching gravel, there were claws of panic scratching at my heart. He was freeing me from the very thing I needed to be freed from. But I fought.
I started a game of tug-of-war with God that afternoon. Like Jacob, thinking I had a chance at changing my destiny. So, so mistakenly thinking I wanted to.
Like Jacob, I left that fight with wounds. Scars. Some that are still healing. Rope burns on my palms. Forever-memories of how God intervenes even when we don't have the courage to outright ask Him to.
But unlike Jacob - I wasn't struggling to receive my blessing. I was fighting against it. Terrified of getting it. Scared of how much it would hurt to take that free fall of faith.
Despite all of that struggle - God came, prepared for battle. Not to fight me, but to fight for me, and that battle took the form of a tangible argument that wasn't actually between me and the other person at all.
He answered that almost-prayer of my exhausted spirit that day in a way that yanked me off the path I'd been treading - that path constantly interrupted with flashes of white - and turned me around. Rope burns, scars, dirty fingernails, skinned knees and all. Turned me around, unlocked the chains from my wrists and told me to march. To walk in freedom.
But those chains had been so heavy, I'd grown numb. And when they finally fell off, all those nerves that grown immune began to ache. Tingle. Hurt.
There's always a price to freedom.
A few weeks ago, I prayed one of those dangerous, scary prayers again. The kind of prayer you are terrified to utter because you KNOW God will answer it.
This time, though, I had learned. And I had enough courage to force the words off my lips verbally, intentionally, with a pounding heart and adrenaline laced pulse. Because I knew it was for the best, even though the guarantee of receiving this answered prayer made my heart hurt.
And He's answering it. Just like I knew He would. With each passing day, He's answering it, and His way is so, so obvious. So obvious, it's halfway hilarious.
You know you're in God's will when you pray things you don't want to pray and get immediate answers confirming exactly those things.
It's easy to pray for blessings. To ask for favor and wealth and health. To ask for others in your life to receive the same. It's harder to pray the prayers of the trenches. The prayers that mean sacrificing your own heart, your own flesh, your own desires, as misplaced as they are...and yet that's why we do it. We KNOW they're misplaced. We know we need that sharp corner of ourselves softened and rounded and changed. Even if it hurts. Especially when it hurts. Even if it means letting go of things or people or dreams we've held tight to for a long time.
To wounded hearts, a bad familiar is still more comfortable than the unknown.
I opened my hands when I prayed this last Dangerous Prayer. Opened them up wide, to let go. Looked down, remembered the rope burns. Remembered His way is best. No more tug of war. No more wrestling.
What is your Dangerous Prayer? The one you know you're called to pray, to ask for, to seek God about? The one that is lurking in your spirit right now as you read this post, the one that's making your heart race at these words and causing conviction to knock loud and crisp on your heart?
Pray it. From one battle wounded warrior to another, I beg you - pray it.
We might have the rope burns, but He has the nail-scarred hands, and the price of that Freedom was worth far more than any hurt you'll pay getting back into His will. The transition can sting. Badly. Trust me, I remember.
But the only way to His kind of peace? Is to live dangerously.