A Dangerous Prayer... Proceed with Caution

A multi-billion dollar industry is preying on hardworking people of the world. 

Buy this product. Take this course. Read this book. You can change, be awesome, and make a million bucks. 

Lies. Lies. More, lies. 

Well, they say. You have done nothing with the product, course, or book… that’s the reason you’re not a millionaire, good looking, successful, awesome, and have six-pack abs. 

Okay, maybe.

What if the change we need isn’t found in what the eye can see, hands can hold, or what the mouth can taste? What if the change is not a better outlook and positive vibe toward the cosmos?

What if every problem, issue, and heartache in the universe is connected to love? 

Two thousand years ago Paul of Tarsus wrote a letter to a new church in Thessalonika. He wanted to encourage them in their new faith. A faith being tested each day amidst suffering, persecution, and confusion. 

As Paul writes a letter of encouragement to support, these baby Christians he bursts into a prayer. It’s like it came out of nowhere:

Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. -1 These. 3:11-12

His prayer centered on the increase and establishment of love. A love for God, the church, and all people. And second, establishment of holiness before God. 

This prayer requires us to change. Assumes we don’t love God and neighbors as we should. Makes claim we haven’t arrived and there’s more to experience and learn. The prayer of Paul is dangerous because we have to look in the mirror and get honest. Not sure if we’ll like what we see.

Many think Christianity is for the weak and unenlightened. When in reality it’s for those who know reality. A reality we don’t love God, others, or anyone but ourselves, always leaving us miserable. 

The pain and sorrow of the world predicated on the lack of love. Lack of love for God and living under his rule which brings joy and freedom. A lack of love for neighbor that only sees them as an enemy and competition. Never considering their needs before our own. 

Too honest? 

How might the world be a better place if we prayed for an increase of love? Asked God to make us holy… reflecting his character of compassion, goodness, joy, and love.

Love is always sacrificial and costly. Praying the simple prayer of increase will be messy. Costing time, effort, and reputation. Another reason many will ignore it and choose the path of least resistance.

The prayer of Paul is not for the faint of heart. Built for those who know the love cup is empty. Needs a refill. 

A society built on self help will squirm at a dangerous prayer like this one in Thessalonians.

Why?

Increase of love can’t be bought with money, learned in a course, orpromised with results in a $97 webinar.

The prayer of increase happens on the knees… In a spirit of desperation… and with a posture of humility… Practiced for a lifetime. 

Something the self help gurus can’t sell you for twelve easy payments. 

I dare you to pray this prayer…