In life there are a few prayers you can make that I would consider DANGEROUS. Now what I mean by DANGEROUS is not that they are bad things to pray...but...rather they are the kind of things that when you pray them, God will answer and the consequences will not always be easy.
One of those DANGEROUS prayers is the prayer for patience. The second those words pass through your lips and up to God, it's like you've given Him permission to put you in situations that will test your patience (for it's only in stretching your patience that it will grow). I made the "mistake" of praying this before....and boy did I learn my lesson. Before I knew it everything in life seemed to be gnawing on that part of me that hates to wait. And while I'm certainly not the most patient person in the world now, my patience certainly grew....through lots and lots of moments of testing!
Another one of those DANGEROUS prayers is the "break my heart for the things that break yours" prayer. Great prayer in theory. In fact praying that prayer will change your life. I guess the question is, are you really ready for your life to change. When I first began praying that prayer I had no idea it would mean creating an uncontrollable ache and longing in my heart for the orphan....or a somewhat idealistic desire to stand up for those who can't speak for themselves...or even a willingness to sacrifice everything I've ever known in order to pursue something greater than myself. That prayer alone has changed so many of the priorities in my life and flipped my perspective on what truly matters in this world.
And now, just recently I've discovered another DANGEROUS prayer...the prayer to ask God to show you the depths of your own sin. I don't know what possessed me to begin praying this. I guess it started before Easter when I found myself face to face with the cross, knowing in my head what Christ did for me on it, but longing in the depths of my heart to understand it more fully.
It seems every day since I began praying this, I've been confronted with my own self-centeredness or selfishness or need for approval. I can't even make it through a quarter of my day before I realize I've fallen into a puddle of sin and spent, at the very minimum the last five minutes, wading in it. It's not that every moment of the day I'm doing something wrong...in fact I think a lot of my sin comes more from wrong motives than wrong actions....but it's the fact that I'm recognizing it more and more...and realizing every day, a little more fully, just how much of a wretch I am.
Now like I said....just cause these are DANGEROUS prayers, doesn't make them bad prayers. I think it's through prayers like this that God is given permission to transform us more and more into His image. I certainly have a long way to go in this....and there's certainly a part of me that bucks against the "pain" of these types of changes. But ultimately, my biggest prayer and probably the most DANGEROUS one I could ever pray... is for God to make me "just like Him", and with that comes the willingness to risk praying the DANGEROUS.