I am listening to Hillsong’s Oceans. It’s a beautiful song. I am sure some of you have just barfed a little in your mouth, because I triggered the abuse or hurt suffered at the hands of some charismatic or evangelical group. But for me, the song resonates in my soul.
We can learn a lot from Evangelicals if we are willing to do so.
I know, I know- Maybe You hate all that stuff.
Maybe we are like a super progressive railing against anyone who dares mention the supernatural, odd, or not so rational elements of religion.
Maybe you read “Pray no More.”
Maybe we might say we don’t believe in prayer.
But I am asking us to consider praying again. If just for three days.
As an evangelical, I recall my prayer life was constant. Sometimes cheesy, and maybe even a little too spiritual, but constant. Not to say that my prayer life is somehow null and void as I find myself in the murky waters of being a bapticostal misfit mystical charismainliner. Yet, I remember attending prayer meetings at least three times a week, in addition to my daily prayer time. In those early morning manditory prayers or church gathers or moments of impromptu supplication, many of my prayers were selfish
And some of them,
A few of them
Were very dangerous prayers.
And looking over Christian history of Revivals- specifically before the Great Awakening, or The Cane Ridge Revival, or The American Pentecostal Movement birthed at Asuza Street, the catalyst to these revivals was prayer. Many of them dangerous prayers.
I really love some of the aspects of my Pentecostal Heritage. I love the story of William Seymour, who was an African American man in 1906, who dared to push boundaries, pray hard, was subjected to harassment, racism, and persecution in order to spread the message of the baptism of the Spirit. William Seymour prayed. AND WAITED. and prayed more. He encountered ignorant Christians, who had allowed classism, racism, and all forms of bigotry to settle in their soul. Yet he pushed ahead. He prayed dangerous prayers, asking for God’s holiness, and God’s spirit to be manifest.
Hillsong’s “Oceans” song contains several dangerous prayers. I wonder if my evangelical friends who raise their hands and sing passionately mean those dangerous prayers contained in the lyrics? William Seymour prayed some dangerous prayers, and the saints through the ages have prayed dangerous prayers.
What if we really meant the words of the song “Oceans?” “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.” What would that look like? What does that mean? “Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me.” What if that’s in the slums of Colombia where children pick through trash heaps for scraps of metal to sale, or the south west side of Atlanta where you could be shot for looking at someone wrong? What if it’s to the Rich and the Religious who think they have it all figured out? What if that means to a country church in the deep south where bigotry exists?
Here’s a few dangerous prayers that everyone can pray. But be careful, you have been warned. (Before you read these- take a few deep breathes, and relax your body. Let the tension leave your neck as you exhale, and then read these prayers slowly)
1) Christ the healer, give me your heart for the people who disgust me and those society treats like lepers.
2) God of Justice and Mercy, give me your heart for the marginalized in our society.
3) Creator, Help me see the injustice in the earth, in the rivers, and among your furry, feathered, and scaly children.
4) Abba, Cosmic Parent God, help me see those who need your comfort, who feel alone, and who miss being loved.
5) Jesus the stranger, Help me to see you among the immigrants, the migrant farmers, and those who don’t have papers of citizenship.
6) Jesus who forgives, Help me forgive those who have hurt me in my old communities, betrayed me in the church, and trolled me or attacked me from behind a computer screen.
7) Spirit of Love, Help reveal my inner Beast. When I seek power, fame, and worldy success challenge my heart. Help me be like the Lamb, to walk in Philippians 2 Kenosis, and to have a power that does not dominate or oppress but lifts up.
Al right Internet World. There’s my challenge. I dare you/us to try praying for 3 days. I dare you/us to open the Bible and read the words in red. I dare we/you to let dangerous prayers challenge your/our heart and form how we participate in the world. I am also giving you SOME HOMEWORK!
Please write me back with your dangerous prayers.
For more check out this video on the Pentecostal FLAME and the Spirit of God’s love for #blacklivesmatter