Dangerous Prayers: God, I Promise…

Today I begin a new blog series entitled Dangerous Prayers. Over the past couple of weeks, I have found myself throwing up short prayers (and even longer prayers) that could be construed as “Dangerous Prayers”.

In the last week, I threw up the ever-popular prayer God, I Promise. This dangerous prayer is not good for your spiritual life as you become dependent upon this prayer only when you need something from God. Our relationship with God should be built on conversation – sharing and exploring scriptures, prayer, solitude or silence and other ways for building our relationship.

God, I Promise prayers come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s a few examples:

  • God, I Promise…if you heal me from this illness, I will go get a physical by the end of the year.
  • God, I Promise…if you get me through this test, I will study 4 hours a day.
  • God, I Promise…if you get me through this meeting, then I will start earlier on my meeting preparation.
  • God, I Promise…if you mend my friendship with so and so, I will pray for them more and read my Bible more.
  • God, I Promise…if you allow the professor to be sick today, I will finish that speech or project tonight.
  • God, I Promise…if you allow me not to get a ticket, I will drive the speed limit for the rest of my life.

The above list could go on and on for some time, but for your sake and mine, I will end that list here. Does your list look something like mine?

At one point or another, I have uttered these words to God in hopes that He would heal me, get me out of ticket or give me one more day to finish a project. The problem with these utterances is that we never hold up our end of the promise.

God is faithful to hear our prayers, but the answer we want may not be what is best for us. About two weeks ago, my diverticulitis came back with a vengeance that required me to go on a 10 day antibiotic treatment. It seems to flair up when my stress level goes off the charts (which is probably attributed to a heavier than normal workload); however, I found myself throwing up the following prayer:

God, I Promise if you heal me I will get a physical before the end of the year

Although, I should be having a yearly physical, I have not had one for a number of years. Since I am getting closer to 40, its probably a good idea. This is one prayer that I need make good on.

As old as I am, you would think that I would have the God, I Promise prayer all figured out by now, but that is simply not the case. The simple truth is…the God, I Promise prayer often shows a lack of trust we have in God. It is easy to trust God in the good times when everything seems to be going your way, but how we respond when things are not going well reveals a lot about our hearts and relationships with Christ.

Please understand that this pains me to say, because I am saying it to myself.

Please hear this…I am on the same journey and I have my moments where I lack trust or lose sight of all that God has done for me. It is part of being human.

Resting in God’s grace and trusting that everything happens for a reason helps strengthen our personal faith. The common cold may get us and we think we will die, but that rarely happens.

During those moments when you are ready to throw up the God, I Promise prayer consider what you are about to ask and can you deliver on the back half of the promise. The truth is I still speed, deliver projects a little late sometimes, and I have not made my appointment for a physical (yet).

Consider this…Is the God, I Promise prayer worth it?

Question: What God, I Promise prayers have you uttered and have you delivered on the back-end promise?

[This post is part of the Dangerous Prayers blog series. You can receive this post and others in the series by clicking here.]

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I help facilities manager and planner create spaces that are backed by research, engage employees of all generations, and drive business objectives. I am also the founder of Dave's Book Club – a once per month reading experience designed to help professionals grow their influence.

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