Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Why I stopped praying for safety and good health

Last Sunday our family visited a church that was sending off a team of short-term missionaries.   The team made their way to the front of the sanctuary, and then someone gave the commissioning prayer.                
You know, the one where we ask God for "travelling mercies" or safety, and for protection and good health.

I know they have the best intentions....but I wanted to stand up and shout,

No!  Don't do it!  Don't pray for safety and good health!  

Pray for POWERFUL acts of God.  For DISRUPTION of your plans and for GOD's plan instead.  Pray for God's power to be evident in your WEAKNESS and in times of DANGER. For experiences that make your hearts pound harder and faster and labor that makes you weary at the end of the night.

I don't know about you, but when things are easy, it's alot harder for me to see God.  I don't LONG for him as much.  I don't DEPEND on Him like I should.  When I'm comfortable and safe, it's easy to make things, well, all about ME.   And as good as that sounds, what I've seen is that what is even BETTER than everything going smoothly and comfortably, is living right in the palm of God's hand.  Dependent.  Desperate.  And able to see Him move powerfully and miraculously.  I don't want to get to the end of my life and think, "Well, it's certainly been safe."
In the last month or so, a couple of people have said things to us like, "the Magruder family has had too much hardship...more than your fair share of doesn't seem fair".   Brain tumors, memory loss, unemployment, stroke, financial instability.....

But Todd and I have had this discussion many times...and we wouldn't change a thing.   Perhaps it's because we've experienced some adversity that we feel so strongly about it.  Every challenge we face has been an opportunity to see God's faithfulness and learn to trust him even more.  Every trial gives us a better story to tell about Jesus!

Please don't feel sorry for us.   And while we appreciate your prayers for our health and safety, we'd rather you pray BIG....for God to do "exceedingly, abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine" (Eph. 3:20).


James Breland said...

Gretchen, I read your article, "When you're on a campus for 20+ years," and I really agree with what you said. I served as a campus minister on a university campus in Mississippi for forty years. Retired 24 years ago. I still keep in touch with a number of my students. Also, we have a reunion each year of a number of my students. Keep up the good work.

Sarah said...

I loved this... I am going to start praying for powerful acts of God in my life. Thank you.