I woke up much before the sunrise. Don’t tell anyone but I am one of those happy morning people that you’d like to punch in the face. I intended to go to one of my favorite “DO 5 MORE, PUSH, PUSH, PUSH” group workouts before settling in to some quiet time with God and a long writing session.
As I left the house, I briefly said hello to one of my roommates (shocked anyone was awake) and scurried out the door. A few miles down the highway something kept tugging at me. Go back home, something is not right.
I ignored it, like you do, but it persisted.
Some people might label this paranoia, anxiety, or perhaps even workout avoidance. Yet, it came up over and over. So finally I u-turned it like a true Minnesotan and returned home to make sure everything was okay.
At first, he assured me everything was fine before eventually sharing that he is going through some crazy hard stuff – my worst fears confirmed. Finally, he went back to his room and I retreated to my deck in my clean workout clothes.
As the sun peaked its energizing head above my neighbor’s rooftop, I sat in silence for a few minutes with a steaming cup of tea when suddenly tears started pouring down my face.
Some people might label this over-emotional, weird, or perhaps even girly. I don’t think of it that way. The truth is my heart was crumbling in pain for this broken, messed up world. How does life get so off track? How did we wander so far away from the beautiful life that is waiting for us? My eyes continued to weep when I had an abrupt terrifying realization: I had prayed for this moment many times and here it was.
The truth is my heart was crumbling in pain for this broken, messed up world.
Several month ago I came across this passage in Jeremiah 8: Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn and horror grips me. (NIV)
Another translation reads: My heart is crushed because my dear people are being crushed. I go about crying and grieving. I am overwhelmed with dismay. (NET)
Jeremiah is crushed and mourning for his people who walk in darkness, who have the life of God at their fingertips but choose to walk away over and over again. That is the type of compassion I wanted for God’s people, that is the type of fire I wanted deep in my soul. So, barely grasping what I was getting myself into I started praying to be more like Jeremiah.
My simple and dangerous prayer:
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The truth is I don’t recommend this prayer. It’s much easier to bury our heads in the sand and avert the pain in the eyes we pass on the street.
As my neighbor’s rooster made it’s gentle crow, (I live in a bizarre and wonderful suburb), my pen took off ferociously writing everything that my heart is breaking for today:
Orphans, who feel lost and abandoned by this world.
The fact that there are more slaves now that at any time in human history,
The thousands and thousands of victims of Sex Trafficking
Every family destroyed by release of the data from the 32 millions users from Ashley Madison (an online dating website that encourages married couples to have affairs was hacked and all the names made public) and all the immense pain of infidelity.
Every single Planned Parenthood video that has surfaced. I think there are 7 now and a media that will do anything to cover up their truth.
Addicts who can’t break free from the depths of their darkness.
The men and women who chase random hookups looking for true love, but feel deeply alone.
Anyone battling depression and suicidal thoughts. [click here to read “My Letter To Anyone Who Feels Like Giving Up]
How did everything get so messed up?
The danger in this prayer is not in the words themselves, but when they are answered. You see, such a prayer is proven to lead you to reckless situations. You might end up falling in love with orphans in Zimbabwe or Haiti. You might do some crazy Random Acts of Kindness or offer to help complete strangers. You might give up your smart phone to sponsor a child in need.
This way of life, the way that recklessly loves God’s people, is what I want for every single day I am alive. It’s in living a healthy life, a pure life, a compassionate life that Real Living is found. And, while this way of life is anything but easy, I wouldn’t go back for a second.
You see, I’ve learned in my own walk that it’s only when my heart truly breaks for a cause or a person that I am motivated to make a lasting impact. So today through the tears I thank God that for answering my dangerous prayer.
I don’t know if I actually helped my roommate this morning, he seemed more alarmed than comforted. Yet, the pain in his eyes awakened in me what often lays dormant:
We are here to help We are here to feel something when we see a homeless person with a sign. We are meant to feel crushed like Jeremiah, for all those who are searching for a better life. We are here to lift people up, dust them off and get them back on their feet. We are here to pray dangerous prayers and live life recklessly for God.
Today, I dare you to pray for heartbreak, ask God to open your eyes to the people around you that desperately need you. Then wipe your eyes and get to work.
Today is the perfect day to change the world. Let’s do this.
What is your prayer this week? What causes are breaking your heart? Leave a comment below!
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The song “Hosanna” can be found in my worship playlist, “In Christ Alone”