Are You Praying Popcorn Prayers?

May 2, 2013

There have been seasons of life when I only prayed “popcorn prayers.” I popped them up in traffic, in the shower, or as I ran out the door to work. After some petitions weren’t answered how I desperately hoped—it was easier not to ask for what I truly desired than risk disappointment one more time.

Having a shallow prayer life felt safe.

If we struggle with trusting God, praying for what we know only God can accomplish, or for those things we sincerely want can feel dangerous — like our hearts have been stripped bare. Fully engaging in prayer can make us feel vulnerable before Him. To avoid discomfort, we may separate our desires from prayer. So we only ask Him for what hasn’t captured our affections, or those things we know He’ll grant. We pray “popcorn prayers.”

Live on the Cliff Edge of Daring Prayer

This brings me to a question: Is feeling safe and comfortable the goal of the Christian life? Is it the best thing to “pray it safe?”

I have to admit, there are times when I want to stand on the cliff edge of prayer, certain that only God can provide what I need, and if He doesn’t, that disaster will be mine. There is something exhilarating about living in total desperation for Him.

Other times, I want to live predictably. I don’t want God to upset the apple cart of my carefully-arranged life. Listen up: If we insist on being in control rather than allow Him to steer our lives, we trade adventure with Him for the mundane, and a vibrant Christian life for comfort. Sure, we get to live in the spiritual safety zone, but there is no abundant internal life in that. To remain fully alive, we have to fully expect from God. Life with Him was meant to be lived by faith so that we can glorify Him. And, living by faith is fulfilling and rewarding, even when it’s not easy.

What About You?

What kind of prayers have you been praying lately? I encourage you to live on the cliff edge of prayer. Come boldly before His throne with all kinds of prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:18). Don’t stop praying authentic, heart-felt prayers. And remember that the prayer that is never prayed is the one that is never answered.