Why we’re addicted to easy prayers.

Adventures aren’t easy.

Errands are easy.

The problem is that’s the life most of us pray for.

We want journeys where the destination is guaranteed. We want adventures where the danger is controllable. We want voyages where we can still see the land at all times.

And so we end up with errand lives.

Driving to a job where you don’t give it your all is an errand.

Phoning in a marriage you thought would be all fireworks is an errand.

Praying big, comfy, safe prayers is an errand.

Is life always an adventure? Of course not. There are ups and downs and more plains than mountains.

But is following a God an errand? Will faith always be easy, comfortable or painless? Will the way always be clear and simple.

Nope. I’m afraid not.

Errands are easy.

Adventures never are.

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      • Guest says

        My little sister loves snow. We don’t get it much down here, and so a few years ago my mom told her to try praying for it. Well, snow fell that winter and ever since then we ask her if she’s been praying again when snow comes.

  1. says

    Praying difficult prayers is extremely hard because if I’m being honest all I want is to be comfortable. The other day during a dangerous prayer, this question popped into my head, “If being an ambassador of Christ was your 9-5 job, would you be hired or fired?” I think questions like that are the reason we pray easy prayers. We get in and we get out QUICKLY because we know what God might ask us, and it’s not comfortable.

      • Shane (female) Sutherland says

        I trusted in Christ as Lord in 2000. I began praying in 2002 this prayer and prayed it periodically, consistently as I walked with Christ: “Mold me, make me, break me if You have to. Just do whatever You have to do to make me more like You.”

        In 2008, my oldest son drowned at 18 years old in a freak accident while fishing. And with that, He broke me. And yet, God has blessed me and refined me in ways that would have never happened without it. It did take me a long time to have the courage to prayer that prayer again. When I finally could last year in June (I remember the exact day I surrendered like that again), I was free from the bondage of wanting safety and certainty.

        He has given me big dreams for how He wants me to use all that He has taught me, before and after Zach’s death. Yesterday, I said yes to the call that is doomed to fail without Him in it. This was well-timed encouragement for me. Thank you.

        • Agnes Ruth says

          You are a courageous woman. I don’t think I can pray that kind of prayer authentically (yet) because I don’t want the kind of heartbreak you experienced. Even though I know that it’s no guarantee that I won’t experience tragedy, I just can’t bring myself to ask for it….even if it would bring a greater good. I’m just not there yet. I admire your faith and your story is encouragement to me.

      • Richard William Burrell says

        Another example asked God let me be a walking testimony. Shortly after my younger brother was murdered.we preach what it means to forgive and to be forgiven. i Was given an opportunity to visit ,then pray ,then forgive the get away driver. God moved in a mighty way heard her repentant heart and freed her.we are talking on the phone and asking The Lord for direction towards a book were working on.

  2. Nancy says

    It’s scary to pray the dangerous prayers. Sometimes you don’t realize a prayer is dangerous until after your prayer is answered and you realize how you thought it would be answered was completely different from how it was answered.

  3. says

    Several years ago when I was struggling with addiction, there was one prayer that I kept praying over and over. “God change my heart.” Every time I failed, I would get back up and pray that prayer again. Change didn’t happen overnight and I think we often give up too quickly because the miracle doesn’t happen in the time frame we hope it will. It was definitely an adventure. I truly believe that the “change my heart” prayer is the most powerful and scariest prayer we could ever pray.

  4. says

    “Errand” is such a derogatory term. I prefer to think of it as “duty”. Each of us walks around in life carrying a big heavy backpack of duties, which get in the way of having “adventures”.

    These duties are not necessarily a demeaning thing. Some of them are ennobling: duty to friends, duty to family, the duty of a father to his children. And yes, even the most ennobling duties get in the way of turning life into an adventure, and you can start “phoning it in” if you’re not careful, but at the end of one’s life, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to look back and know that you were the unexciting quiet guy that everyone could count on, even if you weren’t living the big fantastic adventure people like to talk about.

  5. Agnes Ruth says

    This is hitting deep today. I am simply not at a point where I can sincerely pray “Do what it takes, Lord”. I tend to pray things like, “Make me a fast learner”. Or, “Help me want what you want”. I realize that regardless of what I pray, God is sovereign. So, I’m not thinking that if I don’t ask for “it”, I won’t get “it”. But I do want to be real when I pray, so yeah….I am still praying safe.

    Thanks for the challenge in your post. I realize that there are parts of my life that are more errand than adventure. I will be pondering how to turn that around. There will always be errands to do–toilet paper to buy, library books to return, and dry cleaning to pick up. But I don’t want that for my relationships or my career.

  6. Sara says

    “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” – Andre Gide
    “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul…” Hebrews 6:19

    The above two quotes in combination have so profoundly affected my life (both prayer-wise and life-wise).

  7. Vicky says

    Thank you for your challenging post today, John. God knew what I needed to see today.

    I’m at a crossroads in my life and need to take that big giant step of faith…and I’m terrified…and even though my heart knows God goes before me and will help me through whatever is ahead…my mind keeps wanting the safer journey.

    Love your unique perspective and humorous insight! Never. Ever. Stop. Writing.

  8. Jim says

    Of course, this is why we pray from the Psalms and the Lord’s Prayer. If we only prayed things we felt, we’d never pray what we ought.

  9. Claudia McIvor says

    You’re right. Life is an adventure, faith is an adventure and prayer is an adventure. This summer my husband left me. I was plunged in to the Agony in the Garden. I learned to pray – really pray – the Rosary, especially the Sorrowful Mysteries. It’s not a journey I would have asked for, but it brought me to greater intimacy with the Lord and with my heavenly Mother. I pray for my husband every day. I always will. I’m thankful I was able to let go of so much, and now I am waiting for the Lord to do whatever he wants with us. Incredible peace and growth came from my prayers that were born of surrender. May all who read this know that there is hope in letting go.