There are different forms of Christian prayer, but whether you have a set prayer time or seek to communicate with God throughout the day (or some combination of both), here are 8 Christian prayers that are extremely dangerous to pray.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray them … we should! It just means that when we pray them, we should watch out!
1. Teach me humility.
After you pray this Christian prayer for humility, be ready for people to badmouth you, slander you, and drag your name through the mud. If you pray for humility, be ready for false accusations, for that “skeleton in the closet” to be revealed, or for people to belittle you and talk down to you as if you were inferior.
The only way to learn humility is to be placed in humbling situations, so if you pray for humility, be ready!
2. Teach me patience.
If you pray for patience, get ready to be surrounded by the most annoying people you have ever met. Get ready for your car to break down when you are late for an appointment. Get ready your children to go bonkers. Get ready for prayers to not get answered. Get ready for setbacks, roadblocks, and pitfalls.
Just like with all the other Christian prayers on this list, God teaches us patience by taking us through trying times.
3. Lead me wherever you want me to go.
One way this Christian prayer is often prayed is with the words, “Here I am, Lord, send me.”
Usually when we pray this Christian prayer, we think that God is going to send us into high profile ministry positions, places of honor and glory, and opportunities to be heard. This is why ministry leaders almost never “feel the leading of God” to go to smaller ministries and places of lesser significance. God always seems to “call” pastors and ministry professionals to bigger churches, richer ministries, and positions with greater power.
While I do not deny that God sometimes leads people in these directions, I think that more often than not, God wants to lead us downward, but we refuse to go. Of course, this does not mean that we will stay in the gutter if God leads us there. God may very well lift us up out of the gutter to a place of prominence, but when He does so, He gets the glory instead of us.
That’s why this is such a dangerous Christian prayer. We want to be used by God for great things in His kingdom, but God’s path to greatness usually does not mirror what we had in mind. God’s path to greatness usually leads to prison, death, and the gates of hell.
Also (and this fits with #1 above), when we pray this prayer, we will often be faced with a choice between two ministry positions, one that leads to honor, glory, and fame, and one that leads to obscurity and insignificance. Though the temptation is to choose glory and honor, such decisions may actually be a choice to follow Jesus downward into humility.
I once heard Francis Schaeffer say in an interview that if given the choice between two ministry positions, we should choose the one with less fame and glory.
4. Help me understand the plight of the poor.
This Christian prayer is like asking God to make you poor. Yikes! How can you understand the plight of the poor unless you become poor yourself?!
So do you like your nice house, your two cars, your steak dinners, and your Caribbean vacations? Don’t ask God to help you understand the plight of the poor.
5. Make me more like Jesus.
In one way or another, this has been a constant life prayer of mine. A couple years back, I realized that this prayer ruined my life.
I had my life all figure out, and it was all going according to my perfect plan. Then I started praying this prayer. Before long, all my hopes and dreams lay shattered around my feet. I often tried to pick up the pieces and glue everything back together, but God would come through with His baseball bat and smash it all to hell (almost literally… all of my plans and dreams deserved nothing more).
When you pray to be like Jesus, God will begin to break down, burn away, and slough off anything and everything in your life that does not look like Jesus. This sounds nice until you begin to experience it. The purification of our life may be with God’s refining fire, but it sill burns!
6. Give me more faith.
Christians like our beliefs in nice, neat packages. But life is not like that, and neither is life with God.
When Christians pray for God to give us more faith, we are likely to enter into some of the difficult and doubt-filled times of our lives. You will begin to question everything you have never known and everything you have ever believed. You may even begin to doubt God’s goodness and maybe even His existence.
This is not bad. Embrace the doubts. Understand that if what you believe it true, it can stand up against all questions. Truth does not fear a challenge. There is no other way for your faith to grow than for your faith to be tested.
7. Give me victory over sin and temptation.
How do you think victory comes, except through ever-increasing cycles of temptation? Sure, God does not send the temptations, and He never allows us to be tempted with more than we can bear, but if we pray for God to give us victory over sin and temptation, this is the same thing as asking God to strengthen us so that we can stand up under greater and greater temptations!
So if you pray this Christian prayer, be ready for an onslaught of all the wiles of the devil.
8. Please help my annoying neighbor/coworker come to Christ.
This is a great Christian prayer. Except guess how God is going to help your annoying neighbor or coworker come to Christ? That’s right. He’s going to use you.
I once heard a story of a Bible study group who decided to make a prayer list of all the people they “disliked” the most, and then pray for these people every week as part of the Bible study. Over the course of the next ten years, all but one of the people on that list became believers, and almost all of them became Christians because the members of that Bible study showed grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness to these “annoying” people.
If you are going to pray for someone, be prepared to answer your own prayers.
What Dangerous Christian Prayers have you prayed?
Have you prayed any of the prayers above and learned the hard way how dangerous these Christian prayers really were? Share some of your story in the comment section below. Also, if you have any dangerous Christian prayers to add to this list, let me know!