Ed Underwood (@edunderwood) on the Dangerous Prayer That Saved His Life

Apr 24

Ed Underwood (@edunderwood) on the Dangerous Prayer That Saved His Life

In his book, When God Breaks Your Heart: Choosing Hope in the Midst of Faith-Shattering Circumstances, Ed Underwood notes that many of our prayers amount to reports. We spend a lot of time telling God information He already knows. We rattle off our theology about God in prayer. We describe circumstances to God. But according to Ed Underwood, we need to stop giving God our reports and start giving Him our requests. Rather than timidly dancing around the subject with God, be bold and ask for what you need for yourself or others.

Follow along as Ed Underwood explains this to a student grappling with the concept.

Book Excerpt

Karen objected to one specific line in the lecture: Stop offering information to the Lord, and start telling Him what you want … before it’s too late.

“I just feel it’s wrong to make Christians think that somehow they could miss something by not asking for it. I pray to talk to God, not to get something from Him,” she said. “This idea of having to beg Him for help could cause someone to become dangerously preoccupied with their personal problems.”

I opened my Bible to a few of the verses we had studied. “I know many who agree with your fear that this teaching is dangerous,” I said. “Read these words with me and answer me this. Is it my teaching or the passage itself that is dangerous?”

Reminding her of our firm commitment to a literal interpretation—that the Bible can never mean what it never meant—I turned to these sentences, asking her what she thought they meant to the disciples who first heard them.

The first verse I asked her about was James 4:2: “What does James mean when he says, ‘You do not have because you do not ask’?”

She just stared at the page, so I stated the obvious.

“Doesn’t this raise the possibility of not receiving something God wants to give you because you did not take advantage of your privilege to ask for it?”

Still no answer, so I directed her to Mark 11:24.

“After picturing what faith in God can do with the impossible feat of casting an enormous mountain into the sea, Jesus says, ‘Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.’”

I had underlined three words as I read—things, ask, believe. “Karen, you seem uncomfortable with all three,” I said. “But the Lord’s advice is to ask for whatever specific, definite things are on your heart, and believe that He will do the impossible.”

“How do you get ‘tell Him what you want before it’s too late’ from this?” She seemed to concede the need to ask for something in faith.

“Karen, do we need to turn back to James 4:2? It’s not my words but God’s words that are making you uncomfortable. Would you mind if we made this a little more personal and less academic?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” She seemed fearful.

“Karen, if you could ask God for anything right now, what mountain would you ask Him to cast into the sea? Think of that one thing in your life you would ask Him to deliver you from,” I said. What heartache, fear, or disappointment is breaking your heart right now?”

I could tell a very specific crisis or sorrow was on her mind.

–Ed Underwood, When God Breaks Your Heart, excerpt from Chapter 2: Dangerous Prayer.

 

It’s startling, isn’t it? To think we may be missing out on what God wants to give us because we don’t ask. Perhaps we lack faith, so if we don’t ask, we won’t feel disappointed later. God wants us to ask in faith, believing He is able to accomplish anything—even moving mountains.

Sometimes our mountains seem more like explosive volcanos. God can move those, too.

The Dangerous Prayer That Saved His Life

 


 

What really big thing do you need to believe God for? Ask Him. Be specific. And if you are willing, share your Big Thing in the comments so others can ask for it, too.


 

You can connect with Ed Underwood on Twitter (@edunderwood) or on his website: http://edunderwood.com/.

Check out his book, When God Breaks Your Heart: Choosing Hope in the Midst of Faith-Shattering Circumstances. It is available from Amazon in paperback, Kindle, Audiobook CD, and Audible audio download. And it is available from Christianbook.com in paperback, ePub, and audiobook download.

 


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767516: When God Breaks Your Heart When God Breaks Your Heart

By Ed Underwood / David C. Cook

Few things in life are more difficult than personal suffering. For Pastor Ed Underwood this difficulty came in the form of chronic leukemia. In “When God Breaks Your Heart” Underwood shares from his struggle and looks at the story of Lazarus. There he discovers a God whose heart breaks with ours and mourns with us in our suffering.

13605EB: When God Breaks Your Heart - eBook When God Breaks Your Heart – eBook

By Ed Underwood / David C. Cook

Few things in life are more difficult than personal suffering. For Pastor Ed Underwood this difficulty came in the form of chronic leukemia. In “When God Breaks Your Heart” Underwood shares from his struggle and looks at the story of Lazarus. There he discovers a God whose heart breaks with ours and mourns with us in our suffering.


Christian Authors A to Z Virtual Book Fair, April 1-30

 

This post is part of the Virtual Book Fair: Christian Authors A to Z. See the list of other authors featured in the Virtual Book Fair.