Dangerous Prayers (Part 1) – CMN Women

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Dangerous Prayers (Part 1)

by Becky Swartzendruber
 

This two-part series is addressing what I call “dangerous prayers.” You know, those prayers that look a little different than you expected because the results don’t fit your traditional understanding when God answers.

I remember as a small child begging and pleading for God to call me into ministry. I was so frustrated because I never heard this booming voice saying, “Becky, go thou into ministry!” (You know because God speaks in King James haha).

Fast-forward to twelve-year-old Becky.

I was at good ol’ West Texas AG church camp, listening to the speaker’s amazing testimony about all of the things God brought him through. I remember praying my first dangerous prayer:

“God, I am a good girl. I follow your word, and I try not to sin. I am never going to be able to reach people for your Kingdom. God, give me a testimony to reach thousands.”

For some reason I was under the assumption that I could only minister through pain.

I was filled with the Holy Spirit that night, but since I didn’t hear the booming voice calling me into ministry, I figured I just wasn’t one of the “chosen” ones.

Ten years later, that same little girl begging God to call her into ministry found herself recovering from exactly what she’d asked for in her twelve-year-old prayer. Of course, I had long tucked away the memory of begging and pleading for a testimony of pain in my youth, but by the young age of twenty-two, I had been raped, beaten, abused, and addicted.

Did God cause those things to happen? No.

However, sometimes human nature takes over and our sin – or the sins of others – cause us to experience pain.

By my twenty-second birthday I had already developed a five-year drug and alcohol addiction and had two run-ins with the law – one resulting in jail. I had been beaten and raped by multiple men. I was working in bars that focused on male visual stimuli. I was less than 100 pounds and completely broken. That summer I made a deal with God:

“Either take me away because I can’t live like this anymore, or deliver me from my addiction (meth) today, and I will stop running from my calling.”

It was then I realized that the burning desire to serve Him in ministry was the calling I thought had to be a booming voice. That day was more than thirteen years ago. I have not touched my addiction since that day. I went on to study at SAGU and I have been in ministry ever since.

Sometimes we find ourselves in storms because the enemy is attacking, sometimes it’s an opportunity to live out a prayer once prayed, and sometimes it’s both. Over the years of heartache and trial I try to remind myself of that dangerous prayer.

We may not always understand the season we are in, especially as church planters, but it will eventually be used for God’s glory. I wouldn’t change a thing about my past. I no longer hold on to shame because I know that I have been given an amazing opportunity to reach those who may or may not ever step foot inside a church building. I love watching the bondage being broken and the light being poured into those we minister to.

I love that I can, from genuine experience, say, “I’ve been there, and it will be ok.”

So, whatever season you’re in, ask yourself if there’s ever been a dangerous prayer that God may be giving opportunities to answer. When you pray those prayers in the future, buckle your seatbelt because it’s about to be a wild ride.


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Becky Swartzendruber is a pastor's wife at The Venue church in Levelland, Texas.

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