The dangerous prayer we’re looking at is from Psalm 139:23-24, Search me O God.
There are 3 steps that this Psalm and this prayer leads us on:
- Start with God
- The central theme of the first 3 parts of Psalm 139 is that God is in control, he’s in all things, sees all things and has created all things
- The psalmist starts with God and reminds himself of who it is that he’s asking to search him and that’s where we should start when we pray this prayer. Acknowledge who God is and acknowledge that he knows us better than we do.
- This can be difficult because the world tells us that the truth is found within us. But rather than having the view that how we feel and think is the most important thing, we should start with God and have his perspective.
- Let God in
- Once we’ve established that God knows best, we need to let him in to search us, in verses 23-24, the psalmist calls on God to really dig below the surface.
- When we ask God to search us, he’s going to see everything in our lives and we may be scared of what he’s going to find. Because of that some of us hold back from letting God in, we’re worried that what God’s going to find won’t be pretty, and that’s true it won’t be.
- Daniel 2:22
- Jeremiah 17:9
- When God searches our heart we need to be honest and open and let God in to reveal these sins in our life and we shouldn’t be surprised when he does, because all of humanity is sinful.
- But how is God going to reveal these areas of sin to us? There are many ways God responds to prayers, but here are 2 ways he’s used for me in the past:
- Word of God – the Holy Spirit uses it to reveal truths and when we read about the different characters and their failings it reminds us of areas we need to work on.
- Christian accountability and wisdom – often we can be blind to our own sin, so an outside perspective of close Christian friends or family can be useful to help us see what parts of our lives need work.
- It’s time to act
- If we’re given a diagnosis by a doctor we don’t just carry on living our lives, we take medication and treatment, we don’t just accept the problem we try and resolve it. And it’s the same when God reveals sin in our lives, we need to act. And God is not going to ask us nicely, the problem is serious and so we need to treat it seriously. Sometimes we forget about the serious side of God, as no sin is small to God and we can get too comfortable with our sin.
- In the fourth part of the Psalm, verses 19-22, there are some very harsh words before ‘Search me O God’. This last part is about the seriousness of sin and then asking God to show us how to deal with it.
- In Matthew 5:29-30, Jesus says that sin is not something we should take lightly if we ask God to search us and he reveals the sin in our lives then we have to act.
- Some of the sins we have to deal with will be dealt with immediately but some will be a constant battle, like a weed that keeps coming back, but that’s not a reason not to act, it’s an ongoing struggle.
If we left it there this would seem impossible but fortunately, it doesn’t end there, in Psalm 139:24 the way everlasting leads us to the cross. When we pray this prayer and go through these steps, it’s a dangerous and uncomfortable prayer, but it’ll also lead us to the cross, Jesus has walked this way before us and we don’t have to be burdened by the weight of sin.
Pray this prayer today, start with God, let him in and then act and take steps to deal with our sin. But remember that Jesus has already dealt with our sin on the cross.