“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’” Luke 22:19 (NIV)
One cold night in January, Amy and I sat in a cozy room with several other couples talking about dangerous prayers. I was struck by the contrast of our discussion. Despite the miserably cold evening outside, we sat in a comfortable living room with a warm fire blazing in the corner. With stomachs full of chili and cornbread, we turned to what it would mean to pray one dangerous prayer in particular: “Lord, break me.”
By saying this, we were basically asking God to break us of our sin, help us die to self, and totally surrender to Him.
We agreed we all wanted to pray it, but we couldn’t deny being afraid of the consequences.
The first woman who spoke acknowledged her struggle. A loving wife and mother, she’d followed Jesus faithfully since high school. She served in the kids’ ministry at church, tithed faithfully, helped foster children and attended a weekly Bible study.
But when confronted with the option of asking God to break her, she refused.
“I’ve got to be honest,” she said. “I don’t want to ask God to break me. I’m afraid of what will happen. I have four kids. I love them too much. Asking God to break me is too scary for me to pray. What if I get sick or I’m pulled away from my family?” Other people in the group nodded in agreement. We all understood her struggle.
Looking back, I see why we reacted the way we did — the way most of us do when we consider praying something as bold as “break me.” But I also suspect most of us don’t realize that by playing it safe, we also risk missing something far more precious than our security and comfort. I know I’ve found this true in my life when I simply don’t realize what blessings might be on the other side of God’s breaking.
In the Gospels, Jesus Himself broke something.
At the Last Supper, Jesus offered His disciples bread, using the grain to foreshadow His imminent suffering and death, the breaking of His own body. He explained to His disciples that He must offer His life. He shared, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13, NLT).
When Luke described the same meal in his Gospel, he noted one phrase in his account the other three Gospels don’t mention. Luke said, “And [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me’” (Luke 22:19).
Many believe Jesus’ instruction to “do this” goes beyond taking communion. It also refers to how we are to live. Because Jesus’ body was broken, because His blood was poured out for us, we too should live daily for Him, broken and poured out.
Jesus isn’t inviting us to a life of comfort and ease but one of surrender and sacrifice. Our highest desire shouldn’t be for our will to be done, but for His will to be done. And Jesus is inviting us to die to our own lives so we can live moment by moment, day by day — for Him. To leave our cozy living rooms and safe prayers in order to know what it means to be broken for the sake of others.
It makes me wonder: What if when Jesus said, “do this,” He was inviting us to a life of humility, sacrifice, generosity and joy? What if, instead of praying, “God protect me and bless me,” we invite God to do something deeper? What if we embrace the truth that trials can strengthen our faith? That hurting can make us more compassionate? That suffering can draw us closer to Christ?
And what if I had the courage, the audacity, the faith to pray, Dear God, break me …? What if I, too, lived a broken and poured‐out life for Christ?
It takes faith. It’s not a safe prayer. There is no question it’s dangerous.
But God’s most intimate blessings await on the other side.
Dear Lord, give me courage. Help me trust You so much that I’m willing to pray the words, “God, break me,” because I know You will always work for my ultimate good. Make me more like Your Son each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Jeremiah 17:7-8, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (NIV)
Do you ever struggle to figure out how to pray? In those moments, do you find yourself thinking about other things or reaching for your phone? Do you think: What if God doesn’t answer my prayers? Are you afraid of what will happen if you surrender control of everything? We feel this too. But we want to invite God to do greater things in our prayer lives. Will you join us as we tackle these struggles together? Sign up for our FREE Dangerous Prayers Online Bible Study now.
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
When you hear the words, “Break me, Lord,” how do you react? What comes to your mind?
We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts about praying this dangerous prayer in our comments section.
As the Senior Pastor of Life.Church, Craig Groeschel provides teaching, leadership and guidance for the church as a whole. Following a vision God gave him and his wife Amy for a different kind of church, he and a handful of people launched Life.Church — the church that created YouVersion, the Bible app. Craig and Amy live in Oklahoma and have six children, three sons-in-law and two grandkids.
© 2020 by Craig Groeschel. All rights reserved.
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