We are concluding the “Dangerous Prayers” series with the dangerous prayer, “Send Me.” In his book, Dangerous Prayers, Craig Groeschel asks, “What if instead of always asking God to do something on our behalf, we dared to ask God to use us on His behalf?” To pray, “Lord, send me,” is to say, “Lord, use me.” And that’s the prayer of Isaiah that we considered.
Rewind to Isaiah chapter 6:1. “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” Isa. 6:1 This is important. Before you’re ready to be sent by God, you must see Him first. You’ve got to have your vision corrected.
Isaiah was filled with grief over the popular king’s death and filled with dread over the sins of his people. Assyria was poised to pounce, and Isaiah was losing heart. It was a time of uncertainty, desperation, and fear, not unlike now.
But God wanted Isaiah to see more than what he was looking at around him. God opened Isaiah’s eyes and allowed the worried prophet to see directly into the throne room of the universe. Isaiah saw the Lord seated on His throne. Instantly, it didn’t matter that an earthly king was absent from a temporal throne, because the King of kings was still seated on His. Changes in government, shifts in the balance of power on earth, shakeups in earthly systems do nothing to shake, shift or disturb the kingdom of heaven. God is in control.
Isaiah saw three things: God’s holiness; his own sinfulness; and God’s forgiveness.
God’s holiness. (See Isa. 1:2-4.) The outstanding attribute of God that impresses the angels is His perfect holiness of character. And in contrast to this holy being, Isaiah is awakened to his own sinfulness.
Isaiah’s own sinfulness (Vs. 5). Isaiah had been pronouncing woes upon the sinners in Israel (see 5:8-30). Now, finding himself in the awesome presence of a holy God, he becomes profoundly aware of his own imperfections. This will happen to us too as we draw near to God. You cannot experience true conversion until you first realize your own utter lostness and depravity without God. As long as we compare ourselves with other people, we can deceive ourselves that we are not that bad (an end-time delusion). But when we compare ourselves to God, we see just how unrighteous we truly are.
God’s forgiveness (Vs. 6, 7). At the depths of Isaiah’s despair, he experienced the deepness of God’s grace. As holy as God is, His glory is most clearly seen in His mercy. (Rewind to Ex. 34:6-7.) And this is the glory of God—that God doesn’t smite sinners, He saves them.
“Imagine the power of the moment,” Craig Groechel writes. “Isaiah has never been more aware of his guilt, his sin, his shame. And with one touch from God’s being, his sin was gone. Forgotten. Forgiven. First, unconditional grace. Then, uncontainable gratitude.”
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’” And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!” (vs. 8) Once we see the holiness of God, our own sinfulness in light of that holiness, and we experience the forgiveness of God, then, out of uncontainable gratitude, we’re shaped and ready to pray the dangerous prayer, Send Me! Use me!
But why would this awesome God, surrounded by fiery angels need to ask for someone to go do His bidding? Why not send angels? Though they would do it faster, more efficiently, flawlessly, “Christ does not choose angels who have never fallen, but human beings, men of like passions with those they seek to save.” (DA 296) He uses forgiven human beings precisely because they have been forgiven. . “Having been in peril themselves, they are acquainted with the dangers and difficulties of the way, and for this reason are called to reach out for others in like peril.” (DA, 297) We are searched, awakened, and broken to be sent to save.
How do you think your life might change if you prayed daily a daring, faith-filled prayer of whole-life devotion to the One who gave it all for you? Maybe, you’d experience a breakthrough. You don’t have to go door-to-door, or give a Bible study, or preach a sermon. A witness is not something you do, but rather something you are. Simply tell what happened to you. What have you seen? What have you experienced? God is on trial in the universe. He’s accused of being unfair, uncaring, cruel and severe. What has He done for you? Please take the stand. State your name for the record. What light can you shed on the accused? And God cries “Can I get a witness? Please? Somebody? Anybody?”
Dare to live and pray dangerously. It’s the only way we will ever experience the primitive godliness we must have before Jesus comes again. And it’s the only way you and I will ever be a danger to the kingdom of darkness. To live and pray comfortably is to be a laughingstock to satan’s kingdom and a shame to God’s.
This is our time to pray dangerous prayers. To get in the game and make a difference. God is looking for someone to represent Him to this dying world. He’s calling you! Pray with me, “Here I am, Search me.” “Here I am, Wake me.” Here I am, Break me.” “Here I am, Send me.”
Pastor Randy Maxwell