Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 4, 2011

Praying It Safe

Posted from Cha Am on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand

With the new year only a few days old, I have been thinking deeply about the year ahead. Once again, I have resolved to live each day aware of the line that defines the farthest I’ve ever been and the most I’ve ever done for God and His purposes. And, I am determined to consider ways in which I can go beyond that line and, by so doing, allow God to redefine my personal spiritual landscape. I don’t want for the map of my life to look the same one year from now as it does today. But, in order for things to look different, I need to continue to go beyond, one step at a time, and to live adventurously for God. I need to continue to make certain that my dreams outnumber my memories — that I am always striving for what is ahead of me rather than allowing the satisfaction of past accomplishments to lull me into complacency and comfort.

In reality, it’s not that difficult to tolerate complacency or to find comfort in comfort. Staying on our side of the line that defines the most we’ve done for God and His purposes is like a ship remaining in a safe and comfortable harbor. However, God did not create us to stay in the harbor but instead to lose sight of the shore. The danger of choosing to play it safe is that eventually we begin to pray it safe — to order our prayers around what we think is best for us and asking God to minimize or eliminate any kind of pain or discomfort. Rather than pleading with God for the strength to make it through the storms, those who pray it safe ask God to help them find an easy way out of their difficulties. Instead of asking God what He wants for them to get out of their circumstances, those who pray it safe ask God to get them out of their circumstances. Instead of praying for what only God can do, those who pray it safe ask God for little things that they can easily manage and control without Him.

In the long run, playing it safe and praying it safe are the worst things we can do. A couple of years ago I posted a blog entitled Goldilocks Christianity in which I wrote that “many people find the commitment of Goldilocks Christianity to be just right. Goldilocks Christianity is fueled by lower-shelf commitment. It is powered by a commitment that is within reach but that does not require one to strain in order to grasp. It is characterized by a just-enough kind of commitment that makes no unsettling demands and stops short of being painful. It produces no martyrs, inspires no great deeds, and leaves no memorable legacy.” Goldilocks Christianity is all about playing it safe, praying it safe, and allowing our personal comfort to trump God’s purposes and plans for us. Determine that you will not pray it safe this year. Instead, ask God for the courage to step across the line that defines the most you’ve ever done for Him. Step across that line and experience what only God can do in and through you.


  1. O-
    As always…you have an amazing way of speaking to our hearts. Thank you for giving me a new spark in my walk and a new motivation to look for the line I’ve set for myself so I can look beyond it.
    Safe travels, mi amigo.

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