There's a prayer I like to pray that goes like this: "God, I pray that as I read your Word that it would mess with me today."
I have to admit: it's not my phrase. Last October I was at the Emergent Gathering near Santa Fe, NM. One afternoon I sat down to lunch next to Mark Scandrette, one of the many unofficial leaders of the Emergent movement and an eccentric, innovative and articulate pastor of Re:Imagine! in San Fransisco.
We had a great converation over lunch, but there was only one concept that I fully remember from it.
He said, "Jesus was a crap disturber. He messed with people - in a good way."
Then he went on to say something that I'll never forget: "When was the last time we asked Jesus to do that to us - to disturb our crap? Most of the time we read the Bible in a way that reinforces what we already believe. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. When it came to the religious leaders of the day, Jesus didn't do that. He did the opposite. He messed with them. When was the last time we prayed that Scripture would mess with us? We should be praying that Scripture should mess with us - we should pray this way on a regular basis."
I think he's right.
It reminded me of the great quote by Mark Twain: "It's not the things in the Bible I don't understand that make me nervous. It's the things I do understand."
And so I've prayed it consistently.
It's a dangerous prayer to pray.
Scripture has messed us with us, given us quite a few stomach aches along the way. But its good for us.
Uncomfortable, yes. Beneficial, absolutely.
Maybe, as a community at resonate (and even larger - as a community of the Body of Christ) we should be praying this prayer more often.
Praying that our points and our belief systems and our mindsets wouldn't be reinforced to make us feel better about ourselves and making us feel more "right," but that our lives will be wrecked by the story of God and the words of Jesus (and others in Scripture) so that we become the people God desires us to become.
Imagine if you prayed this prayer consistently. How might your time studying and meditating on God's Word impact the way you live?