Is the Prayer for Safety Selfish?
I see everywhere nowadays people, with wonderful hearts and intent, praying for safety of believers. I can't help but look at the life of Jesus, the lives of the apostles after Him, and the Prophets who came before Jesus' time and wonder: if we pray for safety, does God love them less than He loves us? If God did not spare His own son on our behalf, are we being selfish when we pray for safety? Jesus' own words should give us pause: “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes." “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. (Matthew 10:16-25) Note what Jesus says "I am sending you out" "they will deliver you over," "when they deliver you over," "you will be hated for my name's sake" and so on. Does any of this sound safe? I can't and won't tell you what to pray for, but according to the prayers for safety, God seems pretty reckless in the Bible! Yet, here I find hope: that deliverance is not of this world, it is of Jesus Christ. Believers, from the beginning, until even this very moment are being beaten, tortured, mistreated, imprisoned, raped, and killed for Jesus, and yet many do so willingly, because they count it all joy to suffer for Jesus Christ, and according to His word, great is their rest and welcome in Christ. Loved ones, following Jesus is not safe, loving souls to eternity is not safe, nothing in scripture guarantees we will be safe until we're in the presence of the Almighty once and for all. As I see it, safe keeps us from sharing the Gospel, and safe misses opportunities for eternal salvation. I will not tell you not to pray for Safety; that is up to you. I know that I will not pray for Safety, for I will give my very life to Jesus if it what He calls me to do; but, I will pray like Jesus "nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done." Matthew 10:26-42 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”