Christians must push themselves to pray the "dangerous prayer" of availability, Pastor James Brown of Crossroads Church said in a recent sermon, telling his congregation that when "God calls you, he equips you."
Brown, who serves as the executive pastor of discipleship at the Minnesota-based evangelical church, said in a March sermon that Christians need to be more like children in their service to God, pushing themselves to "fearlessly" invite God's presence into their lives.
While Christians may come up with several excuses as to why they should not allow themselves to be available to God, they must remember that when "God calls you, he also equips you."
"God is less concerned with your ability than he is with your availability," the pastor says.
The pastor calls on members of Crossroads Church to have a "childlike faith in action" by having excitement, fearlessness and courage about their faith.
Fearlessly following God's plan allows Him to use you as an instrument for His will, Brown explains, saying that all Christians, especially those who are feeling "bored" in their faith, need to embrace the "bold, courageous [and] fearless […] prayer of availability."
This prayer is a "powerfully dangerous" prayer of adventure, the evangelical pastor continues, because it may result in God calling you to do different things, like move to a different state, break up with a significant other, or allow another big change in your life so His plan for you may better be achieved.
"God may call you to do something that you never imagined that you would do," Brown tells the audience.
The pastor adds that Christians will frequently have three typical responses when God calls them to change direction in their life, with two of them being negative and one being positive.
The first response is a flat out "no" to God's call, as seen in the Book of Jonah, when Jonah refused to partake in God's plan.
Brown says that every time we acknowledge God's plan for us and refuse to do it, we "miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime."
"Every time that God speaks to you […] and you opt out of it, you are saying to God 'I am Jonah,'" the pastor says.
There's another common response to God's assignment noted in the Scripture that is equally as negative as the first, Brown explains, pointing to Exodus 3:10, in which God sends Moses to Pharaoh to lead His people out of Egypt.
In response, Moses tried to remove himself from the assignment, asking God "who am I?" to take on this mission.
The last response Christians often give to God's call is positive, as found in Isaiah 6:8, when Isaiah tells God "here I am […] send me."
Brown says that while he finds this to be an uncommon response, it is the best. Isaiah wasn't concerned with the details of God's plan, but rather he fully gave himself to God without reservation.
The evangelical pastor warns that if Christians pray the prayer of availability, God could call them somewhere extreme, but it could also call them to simply spread the Good News in their local community.
You don't know the plans God has for you until you pray the prayer of availability, Brown concludes, saying that once you do pray this prayer, you are inviting "the adventure to begin."