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Violent Prayers

When I was in Bible  School I remember it being said that we should pray 5 minutes of violent prayer every day. By violent prayer, it was meant praying like the world depended upon it. Praying with fervency and passion for what you were believing in prayer for. There are times that it’s easy to pray violently, but most of the time it isn’t. Life is just too easy for us.

Recently I spent time with some parents that are going through a difficult time with one of their children. It was gut wrenching to see how broken their hearts are about the decisions their child is making with their life. They are physically exhausted from praying for a miracle, and are desperate for their child to see God in some real way. If I put myself in their shoes, I’d be the same way. I’d pray for hours, fast innumerable meals, and spend countless hours on my face before the Lord if I knew my own kids were in imminent danger of messing up the rest of their lives with a collection of poor choices.

But aren’t they already in danger? I’m raising three kids in a corrupt world. I’m raising them to hear God’s Voice when He calls, but I’m doing it in the midst of a noisy, noisy place. As my own heart was burdened by the pains of others this week, I felt a strong conviction to spend time in violent prayer for my own kids. Right now they’re dripping with innocence, but that season is already wearing off on my 8 year old. The questions are coming fast and furious, the emotions are starting to scatter all around, and the world is out to get my kids. I see it everyday. It is time to pray for these kids of mine.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Jared M · January 7, 2011

    Thanks for the powerful reminder. You’re right, most of us have it so easy that we rarely pray a prayer of desperation. I hope that I never forget to pray violently for my child, as if his life depended on it, because it just might.