Thursday, August 4, 2016

Honest Prayers

What do your prayers usually look like?

Are they filled with the "right" words and phrases? Talking about only part of what is going on and how you're feeling - the acceptable part?

Or are they honest about everything? Thoughts, feelings? Cries of your heart in the midst of the good and the bad in life?

For a lot of my life I would say my prayers were very much along the lines of trying to make them sound right. Somewhere along the way, I got it in my head that only some things were acceptable to pray about. I have no idea where that came from, but it made my prayers feel inauthentic and I didn't really have much use for it sometimes.

It also made the Scripture passages that talk about praying continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) seem pretty much impossible. If I can only pray about certain things or in a certain way, then a lot of the time I have nothing to pray about.

But, the truth is we can pray about anything. We can pray about everything. Nothing going on in our lives or that we're thinking or feeling is hidden from God anyways (Hebrews 4:13), so not praying about it doesn't make any sense. If God knows about it anyways, why would I think it's off limits for prayer?

As I've realized that there isn't a list of what's "right" for prayer and what's not, I've realized that praying continually isn't impossible after all. I can talk to God about all of what goes on in my day or what I think about. It easily becomes a daily thing when everything is acceptable.

And living that way changes things. In the middle of a situation that is hard, it keeps me from taking on things that aren't mine to carry in the first place. It gives hope, even when from an earthly perspective, it seems like there is none. I've been living this reality lately.

What do your prayers usually look like?

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