|Photo by Pam Williams|
Are you always honest in your prayers? I have to admit, I am not. Sometimes I am afraid to tell God how I really feel. What if I offend him? I can be reluctant to ask for things because of what God’s answer may require of me. Sometimes I try to give him a snow job—obscuring my true feelings with empty phrases.
There are lots of ways I am not completely honest with God in prayer, and that is just ridiculous! God knows my heart; He knows my thoughts. (Jeremiah 17:10) So why do I try to hide my real self from him? There is nowhere and no way to hide from God. (Hebrews 4:13) He knows me—inside and out. So I might as well be honest with Him.
The book of Psalms is full of honest prayers. The words we read there are simple, truthful outpourings of the heart—no frilly smokescreens, no sidestepping of issues, no cowering fear.
As I read through the Psalms, I find reflections of what is in my own heart. At times the words express disappointment and even anger. Where are you, God? (Psalm 10:1) Others share praise from a heart full to overflowing with wonder at God’s mercy and provision. O, Lord, our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:1) Some psalms beg unashamedly for God’s intervention. Do something, God! (Psalm 82:8)
Psalms show me that God is okay with my honesty. In fact, he welcomes it over flowery, empty phrases that try to cover up the truth. God wants us to be real with him. Jesus said, “When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long.” (Matthew 6:7)
So, will you join me in being more honest this year? Let’s give God the stark truth in 2015. He can take it. After all, when we aren’t honest, the only person we are fooling is ourselves.