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::Devotional:: ‘Honesty In Prayer’

May 11, 2010

Prayer has been a constant struggle in my life.  It used to be that it was a struggle to take time to pray, but I’ve crossed that bridge and pray faithfully through a prayer journal in the mornings.  Now, my struggle is trying to pray Biblically, or properly, or for the right things in the right way.  Does that make sense?  It’s almost like I second guess myself sometimes.  However, what I’m learning is that honesty about my struggle with prayer in prayer to the Lord brings me even closer to him.

Some things in life are black and white and easy to pray for.  For example, God will always answer my prayers to help me get rid of bitterness or anger, or to help me forgive someone, because those are clearly spelled out in his word and are not part of his will.  But what about something like a raise or promotion at work?  What about a larger house?  What about a loved one or friend in the hospital who needs healing?  Those aren’t so black and white.  It could be God’s will to get a promotion, or a larger house, or heal a loved one.  Then again, it could be God’s will that none of those things happen.  So what do you do then?  How do you pray?

I don’t know if this is the correct theological answer or not, but I’m finding more and more that honesty brings me closer to the Lord in prayer.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been dishonest in my prayers.  What I mean is that I pray according to the limited understanding of God’s will that I have and I pray boldly from that perspective.  I admit to the Lord that I lack a full understanding of how all things work together and that I even struggle with knowing whether to pray for something or not, yet the only hope I have is to bring it to the Lord and ask Him to help me sort it out.  His answers could be yes, no, or wait, but nevertheless he answers.  I’ve stumbled upon a little phrase that has helped me in my prayer life that is very simple.  “As best as I know and can understand.”

I know I don’t fully understand God’s will and that my mind and understanding of Him is finite, but I’m called to pray nevertheless.  So, as best as I know and can understand I pray for His will to be done.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.  1 John 5:14-15

Like I said, I don’t know if this is proper prayer form or not.  I’m simply sharing what I’m discovering in my own prayer life.  Honesty is powerful.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

4 Comments leave one →
  1. pat turner permalink
    May 11, 2010 11:52 am

    Tis is a very good devotion on prayer. I love your examples you give.

  2. susan hubbard permalink
    May 11, 2010 8:48 pm

    i think you are on the right track. i am 59 years old and still struggle with what and how to pray. as you say, i just think God wants us to pray with our own understanding and the best we know. thanks for taking the time to write this blog.

  3. May 12, 2010 7:43 am

    Amen Susan! I am searching for the book “The Doctrine of Prayer” by T. W. Hunt. A friend told me this was a simple and small book that was revolutionizing her prayer life. Sounds like it is worth the read to me!

  4. May 12, 2010 7:33 pm

    I was always told that prayer is open communication with God, the same way we talk to our best friend we should be able to talk to our God: openly, honestly, and without fear of judgment. That is why I love nothing more than to hear a child, a teenager, or a new believer pray…they have not mastered the disguise of carefully clothed cliques and well thought out prayers….they are raw and honest and clueless to anything other than conveying their own heart… does that make sense? I don’t know… I have found for myself that honestly is the only way to pray. If I am angry with God, I tell Him. If I am irrational and discouraged, unfocused and in complete need of direction…I am honest with the Lord about it….after all, He is my best friend. And how many times do we vent and vomit our heart and lives on our best friend just to hear how silly we sound? I don’t think God is ever too busy to take the time to listen to us ramble and figure out what He is showing us even if it’s in a circular way… I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone other than myself haha but I think you are on the right path my friend. I think prayer is a lot more simple than we make it out to be… I’m sure you have seen in yourself how much you have grown in your prayer life and how things you used to pray for or ways in which you prayed were so different from how the Lord has led you to pray now… I love that you pray “as best as you know and can understand” but that even so, it isn’t enough. Your desire to understand more, even though you know you won’t even understand it all, is what makes you the amazing man that you are and I am so proud to call you my friend, TQ.

    Know that I am praying for you and with you.

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