True prayer requires honesty. God already knows our hearts, so the honesty I’m referring to is honesty about ourselves. Many of us go into prayer with a cold heart; it’s a task to do, a box to check, or something we’ve always done. But it’s only words, and those words never get past the ceiling. I can summarize the excuses that are thrown out when it comes to not praying or awkwardness in prayer. Self-centeredness. Maybe we’re angry at God for not doing what we demanded; maybe we think we sound stupid, maybe we don’t know what to say…all of those (and many others) all focus around one thing – self. A lack of prayer life is a symptom of a self-absorbed person. Harsh? Yes. Truth? Yes, again. A person may package it up in some other wrapping, but when we peel the layers off…it comes down to self.
It doesn’t need to. Jesus rent the curtain, and we have access to the Throne (Hebrews 4:16). Jesus is our Mediator & Intercessor (1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25 [this is why we pray “in Jesus name”]). God wants to hear from us. It’s not complicated…Anne Lamott eloquently explained the basic three prayers types: “Help me! Help me! Help me!”, “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!”, and “Wow!”. If it’s coming from your heart…that will suffice. Peter when walking on the water was no less eloquent “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30), and the father from today’s devotional passage was not to be outdone as he prayed: “I believe, help my unbelief.”
Nothing fancy, only honest words, no self to be found. Often we get hung up in knowing about God, and we don’t follow through in getting to know God. Spending time in prayer…silence, praise, thanksgiving, and sometimes asking for things…is how you get to know Him. Set aside time today…make it now…and have a heart to heart with the God who loves you so much.