If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.~2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV
I confess–I have prayer envy.
Have you ever been around someone whose spontaneous prayers are like the most lovely poetry? I am not one of those silver-tongued people.
Once, at church, we broke into small groups of five or six to pray for one another’s needs. One gentleman prayed for my friend. I was tempted to open one eye to see if he read the prayer out of a book because the prayer was so beautiful. I wished I had a gift to pray eloquently like that.
I’ll be honest. I tend to get nervous about praying aloud in front of others. While prayers may flow from my pen, they stumble from my lips like potatoes out of a sack.
Since I’m confessing, I will admit that once during a similar service, when we dispersed into groups to pray, I excused myself and hid in a bathroom stall until the prayer was over. I’d like to tell you that it came only from shyness, but my reluctance to pray came primarily from pride. And I was on the worship team. In the years since, I have learned much.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.~Psalm 145:18 NIV
If you stumble over praying aloud, be encouraged that God isn’t looking for perfect prayers. He is looking for those who are focused on Him. The Lord draws close when we care less about performing perfect prayers and more about honestly coming before Him and baring our neediness.
Our heavenly Father doesn’t even mind when we stand silently before Him, at a loss for words. Sometimes, our prayers don’t even need to be words. He can interpret the meaning of every sigh, groan, and tear. Romans 8:26 NIV reads, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
How many parents scrutinize the sentence structure our crying child uses when they come to us with a skinned knee? Or, do we correct their sentences when they crawl into our laps for affection? Why would our heavenly Father be less of a good parent than we are? He is exceedingly more.
Why not crawl onto His lap in prayer? Share your heart with your compassionate and welcoming heavenly Father. He prefers to hear the unvarnished truth flowing from our hearts rather than a memorized prayer recited while we think about other things.
Prayer from the Heart
When praying for others, remember friends feel loved when we pray for them. Whether our words flow or come by way of struggle, both prayers impact their soul and reach the throne room of Heaven. Prayer is a selfless expression of love, not a performance. The comfort others receive from our prayers comes through our empathy and care and by the work of the Holy Spirit, not through flawless oratory execution.
What are your beliefs about praying?
Father God, remind me that praying is not about my ability to articulate. Rather, I place my focus squarely on You. Use me to bless others and point them to the hope only found in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Copyright 2024: Prayer Envy: Julie Souza Bradley Lilly: All Rights Reserved